A group of Myanmar citizens seeking refuge in Mizoram, India, have expectations from the incoming government. They desire a consistent supply of two meals daily and access to quality education for their children. Currently housed in the Sihhmui camp, these individuals hope for sustained support from the government, which had ceased the provision of essential items, including rations, in September. Approximately 130 people, residing in temporary shelters, are in search of employment to support their families and are also requesting better facilities, improved medical care, and necessities at the camp.
Originating from Myanmar’s Chin state, the refugees fled following the military coup in February 2021. Mizoram initially provided relief assistance to over 31,000 refugees but halted the aid later on. The refugees have expressed a need for enhanced living conditions and prospects for self-sustainability, including support for livestock and farming opportunities after the new government takes office post the state assembly elections on November 7.
Education for their children is a crucial concern. They find it challenging as most local schools conduct classes in the Mizo language, creating barriers to education in English, which they believe is crucial for future employability. Despite certain unacknowledged schools teaching in their native language, these institutions lack government support. Furthermore, they seek attention towards adequate healthcare, employment opportunities, and improved camp facilities, emphasizing the absence of proper amenities, especially for women. While they feel welcomed in Mizoram without facing discrimination, they hope for a more supportive environment to address their various challenges after the state elections.