People of Nowhere — Story was done by August 2011

“ With the slightest promise of good governance and protection, the natural pull to return home is overwhelming within us” says a refugee. The decades long dehumanized and repressive military dominant government in Burma ( Myanmar) forced millions of Burmese people to take shelter in other countries. In the west of Burma , border to India, Burmese people diaspora to Indian border. They move to New Delhi to seek refugee status from UNHCR. Hapless, they find shelter in stingy by-lanes of New Delhi to far away from their open house and self sustaining lives in Burma. Refugees lives on margins of society. They don’t have right to work as a refugee, survived on limited resources. Still their hopes for their rights and bring peace in Burma is alive. This photo story was done between August 2010 and August 2011.

Refugees are on demonstration in New Delhi, on 20 June 2011, against a dehumanized and repressive military dominant government in Burma.
Refugees are on demonstration in New Delhi, on 20 June 2011, against a dehumanized and repressive military dominant government in Burma.
Refugees are on demonstration in New Delhi, on 20 June 2011, against a dehumanized and repressive military dominant government in Burma.
A national flag of Burma adopted by military government, spread on the footpath underneath a dining table in a staunch opposition of military government, in New Delhi, India, 17 November 2011.
A placard at the gate of UNHCR office. Rohingya refugees from Arakan state of Burma, appeal to UNHCR in New Delhi, 29 July 2011, to accept them as registered refugee and give them protection under UNHCR. Some of the refugees are seeking refugee status from UNHCR for last 2–3 years, but failed.
Rohingya refugee from Arakan state of Burma, outside of UNHCR office in New Delhi, 31 July 2011. Rohingya refugees living in New Delhi, Jaipur, Muzzafar Nagar and most of are in Jammu and Kashmir state. They have to come time and again to UNHCR, New Delhi, to seek refugee status. Most of them are given 5 months time for result of interview. But they don’t get any result after the passing of given period.
Rohingya refugees from Arakan state of Burma, outside of UNHCR office, New Delhi, 31 July 2011. For last five days with limited access to food, water and sanitation. Rohingya are one of the most vulnerable refugees from Burma
A refugee child collecting leftover, scattered , and rotten vegetable at 12:00 am midnight in vegetable market after it almost closed down in New Delhi, 30 July 2011. Refugees having no right to work and having least options to get the job even in unorganized sector add troubles to their survival.
Refugee children collecting leftover, scattered , and rotten vegetable at 12:00 am midnight in vegetable market after it almost closed down in New Delhi, 30 July 2011. Refugees having no right to work and having least options to get the job even in unorganized sector add troubles to their survival.
A refugee child with her mother collecting leftover, scattered , and rotten vegetable at around 12:00 am midnight in vegetable market after it almost closed down in New Delhi, 28 July 2011. Refugees having no right to work and having least options to get the job even in unorganized sector add troubles to their survival.
A refugee boy is going door to door, selling the leaves of pumpkin, bitter gourd and other vegetables to his compatriot refugees. He gets only rupees 10 for a bunch of leaves (approx. 500gms).
Lily, 29, running a temporary betel nut stall during annual Burmese sports festival. “Many refugee women prefer to earn some money like this rather than do a permanent work in local factories where they face exploitation. Very often the employer entices them with extra pay to come for night duty but only to sexually exploit them.
A refugee woman works in a garment factory brought these ladies shirts to stitch on the buttons. For completion of every three shirts, she gets one rupee
A refugee woman weaving a traditional ‘Canglang’ (Shawl) worn by men of Matu group.She is weaving it on request by her compatriot refugee friends who has been resettled in other foreign countries.
“In Burma we used to have our own big and airy homes in the hills and mountains with mild and chilly weather and self sustained life,and here we live in dingy, confined rooms, paltry wages in spite of working overtime in factories — is the new norm of life for us” said Thui Lawn, a refugee living in New Delhi.
Sibling’s father was a government employee in Burma but since he participated in the 1988 uprising, the Junta set fired their family home, killing their grandmother and uncle who were inside the house . Their father was tortured so much that he was forced to flee from Burma with the hope of a better life and to start afresh somewhere else. But how was he to know that tragedy would strike him again? His wife, the mother of this two children died two years ago simply because they did not have enough money to treat her. She died of diarrhoea.