Friday, December 6, 2013

Girl + Refugee, Uttar Pradesh, India, December 1, 2013

On this morning we visited a small camp located near Kairana, Uttar Pradesh. An interesting description of this place is included below, and is in line with my observations of the area. There is something quite peaceful, serene regarding the landscape… yet the places of our visits were reminders that even such serenity can be disturbed by the hand of Man.

Most recently violence has erupted in Uttar Pradesh, forcing this young girl and her community to find shelter elsewhere. The villagers in this region have given their land to the refugees, have allowed them to build temporary structures and have also permanently signed over certain pieces of land over to the families for permanent homes.

Government action is nonexistent, but good people from all over the country are doing their best to ease the suffering and pain. Toilets have been built, quilts have been provided, building materials have been shared and most importantly a warm welcome has been extended.

I hope that such tensions ease and that this young girl can return to her home one day.

According to Wikipedia:

During the Medieval period, Mughal Emperor Jahangir visited this place and has given a vibrant description in his autobiography, Tuzuk-e-jahangiri.
The Emperor said, "On Sunday, the 16th, I marched from Delhi, and on Friday, the 21st, halted in the pargana of Kairana. This pargana is the native place of Muqarrab Khan. Its climate is equable and its soil good. Muqarrab made buildings and gardens there. As I had often heard praise of his garden, I wished much to see it. On Saturday, the 22nd, I and my ladies were much pleased in going around it. Truly, it is a very fine and enjoyable garden. Within a masonry (pukhta, pucca) wall, flowerbeds have been laid out to the extent of 140 bighas. In the middle of the garden, he has constructed a pond, in length 220 yards, and in breadth 200 yards. In the middle of the pond is a miih-tiib terrace (for use in moonlight) 22 yards square. There is no kind of tree belonging to a warm or cold climate that is not to be found in it. Of fruit-bearing trees belonging to Persia, I saw green pistachio trees and cypresses of graceful form, such as I have never seen before. I ordered the cypresses to be counted, and they came to 300. All round the pond, suitable buildings have been begun and are in progress."

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