Bunker-zens: The Plight of an Entire Generation Born & Brought up in Bunkers!

Bunker-zens: The Plight of an Entire Generation Born & Brought up in Bunkers!


Bunker-zens: The Plight of an Entire Generation Born & Brought up in Bunkers!

 Herbert Hoover – the 31st President of the United States of America, once said, “Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.”

And his quote aptly describes the conditions of millions of refugees – including youth and children, who suffer for no fault of their own. When you don’t have anything to hope for, what keeps you moving? How do you survive every day?

Nurturing the Bunker Generation: Refugee Crisis, Civil Unrest & More

What seems to be a refugee crisis to most of the citizens living in the first world countries is just normal life for people in disturbed global regions- the Middle East, Northern Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Afghanistan, South Sudan & Somalia.

According to UNHCR, more than 70 million people are displaced from their homes.

Many have been displaced for decades. But the crisis doesn’t stop their lives. Most of the refugees continue their lives, despite being ripped off their homes, their lives and their rights.

The story is not new. From the atrocities in Nazi Germany to the Tamil Civil War and its repercussions, refugees are on the progressive rise every year.

As millions their lives with meagre means, unhygienic conditions, no access to healthcare or education, an entire generation has entered our world used to living as refugees, either in bunkers, tents or shelter homes.


Poignant Accounts of Real-life Bunker-zens

International media houses and journalists love to cover the stories of the misery and plight of refugees. But what does this bunker generation think of the modern world? Do they have hope to be reunited with families? Do they see a future even?

Eelam, one of the most prominent centers for ‘bunker-zens’ has a lot of real-life accounts of people who have come out of cross-fire between the army and the LTTE to live a peaceful life.


Menik Farm, one of the most prominent refugee camps in Sri Lanka that once held more than 250,000 Tamils who fled the war zone, had several heart-wrenching stories from people living in bunkers.


"Life in the bunkers was terrible. Wherever we dug bunkers, there was the smell of dead bodies. I managed to come to the place called Mullivaikkal with the help of others. We started digging another L-shaped bunker, and we put up a tent and stayed there,” said a 61-year old common man, who had been protecting his family for years.

“There was no water, my youngest daughter was suffering from diarrhea, and I had to stand in long queues to get basic medical assistance. Thousands queued every day outside a single hospital in the war zone, and as the war was at its closing juncture, we even didn’t have food,” another person recalls the horrors of living as a refugee in bunkers.

When the war ended, all the refugees, including bunker-zens were rehabilitated to a new area or their homes, where most continue to live a life of dignity, without fear of getting shelled or getting fired at.

What’s Wrong with the World?

The problem doesn’t end there. Sanitation, healthcare, education, clean air and life of dignity, which we sometimes believe as something very essential, becomes a luxury in war-torn areas.

Young kids don’t have access to schools or any form of education, pushing them into lives of further misery and failure as they grow up. It would not be wrong to say that these dark bunkers suck out the brightness of eyes in kids and make them wary of anything promising. Clearly, the young pay price of the wars declared by older men.

How can the world even forget Alyan Shenu, a three-year-old boy from Syria, who was washed ashore after getting drowned in the Mediterranean Sea? His photo on the beach brought light to the refugee crisis and bunker generation.

Syria, once a growing economy, continues to be at the mercy of God like several other regions in Asia, Africa & other continents. Millions live in worse conditions or try to flee the scene after the civil war between pro & anti-government groups.

Hope for a Better Future

The young kid lying dead on the beach clearly depicted the future of a generation. One that is used to living in darkness and just hopes to reach somewhere safe, without being dead. That hope drives the bunker generation- fleeing the bunkers and war-torn regions safely, living with dignity in a free country and not being judged for something that was not their fault.


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