Muzaffarnagar update — need to move to the next step
The Milli Gazette Online
Published Online: Dec 21, 2013
On Thursday, 19 December, 2013, a Charity Alliance team distributed blankets, shawls, children’s wear, winter caps, kids shoes, ladies footwear, kids slippers, socks, ladies sweaters, thermal inners, and miscellaneous items donated in kind. The camps visited were: Sunethi Camp 1 (Madrasa), Mansura Camp 1, Mansura Eidgah Camp, Tsang Camp and Rotan Camp.
Mansura Eidgah Camp
The team found that in the wake of media attention, harsh Supreme Court criticism of the U.P. government, relief material has, alhamdulillah, poured in from all directions. Hence immediate relief material like blankets and warm clothes, has reached the refugees. As of now, there is no need for more blankets to be sent there in bulk. For small such needs, Charity Alliance people working through the Muzaffarnagar Riot Victims Coordination Committee will be alert and will provide the same.
The need now is to move on to the next step of Rehabilitation and advocacy. We have to make them self-reliant and help them become independent again. Living on privately-owned or government land (Gram Samaj and Forest Land), they can be forced to vacate anytime and until the victims feel secure, men folk will not be able to go out of the camps and work freely.
What is required in the next stage is:
- Legal Aid for compensation and court proceedings to punish the guilty by following up FIRs and court cases;
- Providing foldable beds to the refugees to save them from cold earth and to be used as benches to save their small belongings in case of rain which is fast approaching.
- Sanitation – provision of toilets for men and women
- Routine medical check-ups in the camps by teams of doctors going to each camp at least once a week;
- Providing land by purchasing it and building weather-proof huts. The rains, expected within a week or two, blankets, mattresses, clothes and other belonging will get ruined;
- Equipment to skilled workers as without tools, victims have to work as simple labourers;
- Getting all school-age children in the camps enrolled in nearby schools as well as opening up of schools near the camps and helping existing ones to add more classrooms and teachers and other infrastructure. One make-shift school teacher told the Charity Alliance team during this visit that children from camps nearby come to his school for a day or two and then stop. He said incentives like school-bags, stationary, sports stuff may help retain them;
- Vocational training for the victims like carpentry, welding, electrical, fridge a/c, motor vehicle, generator, a/c, masonry, stone-cutting, tailoring etc.
During this visit, Charity Alliance has started the process of buying a piece of land measuring five bighas in Sunethi Akbarpur village of Shamli district. An advance has been paid and the deal will be completed, insha Allah, within a week. Thereafter, in addition to the basic infrastructure like toilets, septic tanks and drains, about 80 huts will be built and the same will be offered to the most deserving among the refugees. The land alone will cost around Rs 19 lakh including registration charges while each shed will cost at least Rs 5500 in addition to the cost of the required minimal infrastructure (see picture below). The Charity Alliance is also providing on a continuous basis tools to skilled workers and books and related material to students in camps.
Charity Alliance (Regd. Trust for relief and welfare in India)
D-84 Abul Fazal Enclave-I
New Delhi 110025
In a camp locals have contributed bricks to make some huts. Charity Alliance intends to make similar huts on the land once purchased.