‘All our belongings are lost’: Homeless Rohingyas after fire destroys camp in Delhi

NEW DELHI: Pre-dawn blaze in the only camp for Rohingya refugees at southeast Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj area rendered at least 228 of residents homeless.

Around 44 shanties most of them plastic sheets were completely gutted in the fire. This was the fourth conflagration in the six years since the camp into existence.

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The occupants of the Rohingya camp also lost all their valuables articles including refugee identity cards and special visas issued by the UNHCR and the documents related to their properties in Myanmar.

Ali Johar, 23, a resident of the camp said they lost everything in the massive fire. “All our belongings are lost. We couldn’t save anything, only our lives. Some people have got minor injuries while fleeing the site. Since we have no bank accounts, we used to keep whatever savings we could make from our daily work in our tents. Most of us lost those savings too,” said a resident.

Johar said, “This also includes all the documents that we had to show to prove our origin in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. All the 205 residents belonging to 57 families had the refugee cards issued by the UNHCR. Those cards are gone too.” Though the Chin refugees of Myanmar are getting a monthly stipend from UNHCR, Johar said, “We have the cards but the Rohingyas don’t get stipends.”

The residents were shifted to a nearby ground after the slum caught fire. Locals helped the refugees with food and clothes after the incident, police also provided help in settling them down.