The Rohingya are one of Myanmar’s many ethnic minorities, with a population of roughly one million at the beginning of 2017. The majority of Muslims in Myanmar are Rohingya Muslims, who live in the Rakhine state. They have their own language and culture and claim to be descended from generations of Arab traders and other ethnicities who have lived in the area.
When hundreds of thousands of scared Rohingya migrants began pouring onto Bangladesh’s shores and paddy fields in August 2017, it was the children who drew the most attention. As the refugees streamed across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, nearly 60% of them were children, bringing with them stories of unimaginable violence and brutality that had forced them to flee.
Bangladesh was housing around 890,000 Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazar District at the end of August 2021, with roughly half of them being children. In the 2017 migration, those escaping attacks and violence joined over 300,000 people already in Bangladesh from previous waves of flight, thus becoming the world’s largest refugee camp.
The Rohingya refugee crisis is a human rights and humanitarian calamity that has seen a rapid increase in numbers while decreasing access and resources in just one year. More than 1.3 million refugees and host community members have been affected by the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
The difference in religious and ethnic identities between the Myanmar government and the Rohingya people is the single cause of confrontations and deadly attacks. Myanmar has been colonized by the British since the 1800s. Rakhine’s Muslim population grew dramatically during British control, doubling in 50 years.
In Rakhine State, World War II created a significant schism in the population. While Muslims supported the British and their allies, many Buddhists in Rakhine backed the Japanese. Myanmar gained independence from British domination in 1948, following the war. Soon after, the Muslim population of Rakhine State revolted, demanding equal rights and autonomy.
In August 2017, clashes broke out in Rakhine after the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility for attacks on police and army checkpoints. The government designated ARSA as a terrorist organization, and the military launched a ruthless operation that destroyed hundreds of Rohingya communities and displaced almost 700,000 Rohingya people. According to the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of violence, which occurred between August 25 and September 24, 2017. Myanmar’s security forces are also accused of shooting fleeing civilians and planting land mines near border crossings frequented by Rohingya refugees escaping to Bangladesh.
Myanmar authorities are said to have cleared abandoned Rohingya villages and farmlands to develop residences, security bases, and infrastructure since early 2018. The government claims that these changes are being made in preparation for the repatriation of refugees, but rights activists fear that they are being made to accommodate communities other than the Rohingya in Rakhine.
The Rohingya people are in desperate need of basic needs like food and safe drinking water. As refugees are forced to live in camps in another country, Rohingya people are denied all they need to live a normal life. A few water samples were taken from the Rohingya refugee camps in 2017, and shockingly, 92 percent of them were found to be severely contaminated with dangerous chemicals.
The Rohingya people’s water supply is extremely limited, and what little water they do have is filthy and contaminated with disease-causing viruses and germs. The Rohingya people’s situation is dire, thus we must recognize our privilege and assist the beleaguered Rohingya people who have already been through so much.
Imagine having to drink unsafe water. Can a parent think of giving such kind of water to their children? Never! So let’s join hands with Ek Plate Biryani, and help the people of Rohingya lead a safe life where they get the basic necessities. The best way you can do that is to give to charity. Donation for Rohingya refugee children is considered Sadaqah Jariya. Sadaqah Jariyah is the highest type of endless reward, which continues to bless the donor even after death. So why not combine earning such a large sum of rewards with contributing to humanity’s welfare?
The Rohingya people are suffering and as human beings, it is our duty to help them with the resources we have. If we can take even a small amount of money to assist them, it will be of use to them. It’s better if they drink clean water, so we must gather enough amount to install hand pumps for them. Make sure to visit Ek Plate Biryani’s website and learn more about the Rohingya crisis, and how you can donate to the people of Rohingya.