COVID Relief for Rohingya Refugees in Delhi

Fazal Abdali v. Government of NCT of Delhi W.P.(c) 3063 of 2020 | Delhi High Court | Status: Disposed Of | |

This is a  public interest litigation praying for immediate relief for the Rohingya Families living in different settlements in Delhi who have been denied any relief under the various relief packages announced by the Government in an attempt to help them combat the pandemic.

The Rohingya people from Rakhine State in Myanmar have been described as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities. Facing severe violence and discrimination ever since the Burmese independence in 1947, hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas have been forced lo leave their home in Myanmar and flee to other south and southeast asian countries, including India, in search of protection. There are three Rohingya refugee settllements in Delhi with approximately 222 families who are in dire need of ration, food and other necessary services. Some of the Rohingya refugees are residing in the rented accomodation adjacent to the settlements. Much like the migrant labourers, the families of the Rohingya refugees have been left out from any relief for lack of identification. Most of the Rohingyas worked as rag pickers, rickshaw pullers and have lost their work in the prevailing circumstances and with no relief extended to them, they are left with neither work and wage, nor food water, medical aid and other necessary services.

The petition sought the following prayers:
1. Start Food Kitchens in the vicinity of the three Rohingya refugee settlements at Khajuri Khas, ShramVihar and Madanpur Khadar;
2. Initiate universal distribution of ration to all persons and families of rohingya refugees without necessitating ration cards or compulsory documentation;
3. Initiate delivery of water tankers for safe drinking water to the three settlements at Khajuri Khas, ShramVihar and Madanpur Khadar on a daily basis;
4. To initiate process for health check up and Covid19 testing for members of the community to mitigate risks of community transmission.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi after hearing the matter at length directed the petitioner to make a detailed representation to the Nodal Officer appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Jaffar Ullah & Anr. v. Union of India who shall them comply and take all necessary steps to act upon the prayers of the petitioner and provide all necessary relief and assistance to the rohingya community within three working days.