Indian Navy, Coast Guard feeding stranded Rohingyas, but no rescue yet (Ld)

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By Subir Bhaumik
Kolkata, Feb 23 |
The Indian Navy and Coast Guard personnel have been feeding and providing medical attention to a group of 90 Rohingya refugees and three Bangladesh crewmen on a boat that was stranded on high seas after it drifted into India’s territorial waters on Monday.

Humanitarian groups monitoring the plight of the sea-stranded Rohingyas say the Indian sailors have given them some food and water and doctors have attended to the sick on the boat off India’s Andamans islands.

“The navy doctors are on the Rohingya boat to treat the sick.

“Eight of them have died since Saturday and many are suffering acute dehydration and diarohhea. But we learn that the Indians are not rescuing the Rohingyas,” said Chris Lewa of the Bangkok-based ‘Arakan Project’.

“The last we heard from the Rohingyas was on Monday night when the one sat-phone on the boat was still working. Now that contact is lost. Nobody is taking our call on that sat-phone,” said Chris Lewa, who has a long association with the Rohingyas through her humanitarian project providing relief to the hapless refugees often stranded in hostile host countries or at sea.

She welcomed the Indian supplies and medical treatment but appeared worried by unconfirmed reports that Indian technicians were trying to repair the boat’s engine.

If that was true, she said, it would mean the Indians would not mount a full-fledged rescue mission, rather leave the boat inmates pursue their perilous journey to South-east Asia.

“We would welcome an Indian rescue effort followed by repatriation of these Rohingyas to Bangladesh, from where they boarded this boat on 11 February at a point south of Cox’s Bazar. Or else many Rohingyas will die, ” said Chris Lewa.

The ‘Arakan Project’ has confirmed the presence of 65 Rohingya women and girls, five children below the age of 2 and 20 men on the boat.

Since the boat’s engines stopped functioning six days ago, it has been drifting towards India’s Andaman islands from its course.

But Indian navy sources said they were ‘trying to ascertain the identity of a boat that seems to have drifted into Indian waters off the Andaman coast’.

They promised details later, understandably tight-lipped because the Indian government, strongly opposed to any Rohingya presence in the country, has not yet cleared a rescue mission by the sailors.

The BJP has blamed West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress for harbouring illegal Rohingya migrants ahead of the state polls due this summer and demanded ‘zero tolerance’ to illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.

So Lewa said she was directly appealing to the Indian government, especially the Indian Navy and Coast Guard deployed in Andamans to intervene.

“Indian coast guard patrols have traced the Rohingya boat 40 km east of Rangat in the Andamans. They should save the inmates by taking them to safe shelter with food, water and medical treatment,” Chris Lewa said.

“They told me that 3 inmates of the boat died on Saturday and 5 on Monday — all victims of acute diarohhea after consuming sea water,” said Chris Lewa.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also appealed for immediate rescue of the Rohingya refugees on this boat.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or UNHCR says it received reports of an “unconfirmed number of Rohingya refugees aboard a vessel in distress as of the evening of Saturday 20th February.”

“Saving lives must be the priority,” said Indrika Ratwatte, the director of the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific said in a statement.

“In line with international obligations under the law of the sea and longstanding maritime traditions, the duty to rescue persons in distress at sea should be upheld, irrespective of nationality or legal status. We appeal to all governments to deploy their search and rescue capacities and promptly disembark those in distress.”

“Many are in a highly vulnerable condition and are apparently suffering from extreme dehydration,” Ratwatte added. “We understand that a number (of) refugees have already lost their lives and that fatalities have risen over the past 24 hours.”

UNHCR has said it would provide humanitarian assistance and quarantine measures for those who were rescued, in line with public health protocols.

“The fact that refugees and migrants continue to undertake fatal journeys accentuates the need for immediate and collective regional response to search, rescue and disembarkation,” the agency said in a statement.

