A demonstration was organized in front of Don Bosco (Don Bosco Ashlayam) in Vikaspuri under UNHCR yesterday by about 50 Chin refugees. The protesters work with the Income Generation Activities (IGA) sub-office of Don Bosco in New Delhi.
“Some refugees suffering health problems or are disabled, work in IGA under Don Bosco office with help from UNHCR. Earlier they worked from 8 am to 8 p.m. a day and earned Rs. 30 per hour. But now the working hours are reduced and are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. while the wages have come down to Rs. 20 per hour,” said Salai Tlaung Za Thang, a worker.
Besides, the office has tried to bring down earnings by the hour but the work volume has remained the same, it would seem. Unskilled workers now cannot earn what they used to.
“We don’t want appointment of workers through NGOs under UNHCR. We want direct contact between workers and UNHCR officials. That’s the reason we are demonstrating,” said Salai Thang.
There are 150 Chin refugees working at IGA, Don Bosco at present. With the wages as stipulated now and the volume of work, the workers can earn only Rs. 70 a day and unskilled workers can earn Rs. 35 a day only.
So, the workers demonstrated against injustice and the imbalance by IGA.
There are more than 10,000 refugees in New Delhi, of these only a minority can work at IGA, Don Bosco.
Chin refugees had earlier demonstrated against the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) to protest the injustice being done to Chin people, so the UNHCR discontinued the relationship between YMCA and refugee affairs and handed over charge to Don Bosco in March 2010. – Khonumthung News.