Deep Rose's story continued ...
Studying in Kathmandu
Life in Kathmandu started with a number of problems. The first was that I had no money to stay in a flat. But I was lucky to get a place in the college of my choice. I felt I should not miss this opportunity despite my difficulties in living in Kathmandu. I met a Nepalese journalist who let me stay in his house in exchange for cooking for his family.
The second problem was how to pay the college fees. The third was the issue of hiding my identity. Sometimes I am fearful, as the political situation in Nepal has not settled. I do not have legal residence to stay here in Kathmandu. People here in Kathmandu do not seem to understand the misfortune of being a refugee. It is a kind of social stigma to be a refugee in Nepal. I never disclose my identity.
Bhutan is a remote corner of the world. Few people know about the repressive policies of the royal regime which have caused the refugee problem. There is a high level of frustration among the people in the refugee camps; they have been languishing there with little hope for the future.
Thoughts on the refugee situation
It is so frustrating that the refugee youths are not allowed to go outside the camps without the prior permission of the Home Ministry of Nepal. Refugees are not granted permission to travel to Kathmandu for their higher education.
The government of Nepal confines refugees within the camps and meanwhile keeps receiving UN funds. I think that the government of Nepal is not really interested in finding a durable solution to this problem. This is what the UN should understand.
The frustration felt by many of the unemployed youths in the camps means that many have been tempted to take up arms to bring about radical change in Bhutan. The decade-long Maoist conflict in Nepal and its success has acted as example for them.
The government of Nepal, the UN and its donor countries must work out a clear proposal of solving this imbroglio before it's too late.
Sometimes it is difficult to manage things and I need to be careful about money. But I am still here through hard work.
Growing up as a refugee involves a challenging life full of frustrations, sorrows, fears and feelings of insecurity. There is no debate: I am not happy being a refugee.