Saturday, May 26, 2018

Priyanka urges world to stand beside Rohingya children

Bollywood superstar and UNICEF international goodwill ambassador Priyanka Chopra on Thursday urged the global community to be compassionate and to donate money, time and energy to help the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Rohingya women and children living a miserable life in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
She urged all not to divide children based on their nationality, ethnicity or religious background but to help them considering that they are the future of the world.
‘If we do not help them, will people from another world would come and help these children?’ Priyanka raised this open question to the global community at a press conference held at a city hotel.
The Bollywood actress spoke at the press conference after her four-day trip in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where she met children and families living in the refugee camps and informal settlements.
UNICEF Bangladesh’s officer-in-charge Sheema Sen Gupta and UNICEF Bangladesh chief communications officer Jean-Jacques Simon were also present at the press conference.
From her personal experience after visiting the camps, settlements and UNICEF-run shelters during the past four days since her arrival in Bangladesh on Monday, Priyanka found that people, especially children, living in those shelters and camps, badly need water, sanitation, food, education and other basic amenities.
‘They also need proper care to overcome the trauma that they have been suffering from when they had to flee from their motherland since August last year. And the number is nearly 700,000 of which 60 per cent are children,’ said Priyanka in an emotional tone.
Sharing her experience after meeting a seven-year-old boy Mansur at a UNICEF-run learning centre in Cox’s Bazar, Priyanka said, ‘From his paintings, I saw earlier he used to paint pictures like children were playing football, but they were killed by gunshots from helicopters.’
‘But, these days the kid is painting canvases celebrating life,’ said Priyanka, thanking UNICEF and the government of Bangladesh for giving such ‘incredible support to the vulnerable refugees,’ she said.
‘Please help at least one child,’ she urged every privileged people living across the world.
Priyanka, however, evaded a New Age question on whether she would pursue the Indian government to support Bangladesh’s stance on Rohingya crisis instead of supporting Myanmar regime.
With her beguiling smile, the 35-year old internationally celebrated actress said, ‘when I will be a politician and become the prime minister [of India], I will surely support you.’
‘Of course, we [people of Bangladesh and India] are brothers and sisters,’ she said.
She also appeared reluctant to blame Myanmar for carrying out what many, including UN, alleged an ethnic cleansing on Rohingyas.
‘I do not believe blame game can help overcome a crisis. We need to work together to overcome the crisis the people are undergoing,’ she said.
‘More importantly, I’m not a politician but just a philanthropist and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador,’ Priyanka said.
She also informed that she met Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday noon and thanked her for supporting the Rohingya refugees.

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