After Long Struggle, Rohingya Girl’s Dream Comes True, First to Make it to Delhi University

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Tasmida Johar said that she always wished to study from an early age. But due to persecution in Myanmar, she could not fulfil her wish back in her home country.

Tasmida’s elder brother Ali Johar also expressed his happiness over the admission of her sister as she is the only girl from her entire community who is going to the university

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Rohingya girl Tasmida Johar’s dream to pursue higher studies has come true in India: she has finally succeeded in securing admission in Delhi University (DU) college for a graduate course. Tasmida, who is now a student of  BA political science, is the first Rohingya refugee girl to go in for higher education in India.

Talking to Clarion India, Tasmida said that she always wished to study from an early age. But due to persecution in Myanmar, she could not fulfil her wish back in her home country. In India, too, she had to go through fire and water to carry on her higher studies.

“In Delhi, I tried to get admission in many schools but failed. I have done 10th class from NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling). I cleared 11th and 10th from Jamia schools through open courses. Then, I wanted to do graduation in law. I was selected for the law course in the Jamia Millia Islamia but the university did not give clearance to my admission. Then, I tried in the DU and got in,” said Tasmida, who is now in the second year of BA.

After completing her graduation, she wishes to do law if she is lucky to get admission in any university. She focuses on the law course because she wants to be aware about her rights and raise voice for them. She wants to make her community aware about their rights and raise voice for the voiceless.

“I’m happy that I got a chance to study in India, while in my country (Myanmar), our people are being killed. I’m thankful to India that they gave support to us. If we continue to move ahead in this way, one day we can go back to our country,” she said.

Tasmida’s elder brother Ali Johar also expressed his happiness over the admission of her sister as she is the only girl from her entire community who is going to the university.

“This is a great achievement not only for me but for the entire community. This has been possible because of her hard work and the support from many local people. There were many problems in getting admission,” said Ali.

He said that education was a fundamental human right. “If anyone gets education anywhere, it will benefit society, too. He/she may educate others or innovate new products for society. If Rohingyas will get education in India, it will send out the message that India is an accepting and tolerant country for refugees.

Tasmida and her family left their native country because of continued persecution at the hands of Buddhists. She, along with her family, fled to Bangladesh where they lived in Cox Bazar district. She and her younger brother and sister used to study in schools and her father and brother used to do labour work. Her family used to face a lot of trouble there. In 2011, her family came to India with refugee cards.

“In Myanmar, we were not able to study what we wanted. We were not able to get admission in colleges. We get to study somehow in the schools. If one completes his/her education at any cost, he/she will not be able to get any job whether it is in government or private sector. And we were persecuted there continuously. Our homes were burnt down. People were killed and slaughtered,” she said.

The two communities of Myanmar, Mon and Bamar, want to rule Myanmar and consider Rohingyas as Bengali Muslims. They don’t consider Rohingya as indigenous people. In Rohingyas’ voter identity card, it is written that they are not indigenous people of the country. Their voting rights were snatched in 2014. Gradually, policies were adopted to deprive Rohingyas of their rights, said Tasmida.

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