‘Bullied’ Chin refugee children scared to go to school in New Delhi
New Delhi, India – Twelve Chin refugee boys aged between 7 and 13 refused to continue their study at a government school in fear of bullying in New Delhi, India.
The boys didn’t turn up for their recent exams early this month and have since stopped going to school where they face both verbal and physical bullies, according to their parents.
Nang Suan Lian, father of one of the boys, said his 13-year-old son and his son’s friend, 10, were beaten up by an Indian student on 6 March 2013, adding: “Father of the Indian boy hit my son’s friend outside school and his forehead was bleeding.”
The incident was witnessed by other students and one of the mothers of the Chin students, who study at MC Primary School in Hastal Village No. I and II in the evening.
“Now, my son has dizziness and couldn’t eat since then. He is afraid and staying inside the room. Not only my son but also his friends refuse to go to school now,” added the victim’s father.
The principal of Don Bosco Ashalayam Crech School, whose teachers make a visit to the government school twice a month, said he didn’t really know what had exactly happened.
“The parents told me that the boy was beaten by the father of the Indian boy. But the teachers and the principal of that school said that the father did not beat him,” added the principal.
The Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC), an implementing partner of the UNCHR, provided a security guard for the refugee children at school following complaint by parents of the Chin refugee students on 7 March 2013.
“Our children went to school, accompanied by a security officer sent by Don Bosco Ashalayam but they all came back without taking the exams,” said Kap Khen Pau, father of three children studying at the same school.
Lian Khan Mang said the Chin students including his daughter had been wrongly accused of and scolded by teachers for damaging books, which were actually done by local Indian girls.
“My daughter came home crying,” added Lian Khan Mang.
“Our girls face discrimination and are sometimes called using racial terms. When they reported the matter to their teachers, the teachers would tell them off rather than addressing the issues,” said a Chin father, Suan Khan Do.
Students from Burma do not mingle with their Indian classmates, and if something happens, the students could not demand their rights as they have language problems, according to the principal of Don Bosco Ashalayam Crech School.
Mrs. Niang En Dim said: “Our children are facing physical assaults and discrimination at the government school. I have no idea what to do for my child’s education.”
Currently, it is reported that there are twelve boys and fifteen girls studying at the MC Primary school.
Chin refugee students go to Don Bosco Ashalayam School in the morning and to a government-run MC Primary School in Hastal Village No. I & II in the evening.
“Now they don’t come to my school and have stopped going to that school. It is natural that parents get worried for their children. But I think parents have to take more responsibility in terms of picking their children up from school,” said the principal of Don Bosco Ashalayam Crech School.
The Chin refugee families, originally from Tedim Township in Chin State, Burma came to India to seek protection from the UNHCR after having fled Burma between 2010 and 2011.