Rohingyas rejoice receiving over 200 cows for Eid

Bulls, balloons and celebrations at Bhasan Char

It has been seven months that Nur Jahan, along with many others, relocated to Bhasan Char from the Balukhali Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar. The only problem was that she had earned a living with her sewing machine back in Balukhali camp. Here she had no source of income. But on Friday she was elated to receive a sewing machine from the government. Qurbani Eid is up ahead and she will be celebrating it away from a lot of familiar faces.

When asked about this, Nur Jahan said that the government had provided them with over 200 cows to celebrate Eid on Bhasan Char. So it is going to be a happy occasion.

The cattle were brought to Bhasan Char on Friday by trawler. The over 200 cows for the Rohingyas to celebrate were brought from Bogura via Hatia. Many carried portraits of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to express their gratitude to her.

Many Rohingyas carried portraits of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to express their gratitude to her

Director of Bhasan Char’s Ashrayan-3 Project, Commodore M Rashed Sattar told Prothom Alo, the ministry for disaster management and relief along with the NGO affairs bureau, with assistance from local and foreign organisations, arranged for over 200 cows to be brought and sacrificed for Eid for the Rohingyas. On Friday, 135 cows came from the NGO Islamic Relief. The beef will be distributed among all the families on Eid day.

Islamic Relief Bangladesh’s senior project manager Zafar Alam was standing in front of the trawler, supervising the unloading of the cattle. He said Islamic Relief had brought 135 cows from Bogura for the Rohingyas on Bhasan Char. The beef from each cow would be distributed among 35 families so that they would get around 2kg of meat each.

The cattle arrive by trawler

Islamic Relief is also providing 375 cows for Eid to the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar. It will also distribute beef of 150 cows among the locals of the host community living near around the camps.

When the cows arrived at Bhasan Char on Friday, the animals were kept near at the grounds near the VIP building there. The Rohigyas took out a rally, rejoicing that the Eid celebrations would be complete with the sacrificial animals. They were also happy that they had been given materials for their livelihood. They garlanded the animals and carried balloons as they marched in the procession. Many carried portraits of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to express their gratitude to her.

Last December, the relocation of 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char began to lessen the pressure on the camps in Cox’s Bazar. So far 18,521 Rohingyas have been brought in eight phases to this island of Noakhali district. The government plans to bring the remaining 80,000 or so to Bhasan Char from September this year.

* This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ayesha Kabir