“It was noon time, I was working in my house; physically I was a bit weak. I felt the five-month-old baby moving in my womb. I was thirsty. Suddenly! I heard a gunshot. I saw the bleeding body of my brother-in-law’s son, 15-year-old Aiyub, in the courtyard. My heartbeat stopped for a while. My husband held my hand and we escaped into the nearest forest. Our two sons 5-year-old Riyaj and 3-year-old Rohan followed us,” says 26-year-old Sanowara, who could not stop weeping.
End of last month, the family started their journey with a question lingering over their heads "will they survive and reach a safe place?". Sitting in the forest, they watched helplessly as their newly constructed house burnt to ashes. 30-year-old Harish and Sanowara along with their two sons lived in a village in Rakhaine State of Myanmar.
A hunger struck family walked through the forest for two days; finally reaching the Naf River at the Bangladesh border. Their sons cried for food. Mid way Sanowara felt sick and experienced pain inside her womb.
After arriving in Bangladesh the initial support from the local people got them by. World Vision Bangladesh provided the family with food package to meet their immediate need.
The challenges for the family are far from over. Sanowara finds it a really challenge to get over what she experienced. The scenes of violence, they fled from keep, flashing before her.
As a mother she worries about the future of her children.
“From having everything to now having nothing here is a big change. I am anxious about our future and the future of my children. Back in our house in Myanmar the children could eat what they wanted. We ate fish, meat, green and leafy vegetables and drank milk regularly. There was an open playground for them. It hurts me to see what has become of us now. Accessing basic amenities has become a challenge. The water collection point is far way. We don't have separate bathing place for the women and girls. I am unable to bathe regularly. For the child inside my womb and soon to come into this world I don’t know what the child citizenship would be. Will it be stateless like us or will the child get an identity as a citizen? Only the Allah knows," added saying Sanowara.