But now a furore has erupted over Malaysia’s plans to repatriate 1,200 Rohingya refugees detained in special camps to Myanmar. Three Myanmar navy ships have arrived in Malaysia to pick up the 1,200 Rohingyas.

But global rights groups and Western governments, including the US, have opposed the Malaysian plans on grounds this was an act of forced deportation that could endanger the Rohingyas on their return to Myanmar.

Myanmar’s democratic government has agreed to take back more than 40,000 Rohingyas from their camps in Bangladesh before the military takeover in the country.

But Bangladesh officials said they were yet to hear from the Myanmar military-led government whether the commitment would be honoured.

Bangladesh is trying to shift tens of thousand of Rohingyas to a new facility on a river island called Bhasan Char, saying it provided better living conditions than the cramped overcrowded camps around Cox’s Bazar.

Former Bangladesh information Minister Tarana Halim says this is the best that a poor, overcrowded nation could do for the hapless Rohingyas.

Chris Lewa agreed. “Many Rohingyas are signing up for Bhasan Char, it is a better option than jumping on a boat and then dying for lack of food and water,” she said.

Source: IANS

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Meet Gurmeet singh Shunty A New Superhero With Turban

Meet Gurmeet singh Shunty A New Superhero With Turban

In the last year, the whole world was struck by a large pandemic. The year 2020 came with a pandemic called coronavirus which affected the whole world badly. Coronavirus in India resulted in great downfalls in health, economy, unemployment, and so on. Lakhs of People Lost their lives, jobs, and their loved ones. The whole year was very disturbing for each section of society. Coronavirus in India resulted in great downfalls of health, economy, unemployment, and so on. The whole year passed with a large Tension and fear for all the peoples. In the hard times of coronavirus spread, a lot of peoples came out and helped the person in need and It is one of the very few positive effects of Covid-19.

During the blast of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world our volunteers have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world and our society. However, this is also the year which witnessed the world coming together to fight coronavirus. The year with its share of trials and tribulations threw up some exemplary work being done by organisations and individuals in this difficult time as the pandemic spread, a new breed of warriors with an indomitable spirit stood up bravely against it to take on the challenge head on.

In the hard times of lockdown, a lot of peoples came out and helped the person in need and It helped the society to live again with a hope of being helped in bad time. During the Large spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world our leaders of the society have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world and in our society too. They did a Great work in every aspect needed at that time, from Responding to calls for help from their local communities to help them by going on roads, they are everyday heroes who came as a preserver for them.

They do wear masks and face shields to protect themselves and spread awareness in the society to follow each rule and regulation. We can say that there are many things which has spread faster than the coronavirus during the pandemic, it has been the noble works, fearless steps, selfless service and recognition of Gurmeet Ji and his supporters who continued to work day and night to save other’s lives. He also set up camps and volunteer help alongside highways and by roadsides, just to provide relief and support the migrant workers going back to their places all over India.

Among the Great hidden heroes who worked day and night to fight during lockdown, one such person is Gurmeet Singh shunty ji, who is the ex general secretary of delhi sikh gurudwara committee.Being at such great post he always learned to do sewa and that teaching has been always with him which dedicated him towards the society to work for the people of his own nation and humanity. Gurmeet Ji worked 24×7 , without caring of himself. He is the person who have been stepping in to help during the pandemic and they all have been a portrait of selflessness and optimism to this society.

Gurmeet Ji believe that our selfless acts or Sewa in any form must be done to save humanity, Sewa require a true heart and helping nature which will bring both helper and victim happy. During the tough times of coronavirus, Gurmeet Ji and his volunteers came out of their comfort zones to help lakhs of migrants workers who wanted to go back to their hometown during the COVID-19 lockdown. So in that  time  when the world undergoes such vast pandemics which affects all the person Whether it’s a small or large donation of money, resource or humanity, each things matter.

