Even as India dithers in its approach toward refugees fleeing Myanmar and crossing over to Mizoram through its porous borders with the strife torn country, people in the border states are stepping forth with much needed aid.
People in Mizoram, known for their love for and culture of music, are responding to the conflict in neighbouring Myanmar with what they know best - music.
Charity musical concerts are being organised by independent groups to raise money for supporting Myanmar refugees.
"We have sought help from the government to support our brothers and sisters who are coming from Myanmar, leaving their country in sheer terror that they too will be killed by the military junta. But help is not forthcoming easily," a representative of Mizo Zirlai Pawl told Sputnik, on condition of anonymity.
"So we are raising money on our own and doing whatever we can to help out," he added.
Music concerts, even during a pandemic, remain a popular way of reaching masses in Mizoram.
Thadou Artiste's Assn (TAA)rendering Pu.Lianruma's"City of Zion" at the OPEN LIVE CONCERT in aid of #Myanmar brethren who are struggling to live...&for changing Military coup to Democracy at Kangpokpi on 6th April'21— miZO zEITGEIST (@mizozeitgeist) April 8, 2021
The fund raising Concert was jointly orgsd by TAA&The Jubilants pic.twitter.com/l2Q5EOjilT
Various student outfits and non government organisations have stepped forward in Mizoram to provide essential supplies to refugees staying in the state. At least 1402 people from Myanmar have already crossed over to Mizoram in the wake of a civil disobedience movement triggered by the February military coup.
MizoZirlaiPawl(MZP)&Chin Baptist Church,USA jointly sponsored truckloads of food items r on its way to #Myanmar refugee Camp at #Farkawn #Mizoram.— miZO zEITGEIST (@mizozeitgeist) April 8, 2021
The food items- rice, dal,potato &silpaulin etc.will also distributed to refugee Camps at#Thekte, #Thekpui & #Khankawn villages. pic.twitter.com/3nqHFQKKll
A MOBILE CHARITY CONCERT in aid for #Myanmar refugees was held at 5 places in Lunglei town today.— miZO zEITGEIST (@mizozeitgeist) April 7, 2021
Atleast 40 artistes participated at the Concert which was orgnsd by SteeringComm.forMyanmar& ChinWelfareOrg.Volunteers of CWO n students of GovtJB C fanned out with Donation boxes. pic.twitter.com/PfW99DNXmP
'India Can Not Turn a Blind Eye to Crisis'
The Mizoram government has taken a cautious stand, with officials mostly tight lipped about measures being taken to support refugees.
The state chief, Zoramthanga, has been vocal of his support for the people of Myanmar. On 18 March, Zoramthanga wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing him that Mizoram will not remain indifferent to the sufferings of Myanmar nationals, especially the Chin community, who share the same ancestry and ethnic ties with the Mizos community of the state.
"India can’t turn a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis in India’s neighbour Myanmar," Zoramthanga said in his letter to PM Modi, adding that he will not follow the home ministry order the deportation of these refugees back to their homeland.
New Delhi has taken a cautious approach to the conflict unfolding in its backyard. Saurabh Kumar, India's ambassador to Myanmar, defined India's position in a tweet on 28 February.
Embassy of India is deeply saddened by loss of lives in Yangon and other cities of Myanmar today. We express our heartfelt condolences to families and loved ones of those deceased. We would urge all to exercise restraint and resolve issues through dialogue in a peaceful manner.— India in Myanmar (@IndiainMyanmar) February 28, 2021
The state chief Zoramthanga acknowledges the democratically-elected government of Myanmar and has had online meetings with its foreign minister.