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16 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 July, 2018 03:38:36 AM
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Lucky to have full family, many don’t

Rohingya boy says at Cox’s Bazar settlement
HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN, back from Teknaf
Lucky to have full family, many don’t

It was a hot and humid day with occasional drizzling. On July 1, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was visiting a Rohingya settlement on the slopes of hills at Chakmarpul in Teknaf upazila of the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar. Some 12,500 of over 7 lakh Rohingyas, who had to flee their homes in Rakhine to escape the brutalities of the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist mobs and people from other ethnic groups, are currently living in the camp in a treacherous condition with minimal basic needs.  During the visits of the international or national dignitaries to the settlements, children in large number were seen wandering with them from as close as they are allowed to go by the security personnel.

This time it was not exception. There were many children around the ICRC chief as the presence of security personnel was not that visible. But, one child wearing a blue T-shirt was standing alone by a little creek with face down.

When approached by this correspondent, the boy, Shoaib, remained down-faced. Perhaps, the experience in Rakhine made him forget to look up.  When an effort was made to have a conversation, the subdued boy was not interested at the onset. Later, he agreed to speak with the help of a camp resident, who understands his dialect as well as of this correspondent.

“Apart from three hours at a madrasha, I don’t have anything to do during the day. I don’t like it,” said Shoaib in a calm voice. “I want to play, but there is little space to do so.”

Asked if he likes to stay here, the boy replied in a clear voice, “No. Not at all. I want to be in my village in Rakhine. I always remember my village and friends.”

“My mind always stays in Rakhine. I want to go back to my village,” he added.

“I don’t know, my father doesn’t know, nobody knows when we will be able to go back,” Shoaib, who lives in the settlement with six other members of his family, replied to a question.

Asked if he knew the reason behind his residence here, he said, “Yes, I do. They were killing and torturing us. I have been told that they don’t want us there.”

“Many of my friends have lost either their fathers or mothers or relatives,” said the boy.

“But, I am lucky to have full family, many don’t,” he added.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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