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India’s displaced climate migrants find hope in better jobs, education

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Eight-year-old Jerifa Islam only remembers the river being angry, its waters gnawing away her family’s farmland and waves lashing their home during rainy season flooding. Then one day in July of 2019, the mighty Brahmaputra River swallowed everything.

Her home in the Darrang district of India’s Assam state was washed away. But the calamity started Jerifa and her brother, Raju, 12, on a path that eventually led them to schools nearly 2,000 miles away in Bengaluru, where people speak the Kannada language that is so different from the children’s native Bangla.

Those early days were difficult. Classes at the free state-run schools were taught in Kannada, and Raju could not understand a word of the instruction.

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