Woeful hopes of a woe-filled existence

New Delhi, which has given shelter to nearly 4,000 Burmese refugee women, is unsafe for the asylum seekers, according to a report released on Monday in the national capital. The report titled ‘Doke Kha Bon’, was launched at Burma Centre Delhi (BCD) office, deals with the ‘unheard plight of Chin refugee women’ from Burma in New Delhi.


Officially released by Pu Kim, the founder member of BCD, the report is expected to ‘help in sensitisation and awareness about the plight of the Burmese refugee women as a whole, who are living in exile in Delhi’. Mr Kim lauded the initiative emphasising more on such publications as well as documentation of atrocities and abuses of Burmese refugee women in their present host country.


“According to the UNHCR Office in New Delhi, there are 8,306 Burmese refugees in Delhi out of which 3,924 are women. Persecution due to minority ethnic race, religion and political opinion are cited as the main reasons for their seeking asylum in neighbouring countries,” said the report.


Speaking to this correspondent from New Delhi, the BCD activist said that the refugee women from the Chin province of Burma have to struggle for basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter in the Indian capital city. In addition to this, they battle with constant fear of sexual assault and physical abuses, Mr Kim added.


The Pann Nu Foundation (pink flower foundation) in collaboration with the BCD has prepared the report with a number of case studies. The Foundation interviewed 20 Chin refugee women in Delhi between January to April 2013, who had run away to India with hopes for a better life.


The PNF founder president described that the women were dependent on Jhum (shifting) cultivation) or living as daily wage earners. But due to the Burmese Army’s regular land confiscation practice, the village women have gradually lost their livelihood, she added.



Statesman News Service