During the tough times of coronavirus, when everyone was thinking of themselves First, Gurmeet Ji and his volunteers came out of their comfort zones to help lakhs of migrants workers who wanted to go back to their hometown during the COVID-19 lockdown.Despite of being older in age,He did not let himself to be inside house and watch news of the suffering surroundings but he helped as many people as he could during the crisis by arranging food, buses, trains and most importantly by giving a warmth of love and care.He created a large team just to help the peoples in problem and inspired many others to do so. We can say that there are many things which has spread faster than the coronavirus during the pandemic, it has been the noble works, fearless steps, selfless service and recognition of Gurmeet Ji and his supporters who continued to work day and night to save other’s lives by risking his own and his family’s health. They didn’t even meet their family members and specially children for months,for their Safety and some even spend nights in their vehicles and outside home to assure that the virus doesn’t spread further to their loved ones and family members. Government took various steps to save our nation from the bad impacts of corona spread and one of them was lockdown. Lockdown was done to stop the spread the corona in nation but it resulted in great losses.when lots of People were on Roads, lots have nothing to eat and some were not having anyone for their care, without any money and food thousands of People covered thousands of kms on their feets, with their families and whatever they had earned in their lifetime, there comes some unknown super heroes of our society who helped them selflessly.

Their faces get rashed by the mask marks, they continuously took medicines to save themselves and others too. They maintain distance from their own members in order to help other persons to reach their destinations. In the bad times we get to know about many such People and These are the people who are helping in restoring humanity’s faith by coming up with novel ideas and their great works which inspires whole society to come ahead. That was the time when a number of labourers, their children and other family members were forced to return back to their places but Gurmeet Ji risked his life to save theirs.He started his service with providing cooked food as langar sewa and later switched to dry rations too, with the objective that people in need should not go to sleep on an empty stomach and they must not loose their hearts and continue their journey with less problems. It’s very hard to find such person in this crucial time when everyone put themselves first but Gurmeet Ji believe in his teachings and said “our panth has taught us the lesson of jan sewa, and we will continue this legacy till our last breathe.”

All the people who helped any of the person in need will be in their memory for forever as they made them believe on brotherhood and humanity in such a Crisis. It is beleived that in when some person get trapped in trouble even your shadow leave your side but the persons like Gurmeet Ji taught each and every person of society that we Must help each other to maintain love and care in society which will make then believe in the existence of god. If God has given you the power and resources to help others you must move forward as your one step can change anybody’s life.Gurmeet ji said that “our great sangat give us the teachings of sharing whatever less or more you have and These teachings which I started learning since my childhood inspired me to help my brothers and sisters of this society. ” He further added that he feel so happy and blessed that he could be the reason of anyone’s little smile. He requested everyone that even Your small step can save someone’s life and make them beleive into humanity and brotherhood.He started his service with providing cooked food as langar sewa and later

 

switched to dry rations too, with the objective that people in need should not go to sleep on an empty stomach and they must not loose their hearts and continue their journey with less problems.

He also set up camps and volunteer help alongside highways and by roadsides, just to provide relief and support the migrant workers going back to their places in UP, Bihar and even farther. It was clearly seen during the pandemic when thousands of people were going towards their villages with their small children and had nothing to feed them, at that time Gurmeet Ji provided them food ,water and other necessary items which brought  beautiful smiles and tears of happiness in their eyes as they never expected that in this crucial time there could be someone who will act as a survival medium for them.

At that time many warriors came in the front line to help the society. Despite being senior in age Gurmeet singh Shunty ji, was the Person who came out of the house when everyone was locked. He was standing in the crowd to help them reach their houses and made  very hard decisions at the right time.

We need to Recognise these Heroes so that they could work more and more for the welfare of this society. We need to Recognise these unsung Heroes so that they could work more and more for this society as “this society is all about give and take.”  They have given millions of smiles and its our time.They must be appreciated for their noble works to boost such works of brotherhood. They have given millions of smiles and its our time to pay them back.

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