Over 60,000 people were affected in communal violence that ripped through Western Uttar Pradesh in August 2013. The clashes between the Hindu and Muslim communities of the Muzaffarnagar district began on 27 August 2013. The violence claimed 43 lives and injured 93. Thousands of homes were looted and burnt and the people were forced to live in internally displaced camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli even as sporadic communal clashes continued to plague the cities.
To provide humanitarian assistance, Oxfam India dialogued with all those with potential influence the area, creating awareness that our action was neutral, impartial and independent. Our partner Astitva Samajik Sanstha also initiated humanitarian work to improve living conditions in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps and public healthcare in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli. Astitva Samajik Sanstha and the IDP communities worked together to construct and repair water points, latrines and accommodations damaged in the violence.
Insecurity loomed large in the villages where the violence originated, restricting access to farmland and limited movement of people and goods. Many IDPs were reluctant to return home without security guarantees; they were even prepared to settle permanently in areas where the IDP camps were. Some had moved out of Muzaffarnagar to neighbouring states of Haryana and Delhi. Most of the displaced were Muslims.
Our partners continue to work with the communities in rebuilding their lives and restoring livelihoods.The Concerns
- Shelter and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene).
- Latrine facilities in the camps are inadequate and unclean with no water storage.
- Lack of privacy for women using these facilities especially at night.
- No waste management system.
- Public health risked by a high possibility of water contamination.
- Stagnant pools of water leading to mosquitoes breeding.
- Covered over 22,750 men, women and children of 3500 households.
- Supported over 1,982 households across 10 IDP camps with tarpaulins, groundsheet, blankets, solar lamps, EPI foam sheets.
- Provided water kits, water treatment products, storage containers to 12,000 people.
- Provided 19,500 people with materials needed for hygiene,
- Distributed family hygiene kits to 12,000 people in the two districts.
- Began construction of hand-pumps, toilets and bathing cubicles in camps.