The crisis in which the Rohingya community has found itself deeply muddled in, is undoubtedly one of the worst cases of human rights infringement in present times.
With hundreds being killed by the military in Myanmar, the remaining families have been on a lookout for the slightest opportunity to flee from the country that had once been home.
Despite hostile and apathetic treatment, many have found refuge in camps erected by neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and India. Though things are not very rosy, for the Rohingyas, it’s all about survival amidst adverse situations.
However, a night school in the Rohingya settlement at Balapur, Telangana, is something one would have never imagined.
Standing as a beacon of hope amidst a struggle for survival, the school is helping the community learn the basics of Math and English.
Most members of the community do not speak any other language than their own. This is proving quite a handicap for the community while looking for jobs.
Coming to the rescue is ‘Masterji’, who is also one of the throngs of refugees from Myanmar. Unable to take up daily-wage labour jobs because of a leg injury, the man has been taking classes for a group of 42 students, which includes 20 adults.
“The Burmese army broke my leg. I am imparting the little education I know to children and adults for a meagre salary I receive from the people themselves, which is usually ₹50 to ₹100,” said the 35-year-old Shamsul Alam to The New Indian Express.
The classes are held under an asbestos-covered shed for which the community pays ₹2,000 as rent. Illuminated with a single 100-watt bulb, Shamsul begins his ‘school’ in the evening, which goes on until 11 pm in the night. More than teaching Spoken English, Shamsul takes a special interest in assisting children.
Though these kids can receive basic primary education from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) school that is within walking distance, the lack of citizenship prevents them from availing any higher education—be it from local government schools or private colleges.
The school symbolises the prick of light at the end of the tunnel for the Rohingyas. Facing discernment from every nook and corner, the community fending for itself amidst adverse situations is indeed a story worth appreciation.