As per an HRLN fact-finding report, over 300 Rohingya people live in a makeshift refugee camp in Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj, “each with their own story of murder, torture, rape, arbitrary arrest, and extortion”. Fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh after ethnic violence, the Rohingya community is one the most persecuted and marginalised communities in the world. Established in 2012, around 50 families live in the camp at Kalindi Kunj – in houses with no electricity, or even walls. Makeshift walls with curtains and plywood separate the houses, and the children live without adequate sanitation and hygiene. They go to nearby schools whose fees are paid by Zakat Foundation. Today, the Rohingya have become stateless, and are struggling for education, health and survival.
On Feb 14, the team of PRATYeK, convenor of the NineIsMine campaign, visited Kalindi Kunj to celebrate Valentine’s Day with children living in the camp. Spending this important day at Kalindi Kunj sent a strong message about love, empathy and harmony in times of communal conflict. Here are some photos from the visit.
Children at Kalindi Kunj were given crayons and asked to draw what represents their hopes and dreams.
A glimpse of the living settlements at Kalindi Kunj, where children were busy putting their thoughts on paper.
Mizan, a young girl, draws beautiful flowers.
More than chocolates and sweets, the children were interested in drawing as it gave them a means to express themselves and share their emotions.
Children drew things like flowers and books, and shared dreams of studying as much as possible and becoming successful.
One child drew a house, thinking of his home back in Myanmar.
The experience was unparalleled and makes one think of how power, privilege and inequality lie at the root of society and how this must be challenged. If you live in Delhi, do spare some time and spend time listening to the stories of the children and family at Kalindi Kunj. And do follow NineIsMine on Facebook for more information about such initiatives.
All photos by Nawal Watali, PRATYeK