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Home / Local / Protesting Muslims have done little to empower Rohingya refugees in Okhla: Activist who worked with them for years

Protesting Muslims have done little to empower Rohingya refugees in Okhla: Activist who worked with them for years

These days everybody is talking about the plight of Rohingya Muslims. In India and Okhla activists and religious organizations are sending messages on the social media, including WhatsApp about holding protest seeking justice for the prosecuted Rohingyas in Burma, according to an activist who has worked with the Rohingya Muslim refugees in Okhla and Delhi.

“There is nothing wrong in protest, but what I don’t understand that where were these people all these years as they did little to empower their conditions in Okhla. Just see there are 10 lakh residents in Okhla and very few among them were bothered about Rohingya Muslim refugees living in Kanchan Kunj in pathetic conditions in jhuggis,” said Anisur Rahman, who has been working with the Rohingya Muslim refugees since they landed in Okhla several years ago.

They were provided free land by Zakat Foundation.

“For years there was no covered toilet in the place where they lived. We struggled to collect funds. Moreover, nobody bothered to start a vocational training for them. Yes, there were people and religious organizations who used to come from time to time to give them food and other items. But that was not enough. Nobody seriously worked for the lasting solution to their problems.

“They lived in penury. We started a school that too could not last for long due to funds. In Mewat in a fire started by short circuit the makeshift mosque was burned and some residents even got injured. We faced hardship in raising funds. There is nothing wrong in protest but at the same time Muslim organizations and activists should empower the deprived in long manner. And now we see everybody talking about protest as if their situation in India will improve. Nobody is interested in real groundwork,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a press meet held at its sprawling headquarters in Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) questions silence of Indian government on Rohingya Muslims.

In a release, JIH said it wants the Government of India to play a more meaningful role in helping the oppressed Rohingya Muslims who are being massacred in Burma.

Addressing the monthly press meet, JIH president Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said: “We wish to remind the Government of India to talk to the Burmese Government on the Rohingya problem and pressurize them to restore the constitutional and citizenship rights of the Rohingya Muslims. We appeal to the Indian government to continue allowing the Rohingya Muslims who have taken refuge in India to stay in India as refugees till as time their constitutional and citizenship rights are restored in Myanmar.

“We also appeal to the international community to come forward to supply food, accommodation kits and other necessary equipment to the needy Rohingya refugees and also commit financial aid in this regard.”

Answering a query regarding the recent visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Burma, JIH Vice President Nusrat Ali said: “India’s representative abstained from voting in favor of a declaration adopted at an international conference in Indonesia as it carried a reference to violence against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
This shows the position of the government. But we feel that India should use its influence over Myanmar to stop the violence on the Rohingyas. India’s silence on such a humanitarian catastrophe is quite puzzling.’’

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