Reang Tribe Project
THE REANG REFUGEES IN THE REFUGEE CAMPS IN NORTH TRIPURA.
Reangs are animistic in religion, worshipping the spirits,a primitive tribe of North East India resides in Mizoram, Tripura and in the Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh and in some parts of Myanmar. In 1997 an ethnic clash between the Reangs and the Christian Mizos had occurred in the state of Mizoram. The so called Christians of Mizoram burned the houses of the Reangs in the state of Mizoram and the Reangs fled to Tripura for shelters. According to the Mizoram government census 35,000 people including children fled to Tripura in 1997. (The number may vary according to different sources since there is no way of reckoning their number since they reside in the dense forests and there is no media coverage and means of transportation and proper means of communication to the location. The total population of the Reangs in Six refugee camps have multiplied proportionately in past 13 years and their number may be around 50,000 to 85,000. ). Then onwards they are living in the six refugee camps in Kanchanpur sub division of North Tripura and are living without water supply, electricity, hospitals, and schools. They are deprived of fundamental rights and basic necessities. They are a burden to both the state governments of Mizoram and Tripura. Mizo community does not want these people to be rehabilitated back to their place of birth just because of ethnic reasons. The Mizos, who are Christians, behave worse than the hindu fanatics forgetting their identity. The Tripura state treat them as a burden and a social problem. The central government is under much pressure supplies them 600 grams of rice and six rupees fifty paisa per head per day. This is their total income. They are not allowed to posses land nor allowed to cultivate in the land of Tripura. Basic necessities are not given to them because once if it is provided then the government cannot take it back in future and the refugees will not return to their place of birth. There are no adequate words to explain their struggles. Children born after 1997 have not seen schools nor given proper vaccinations and are of many physical illnesses due to malnutrition and lack of hygienic food. There are more than 13,000 children in these camps below the age of fifteen. Youths are also large in number. Their language is KAU BRU. Their language is of TIBETO-BURMAN language family with tonal feature. It is a Himalayan task to any outsider to learn their language and communicate the gospel in their language. Poverty, illiteracy, immature death and sicknesses, immorality are the trade mark of them. Death rate and birth rate is so high.
Adding to their struggles, the Mizos had again attacked the Reangs in Mizoram and burned the houses of innocent Reangs in 2009 November resulted burning out 900 houses of Reangs. They had fled to North Tripura and established the seventh camp. Most of them are without any help living under the plastic sheets to suffer the sunshine, winter cold and the forth coming monsoon