A day with Refugees
CBCI Office for Labour reached out to the Refugees on 12th January, 2019. It was heart rending to witness their joy to get something in this cold season. Budena village, Haryana has 30 refugee families with 65 children and their relatives in another village Ballabgarh, Faridabad, which are private lands belonging to kabbadi dealers. There are also six camps around ‘Nuh’ area and one in Mirzapur on private lands in Haryana. These refugees are living with the identity card given by UNHCR. This card will expire in 2020. Their anxiety is about a place to live with dignity. Their living condition is worse than a slum as they are engaged in rag picking and sorting out is done in their living place. They have no access to the hospitals as they do not have money to visit a hospital and get treated for a sickness. The children of these refugees learn only Arabic language as they have a teacher from among them.
They do not have access to constitutional remedies to claim their rights owing to their socially and economically disadvantageous position as they are refugees and STATELESS people. They are living in pitiable conditions in makeshift camps in and around Delhi and Haryana without proper shelter, and access to nutritious and hygienic food and drinking water, and without access to basic medical care, exposed to the vagaries of weather, communicable diseases and attacks by animals and rodents.
For the dealers, Refugees provide cheap labour. Unable to find any other means of livelihood, they are constrained to work for kabbadi dealers, without any protection of labour welfare legislations. Though they are exposed to unhygienic and hazardous elements, they are forced to work without any protection or safeguards.
CBCI Office for Labour visits them occasionally to provide them with some food items. Since they do not have any celebration Office for Labour decided to celebrate New Year with them by being with them and gifting them some food items and some blankets.
We hope they will be helped by Indians to live with dignity and freedom.
Sr. Rani Punnaserril
CBCI Office for Labour