Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra on Thursday said the world should learn from Bangladesh how to stand beside the distressed humanity.
She also appreciated Bangladesh, particularly Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for taking the burden of giving shelter to more than one million displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh, who fled persecution in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
The Bollywood star came up with the appreciation during a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her Ganobhaban residence in the afternoon.
PM’s additional press secretary Nazrul Islam said Priyanka Chopra shared some experiences of visiting the Rohingya camps in Ukhiya for the last three days, particularly the sufferings of the children, with the Prime Minister.
“I found one kind of healing inside the Rohingya children,” the Bollywood star said giving an example of her experience of visiting the Rohingya camps last year.
“Earlier, when I visited the Rohingya camps I asked the children to draw a picture, and they responded with drawing pictures of arms, gunfire and mortar shells from roving helicopters. But this time when I told them to do the same, they drew pictures of sun, animals and nature,” she said.
“It’s a testimony of their inside healing and it could be possible due to your motherly shelter and security,” Priyanka told the Prime Minister.
PM’s sister Sheikh Rehana and family members were present.
Mentioning about the hazardous situation for the children in the camps, Priyanka, on behalf of Unicef, called upon the international community to extend all-out support to the Rohingya people.
Priyanka told the Prime Minister that she was concerned about the possibility of a ‘generation loss’ of a particular ethnicity as a large number of children have no access to education as they are passing their days roaming around.
“The children might have gone astray and even become extremists if they’re deprived of the opportunity of having education,” she apprehended.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has given shelter to the Rohingyas solely on humanitarian ground as the people of Bangladesh had experienced the same situation in 1971.
She recalled her refugee life abroad after the killing of her parents in 1975 saying, “Those incidents taught us to stand beside humanity during their bad time.”
Hasina said her government has been making efforts to give the Rohaingyas all the support, but it is not possible for the government alone to mitigate their sufferings.
Unicef and other international agencies should come forward with more support, she said.
Pointing out the government’s initiative to relocate the Rohingyas to a safe zone at Bhasanchar, the Prime Minister said they will be able to live there in a better environment.
The cyclone-shelters like centers have been constructed there with various facilities, she said adding that they will have education and health support as well as job opportunities, the Prime Minister said.
About the healthcare facilities extended by the government to the Rohingyas, the Prime Minister said her government has taken steps for vaccination in the shelter camps and all the government and private hospitals and clinics have been asked to provide medical services to the Rohingyas as much as possible.
Mentioning about the signing of an agreement with Myanmar for the repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland, Hasina said unfortunately Myanmar authorities are not working according to the deal.
Priyanka arrived in Bangladesh on Monday on a four-day visit to draw world’s attention to the children of displaced Rohingya nationals of Myanmar, who have taken shelter in camps in Cox’s Bazar.