Rohingya refugees land in Kushadevi in search of work

Published On: January 1, 2020 08:15 PM NPT By: RSS

BANEPA, Jan 1: Karan Happis, a Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, works as a mason at a construction site at local Kushadevi. He said he has started working on a house construction site which is close to the place where 10 other Rohingya refugee families live. He gets Rs 600 to 700 per day as wage. They started living here some one month back.

The job of the 34 male members of these families is to look for work for earning their daily livelihood. These families had also started constructing temporary shelters at Kushadevi of Panauti municipality-3 as more refugee families were expected to join them. But they demolished the sheds after additional families did not arrive.

According to Noor Happis, they had constructed 21 shelters but demolished nine of them since the other refugee families said to join them did not arrive. The 10 families are using the remaining sheds. He said the rent of the shelters has not been decided as yet. "We came here searching for work. We earn our livelihood working as daily wage labourers. We have to manage our food and accommodation with whatever we earn as wage labourers," he said.

Out of the 34 individuals from the 10 families, 13 are minors and people above 55 years. Noor said that they get Rs 12,000 a year after admitting one child to school. He said although in the beginning they all got the money from the UN, now the money is given only to the child admitted to school citing lack of funds.

He said that because they have to migrate from place to place in search of work, they have not been able to admit their children to local schools. He added that they are talking to the school teachers regarding admitting their children to schools in the locality and would do so after they get work at Kushadevi.

As he said, the women of the family perform house work and look after the children. Mohammat Asup, another member in the group, confidently said they had nothing bad for others, calling upon the local community not to doubt their intention. As he said, empty stomach propelled them towards here in hope of finding work.

According to him, they were living on the charity of the United Nations, but now it has been stopped. "Earlier the UN was providing us monetary help, but now it has been stopped and in this situation, is there any means for survival?'' he said. "We are not causing any sorts of inconveniences to anyone else," he went on to say, seeking help so that they could find work for livelihood.

As he said, he arrived here with his family following their expulsion from Burma (now Myanmar). The family is occupying land owned by a local Satyaram Thapa. "When we saw the land is unoccupied, we requested the owner to give it us in rent, but issues relating to the charge and duration of our stay have not been negotiated yet." Panauti municipality ward-3 chair Ishwor Thapa said the Rohingya families had arrived Kushadevi in search of works.

 Thirty-four people of 10 families arrived here from Kapan, Kathmandu have been residing here for around a month. Locals are suspicious about the arrival of news faces in their locality, according to him.

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