Women and their infants were spotted begging by bus stands and along the road from Ukhiya to Teknaf
In the past two to three days, thousands of Rohingya women have been spotted begging locals to assist them with food and money for medicine to treat their infants. These helpless women have stationed themselves by bus stands and along 70-80km of road from Teknaf to Ukhiya.
Rukaiya Khatun, 45, used to live in Mongdu area in Myanmar’s Rakhine state with her nine children. She had everything there until she fled, when Myanmar military forces killed her husband and burnt her home to ashes.
She entered Bangladesh two days ago and took shelter on a road in front of Nayapara refugee camp with her children.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rukaiya urged our correspondent to help her feed her children. Six of her children are aged less than 10-years-old, with one who is just one-year old.
Nur Banu, a 16-year-old mother carrying her 10-day old infant on her lap, was seen at a tea stall near Teknaf bus stand, seeking help from locals to treat her baby.
Nur Banu and her husband, Syed Alam lived in Rathedaung. Three days after she gave birth to her baby, the Myanmar army came to their village and forced them to leave their home.
After the couple travelled through hills and rivers for two days, they arrived in Bangladesh four days ago. During the exodus, they fled with very little food. Nur Banu claimed that the military had killed four out of 12 family members.
Once having entered Bangladesh, they were welcomed with some food and water. However, she and her baby hadn’t eaten anything in the last two days.
After showing her infant, Nur begged the locals for food and medicine.
A local named Abdur Rahim took Nur Banu and her baby to a local clinic. Since Nur Banu has no money to buy the prescribed medicines, she found no other option than to beg at the bus stand.
During his visit to the bus stand area, our correspondent found several other Rohingya mothers with their infants begging the locals to help.
Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Kazi Rezaul Hoque said: “It is our duty to help the Rohingya children as they are living under our shelter.
“We need to think about Rohingya refugee children and find ways to support them, as around 80% of the refugees are women, children and elderly,” he said, during his visit to Teknaf on Tuesday.
According to locals, at least 200 children have died in past seven days due to a lack of food and medicine as well as the spread of cold-related diseases.
Meanwhile, around 100 babies were born in the no man’s land near Bangladesh-Myanmar border without any medical attention, in unsafe and unhygienic conditions.