‘The Vanished Native’

 ‘The Vanished Native’ – Existence of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh is tale of those people who lost their freedom of living and identity now just tagged as refugees. For living decades here we still the same plastic rapping shelter that has uncountable holes. They everyday travel miles to drink mud water. Those people are struggling  to get back their honour as human not as any nation. They are considered as most unwanted people in both of the zone. Still their way of living is a  message that they are just suffering well – Gmb Akash

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An old Rohingya lady is taking nap in her shelter. They are not allowed to do work outside or move freely. Old people like her are struggling hard for passing their last days by doing nothing.

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Decades refugee families are suffering well having only a plastic shelter. If the refugees manage to get outside the camp, they are then vulnerable to harassment by the residents of the villages surrounding the camps.

In the early 1990s, more than 250,000 people belonging to the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority escaped persecution in Myanmar by fleeing across land and river borders into Bangladesh, where most were housed in 20 camps. Their living conditions are sub-standard and they are uncertain about their future. They are living without freedom of movement, permission to work or basic human rights.

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A Rohingya mother seating idle with her child. Most of the new born and children suffered from massive Malnutrition.

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The experiences of violence and coercion over the years have inevitably fostered a climate of fear and distress among the refugees. They are not permitted to work. They have nothing to do to live their lives. They have no money, their husband or wives are not allowed to do any work. They are like prisoner of an open field of limited activity.

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The girl belongs to the refugee group who are living without freedom of movement, permission to work or basic human rights. Besides she dreams to study, go regularly for taking part in Madrassa.

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 Children study the Koran (Qu’ran) in a makeshift Madrassa (Islamic school) in the Dum Dum Meah refugee camp.

The living place displays the most unprotected residence for living as human. The rapping plastic sheet which have uncountable holes surround them generation after generation. In a small place where hardly two people can live, ironically they are living more than eight people.

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Two young men are making a new house in the Dum Dum Meah refugee camp. There is no change in their accommodation scenario instead of getting only holes in every rainy season.

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Rohingya refugee families have to depend fully on ration. The refugees are totally dependent on the weekly distribution of food. For many, food is the only source of income, as employment is prohibited.

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A Child in the Dum Dum Meah refugee camp. Here everlasting hunger, heightened vulnerability to disease, and hampered growth will only be overcome if the Rohingya refugees get enough to eat everyday. But still it is a dream to these refugees.

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“Sometimes I bathe only two to three times per month because I have to save water for other member of my family”- A woman of seven member of the family were telling about the water condition.

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There is just one toilet between every 10 families. Teenagers hardly go to toilet in day time. As the toilet is visible from outside because of broken doors & holes is plastic rapping areas.

“Through the damaged door everything is visible when we go to toilet. In spite of danger we young girls go to toilet when it is dark that no one could see us”- young girl of the camp named Mya

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Water fall of mountain is the source of water near the Burmese refugee’s camp for Rohingyas. Rohingya families are collecting water from mountain as there is no facility of water in their camp. After 2 kilometers walking they can collect drinking water however they got sick often by this impure water source.

Besides them thousands wait, unregistered, and unsure of what their future holds. People are stateless and  hopeless. They have nothing in their hands.

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Rohingya families have to totally depend on ration supplies. This generates an endless cycle of food shortage as no food enters instead of only rations for them.

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The boy representing the third generation of one Rohingya refugee family. They do not have any identity as nation. Despite losing everything they are fighting to get the honour as human.

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“Many lives have begun in these camps in the last decades. Many will end here, too, without a birth or death certificate to prove that they ever existed. There straggle will convey message to all people who are unknown to the fact of living no where, belongs to no nation and not aware of searching identity everyday” – Gmb Akash


7 thoughts on “‘The Vanished Native’

  1. Hi Akash, this is a truely awesome story … i always follow your work.. and i am glad you have been documenting continuously on Bangladesh’s people and their struggle … inspiring…


  2. At least the Janeva Camp people in Mohammadpur have the freedom to mix with the local and earn their living and living a much higher standard life compared to these identity refused Rohingas. I wonder what the Govt. has done so far, not to mention many international development agencies’ contribution? This much I can understand that there are many nasty political strategies and gains responsible behind the scene… we are too small a fish in this venture…


    • Faisal, many times this news has been covered in international media, NGO & related international org. are working long time. But still nothing can happen if these people do not get identity & permission to live like human. Thanks for your own opinion on this issue.


  3. please keep highlighting the plight of these downtrodden people .This is a blot on all Bangladeshis and their government Absolutely no compassion in the hearts of the people


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