A group of volunteers from the Sikh humanitarian organisation, Khalsa Aid provided relief to Rohingya Muslim refugees living in camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. A team of Khalsa Aid reached Teknaf, a border town on Sunday, September 10, to provide relief.
According to the volunteers, close to three lakh refugees are living in ‘miserable’ conditions. Khalsa Aid, which has also carried out humanitarian relief operations in other parts of the world, reached the border prepared for providing relief to 50,000 people. Another team of volunteers is expected to reach the border town in the coming days.
“Since the number of refugees have overwhelmingly exceeded our preparations, it can some time to make arrangements,” Amarpreet Singh, managing director, Khalsa Aid, India told the Indian Express. He added that people there were living without food, water, clothes or shelter. The organisation plans to provide them with proper shelter and langar food till the crisis is not over.
The Rohingya refugees are fleeing persecution in Myanmar, and many of them have been rendered stateless. A crackdown by Myanmar security forces in the Rakine state, made worse by militant attacks targeting security personnel has forced thousands to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, including India and Bangladesh.
The country’s de facto head of state, Aung San Suu Kyi has faced severe criticism from the international community and the United Nations, for what they suggest is ‘textbook ethnic cleansing’. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju recently called for the deportation of all Rohingya Muslims, referring to them as illegal migrants. According to United Nations estimates, close 1 million Rohingya are at risk of genocide.