Chin Refugee Family Made Homeless due to Overdue Payments in Delhi
27 June 2012 – NEW DELHI: A Chin refugee family of three including a one-year-old baby have been made homeless in New Delhi, India since 12 June 2012 after being unable to pay the rent for six months.
The Indian landlord locked out the room rented in Bindapur area, Janakpuri of New Delhi by Mr. Van Ngai, 21, and wife Decemhing, 20, with their baby son as the Chin family could not afford to make their payments.
Van Ngai said: “My family try our best to survive as a refugee but unfortunately due to many problems, we could not pay the rent for months and have owed our landlord a total amount of 11,800 Rupees. As our room was locked, we are not allowed to get our documents including the UNHCR cards and other belongings back.”
“I earned about 3,500 Rupees a month from my work but was not enough for our expenses as we have a baby and my wife has got health problems. My son has got skin diseases since birth and there are wounds all over his body. We go to a government hospital in our area and the medicines cost us at least Rs 600-1000 per month for his medication,” added Van Ngai, from Matupi Township in Chin State, Burma.
Currently, the ‘evicted’ Chin refugee family has been temporarily accommodated by a Falam Chin widow in her rented apartment with her four children, three daughters and one son.
“We are so worried now as a local Indian landlord has started complaining that too many people are staying in his apartment. We feel so concerned for the host family as our baby keeps crying especially during the night,”
The Chin family eventually approached the implementing partners of the UNHCR including SLIC (Socio-Legal Information Centre), Women Protection Centre and Don Bosco for help but in vain.
“Now, we are temporarily sheltering at one of our refugee colleagues and the landlord also complaints us a lot and we are in a very difficult situation since we have no money to contribute for daily food. We don’t even have clothes and some refugees are donating for us,” said the wife, from Valangpi village in Matupi Township, Chin State.
Mrs Van Ngai expressed her deep concern about their belongings, especially the UNHCR certificates and medical documents as they are the only IDs they have for future references.
It is confirmed that the room, previously rented by Van Ngai and his family, has recently been occupied by other tenants and that the belongings are still in the hands of the Indian landlord.
“My husband was dismissed from his job as he was absent for three days due to this unfortunate situation. We wrote an application to UNHCR and we are waiting for their reply. We are much worried since Don Bosco could not help us and we don’t know how to handle this situation,” Decemhing said.
Van Ngai and wife Decemhing arrived in New Delhi on 1 March 2008 as refugees after having fled their native Chin State due to various forms of repressive measures inflicted upon the locals by Burma’s military authorities.
Reporting by A Hmun