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Hyderabad’s Rohingya refugees fight language barriers

The Hindu News:
June 30, 2013
Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims who came to the
city escaping persecution in their native Burma, continue to face bad times.
With knowledge of neither Urdu nor Telugu, they lose out on jobs here
They came all the way to Hyderabad to escape
persecution back home and for a better livelihood. But a year later, most of
them have failed to land jobs.
Reason: they couldn’t pick up local
languages. Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims who came to the city in hope of better
days continue to face bad times as job opportunities elude them as they do not know
either Urdu or Telugu.
Rohingyas from different provinces of Myanmar
entered India sometime ago to escape violence in that country. Many of them
live in small tenements in Hafeezbabanagar, Pahadeshareef, Balapur, Mir Momim
Pahadi and Kishanbagh.
Abdul Mabud, 24, who hails from Maungdaw in
Myanmar, owned a shop in his hometown until he crossed over to India to escape
clashes in his country sometime ago.
“I ran away to escape mobs and crossed over
to India. But I am not getting any work as I do not know the local language,
and I am forced to live on donations made by philanthropists,” says Mabud.
Kifayathullah, 26. In fact, Kifayathullah, who knows Urdu, helps his fellow
countrymen convey their problems to locals.
It is a similar story for Abdul Malik, 65.
The elderly man is now dependent on his son for food.
“Age and language barriers are posing a lot
of problems for me,” says Malik. His son works in a factory and earns about Rs.
6,000 a month.
Moved by the refugees’ plight, scores of
people are coming forward with donations to help them survive. But the tribe is
unsure about its continuation here.
Scores of Rohingyas gathered at the inaugural
function of Burmese Refugees Relief and Rehabilitation Committee (BRRRC) here
on Sunday. Many attended it in the hope of finding a solution to their
problems. Nearly 1,500 Rohingyas have settled down in the city.
Nazimuddin Farooqui, chairman, Salamah Trust,
who set up BRRRC, said his organisation planned to help Rohingyas by providing
necessary basic education to their children by enrolling them in schools and
providing them hostel facilities, besides taking up issues including refugee
status.