Khalsa Aid Providing Langar and Water to Refugees
A team of volunteers from the Sikh organisation Khalsa Aid reached the Bangladesh-Myanmar border recently to provide relief to the many Rohingya Muslim families fleeing Myanmar. Amarpreet Singh, managing director, Khalsa Aid, India, who has reached Teknaf, a border town in Bangladesh where the refugees are living in the camps, said that condition at the border was “miserable to say the least”.”It was our first day here today and we did a pre-assessment before launching a major relief operation. We had come prepared for providing relief to some 50,000 people, but there are more than three lakh refugees here. They are living without water, food, clothes and shelter. They are sitting wherever they can find a corner. It is raining, but people do not have anywhere to go. It is miserable to say the least. We will be providing them langar food (community kitchen) and shelter. We are arranging tarpaulins, but since the number of refugees have overwhelmingly exceeded our preparations, it can take some time to make arrangements,” he said.He added that there were huge camps at Teknaf and each one was crowded beyond its capacity. “A camp can accommodate at least 50,000 people, but in most of them there are more than one lakh refugees”, adding”The priority is to not let anyone sleep without food. Children are roaming without clothes and begging for food. Those who do not get space in camps are sitting along roads in hope of getting food from someone” .
Khalsa Aid team is now serving langar and water to the refugees. “Teknaf is almost 10 hours ride from the capital Dhaka from where we are ferrying all the material needed to prepare langar. Connectivity issues and rain are creating hindrances, but we are trying our best to provide food to the maximum people at the earliest. The langar will continue here till crisis is over and refugees continue to reach the border,” he added.