Inspiring story from a Rohingya Refugee who fled t

I might die in a few months or years but I want them to seek an education so that they can decide their own fate once they grow up.

I might die in a few months or years but I want them to seek an education so that they can decide their own fate once they grow up.
I was left speechless. While narrating his harrowing tale, the old man remained dry-eyed. Perhaps some wounds are so deep that no tears can express the pain they inflict.
Author: Omar hafiz
Jammu|Posted : Mar 9 2019 11:42AM | Updated: Mar 9 2019 11:47AM

During my work with Rohingya refugees in Jammu, I worked extensively for their health and education. Months after my joining, during a field survey, I met an elderly gentleman who I assumed must have been in his late 70's. He was accompanied by two children, a boy and a girl. Usually my interactions with the refugees would remain confined to the health and education of their children and I usedto spend a lot of time convincing them to enroll their children in schools. The task required extensive advocacy as these kids were into rag picking which used to pay them around Rs 3000 per month, an amount which could help them run their lives.
When I met this old gentleman, I was surprised to know that he willingly sought enrollment of the children with him in any school. I was very curious and engaged him in a conversation by asking him who these children were. He smiled and said that they were his grandchildren. His own children were no more. Hearing this I offered him a chair and requested him tell me how he reached Jammu.
"I had a beautiful family”, he said. “ A wife, two sons and one daughter. All my children were married but my eldest son had no children. We used to run a hardware business. One day, we were having breakfast, my daughter was visiting us from her marital home for a few days. Some men with guns, chains and axes suddenly entered my house. First they dragged my two sons out of the house and then they tied me to a cemented pillar. My daughter and wife screamed and cried and tried helplessly to help me, but they dragged them both away. My daughter and wife were pushed to the floor. A few men held them down pinning their arms and leg and started raping them turn by turn. I was helplessly crying, screaming, shouting but I couldn’t bring myself to look. Once they were done, one man got furious and slit the throat of my daughter with a sharp knife. My wife screamed when she saw this and another man cut her into two with an axe. While all this was happening, these two children, my daughter’s son and my son’s little girl were sleeping in a room on the first floor.

My two sons were dragged near a fire. The Buddhist attackers used to set fire and encircle it by holding each other’s hands. Then they used to throw the person whom they wanted to kill inside the ring. They made a brutal game out of this and they would push whoever was inside towards the flames. And if he tried to run to the other end, the others encircling would push him back and this macabre game continued till the time the targeted person would tire enough to set himself ablaze. And they would all watch him burning and screaming. Once he died they would blow the fire by urinating on it. Two of my sons were killed like this, in front of my eyes. After destroying and killing my whole family they left without releasing me as they realised I'm too old to survive after watching this. A few days later, I left that place with these two children and escaped from their and reached Jammu four months later. Running, hiding, begging with these little ones in tow, I traveled through Bangladesh and then Bengal to ultimately reach this camp. They don't know what has happened to their parents. I might die in few months or years but I want them to seek education so that they can decide their own fate once they grow up. These two are my only hope now and I don't want my only hope to remain unfulfilled because they got have education."
I was left speechless. While narrating his harrowing tale, the old man remained dry eyed. Perhaps some wounds are so deep that no tears can express the pain they inflict.

Riyaz karim (Age 70 plus)
Rohingya refugee.
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He was accompanied by two children, a boy and a girl. Usually, my interactions with the refugees would remain confined to the health and education of their children and I used to spend a lot of time co


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