From the Refugee Camp

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Photo – Hindustan Times

I am Abdul Ramiz. I am ten years old. I am a Rohingya, they say. So I know I am a Rohingya but I do not know what that actually means. People around say we are in Bangladesh. Maybe, that is the name of the place we are living now. There are so many people here but no houses to live in.

I am very tired and hungry. We walked so long before arriving here. My parents carried me on their back because I could not walk. And there was nothing to eat on the way for two days.

I was so terrified on the boat because that was my first ride. One of the boats next to us overturned in the middle of the sea. Some of the men swam and came to our boat. I do not know where other small friends like me on the boat went. Maybe, they died. Thank god, our boat did not overturn.

Here is my new friend whose name I do not know. He is alone. He came following us after we got down from the boat. My mother asked him about his parents. He said they were in the boat that overturned and his father was sick. He managed to swim and caught our boat. He does not know where they are now. My mother asked him to come along. He is with us now but he neither speaks much nor eats anything. He just sits and stares towards the way we came from.

We do not know what to do next. My father goes somewhere else and brings something to eat. My mother gives us some loafs of bread and some biscuits that hardly satiate me. I never see her eating. Even if she does, she eats less than I can eat. I think she reserves the food for us. And this new friend eats even lesser, that too very rarely.

Back in our village, I would play with so many friends especially in the evenings. But here, nobody wants to play. Neither do I. I usually see a fear on my friends’ face and tiredness and worries on the grown-ups’. I do not know what happened to our cows and hens. We had set them all free before taking off. Minutes after we took off, we had heard the bombs blasting and people screaming. I do not know who blasted the bombs and why. That was the most beautiful place on the earth for me but they destroyed it all. I asked about it to my parents later but they did not say anything. I do not know when we are going back home.

Sometimes, some good people arrive here. They give us food and water bottles. But we do not have a home to sleep in. We sleep in tents but my father sleeps on the ground under the open sky mostly. My mother cuddles me if I feel cold at night. My new friend also sleeps with us.

I do not know who I should ask for. My parents do not answer my questions.

Please tell me when will we be able to go back to our own home? I am missing my friends and school. Do we have to board a boat again to reach our home? And will my new friend be able to find his parents?

This is fictionalized account inspired by several stories reported in the news. Visit for details.


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