Noor Fatima (23) is petrified of leaving her three-month-old daughter Shazia alone even for a minute, so she takes her everywhere — including when she has to defecate next to an open drain near her shanty in Shram Vihar. reality
“She was a month-old when a rat bit her all over the face. I was bathing and when I came back, she was covered in blood and it was nibbling her face. Is this any way to live?” she asks. reality
At the slum in Shaheen Bagh, 90 Rohingya Muslim families are spread across a cluster of privately-owned plots, which they have taken on rent. They have lived here since 2012, when, like a thousand others, they fled Myanmar because of religious persecution.
Semi-naked children with protruding bellies run around, stepping on faeces, slush, used band-aids, dirty diapers, broken syringes and bloody gauze. In the midst of the settlement is a bluish mountain of medical waste, right next to one of two hand pumps put up by residents. While some Rohingya Muslims work as labourers, many search through garbage to sell items and earn a living. reality
“We wash utensils at this pump, bathe here, and drink this water too. Everyone is sick here — breathing problems, malnourishment and stones. The children almost always have diarrhoea,” said Mohd Younis (28), who came to Delhi from Bangladesh in 2012, after fleeing the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. reality