Hyderabad: A social activist and yoga instructor from Hyderabad, who studied the problems of persecuted Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists from neighbouring countries staying in over 93 refugee camps across the country, returned to the city recently and intends to do a case study on them which would be submitted to the Central government for its perusal.
Kiran Chukkapalli travelled 10,000-km on a Royal Enfield motorcycle and successfully completed the tour in 85 days, starting from Kanyakumari. He interacted with refugees who fled their homes due to religious and ethnic persecutions of minority communities in South Asian countries.
To draw attention to these refugees, who have rarely made it to international news, Kiran took up three-month bike ride in November last, all by himself, covering more than 10,000 km from Kanyakumari and rode through Gujarat, Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh and back to Kanyakumari.
The ride across 18 States covering over 93 refugee camps laid the foundation for Refugee Aid Project (RAP), a brainchild of Kiran, aimed at facilitating basic human rights to live with dignity, freedom, equality, and peace.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Kiran said RAP is a humanitarian effort to bring dignity, safety, justice and uphold the universal human rights of these individuals who were displaced due to war, conflict or religious persecution. Recalling his interaction with refugees, he said the people staying in many camps were devoid of basic amenities especially washrooms.
For instance, at a camp at the India-Myanmar border, pregnant women were facing several problems during delivery and their problems get compounded during monsoon since they have to cross three rivers to reach a healthcare unit for proper treatment.
“In some camps, refugees are not even provided proper water facility. My aim in visiting these refugee camps was to know their problems and help them. At the same time, I will do a case study on the problems of refugees and submit a report to the Central government,” he said.
Stating that a large number of refugees who fled Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar were living in scattered camps and non-camp settings across India, he said some migrations were as recent as last year, while some communities like Chakmas and Hajong have been striving to integrate into the mainstream for the last six decades.
Due to local agitation and politics, they are still Stateless despite many of them serving in the Indian Army, he said. Before starting his tour, Kiran did a research of the refugees staying in Delhi and West Bengal for over three years.