A sad tale from Chin Hills

Chin family

Chin family

State is probably the poorest region in Myanmar. It is also the most difficult region to live and survive. Almost all places in Chin State are mountains and hills, with no flat land; all the towns and villages are built on the mountains where it is very cold or in valleys where malaria is a serious problem. Land for cultivation is so few that the state cannot produce enough rice or food for its entire population. There is not enough jobs for the people, and thousands of Chin youths from towns like Hakha, Falam, Mindat and Kanpetlet go out of Myanmar to work as laborers in nearby countries, especially in Malaysia.

With such poor conditions, sad tales of human tragedy are not unheard of. Two years ago, I met a family of four in Chin Hills. I was working there when one day somebody told me of a child admitted to the local township hospital. He was admitted with severe pneumonia and severe malnutrition. The family cannot afford to pay for the medicine and food. They don’t have warm clothes and blankets. The father was attacked by a bear a few years ago while hunting, and become debilitated since then. They don’t have a land or a home, and lived in a pathetic shack built on the edge of somebody’s land. They survive by food and money provided by some religious organizations and individuals.

I went to see the family at the hospital and found that both of the children were severely malnourished, with a lot of skin infections. The doctor paid for their medicine while the nurses provided them with food and old clothes and blankets. The children stayed in the hospital for about a month, gained weight, skin disease better and were discharged.

I saw them quite frequently after that. I gave them some food and clothes on a few occasions. One day, I saw the family in front of my house and I took the above photo. The children looked very miserable. It was rainy season and the weather was very cold. They had barely enough clothes to cover their body properly. One passerby gave the child an apple. I felt so sorry for them, and was thinking how I could help them.

Chin boy

The child who died

A few days later, we had a terrible rain one night. The rain was very heavy, and the wind very strong. It was also very cold. It seemed like my house was going to be blown off. Luckily, my house survive the wind and rain.

The next day, I heard terrible news. The shack the family stayed collapsed under heavy rain and wind. And the two children died of hypothermia. I felt very sorry for them. We saw them every day, everywhere, but nobody seemed to care for them, or do anything to help me, including myself.

With harsh weather, rough terrain, scarce resources and poor living conditions, such kind of sad and tragic tales are not unheard of in Chin Hills.

8 comments for “A sad tale from Chin Hills

  1. October 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks my friend, I have been searching the articles of Chin history and its related events as much as I can for a long time. It’s very helpful for me. Furthermore, so many thanks have to again for writing about our Chin people.

    Best
    Lian Bawi Thang

  2. chin papi
    November 10, 2010 at 3:28 am

    where can i get a good map of Chin state with cities towns and roads

  3. January 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Ka dua.. Ka u le ka nau le hna!!
    Atu ca tial pa i, a tial mi hi, a hman tak tak mi asi, asi ah cun, kan lai ram caah-kan pawng kam kan hawi caah, tan cio kan hao la ka ti, a cann a liam hlan ah!!

    nc.ezra@gmail.com

  4. Joseph
    March 10, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Chin map cu mu MIMU ahkhan na kawl khawh ahcun angah tthiam ko lai kha..

  5. Ko Yar Zar
    September 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    It is a very tragic story.I also have been stayed in Hakha for 40 day in 1999.I really know about their culture, living standard,weather,transportation and so on.We can see such kind of story every where,not even in Chin hill,in Yangon (Hlaingthayar,East dagon). From my point of view, it’s depend on the people.Moreover we could see more sad stories in developing countries. I don’t wanna tell the names of the countries.Most of the people from our country are poor.But the number of the people who is dead because of the luck of foods.The only thing we have to do is to help them.

  6. Ko Yar Zar
    September 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    It is a very tragic story.I also have been stayed in Hakha for 40 day in 1999.I really know about their culture, living standard,weather,transportation and so on.We can see such kind of story every where,not even in Chin hill,in Yangon (Hlaingthayar,East dagon). From my point of view, it’s depend on the people.Moreover we could see more sad stories in developing countries. I don’t wanna tell the names of the countries.Most of the people from our country are poor.But the number of the people who is dead because of the luck of foods is a few.The only thing we have to do is to help them.

  7. Weng
    November 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

    It been two years since I did not went back to yangon. Hope thing will improve soon as the country head for a change. There is a lot of NGO helping the chin people here in Malaysia. We do hear about this kind of tragic thing that happen to them. Example, one of the chin refugee who working in the farm up at cameron highland for a few year and decided to visit KL to meet up with the NGO. While passing the road, hit by a vehicle and dead on the spot. Wonder what happen to his family in Chin state. His family will face hardship without him. Your story teach us that if we want to do good thing to help, just do it without delay as it may be too late.

  8. tony k. bright
    July 31, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Our chin state is very small and the poorest religion in Myanmar but God has been loving and caring this small a beautiful land. Let us give thank to the lord for His goodness and faithfulness in our life. May good God bless you all Chin People. Amen!

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