Monday, December 31, 2012

A Foggy Winter Morning In Robotic Dhaka City, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a shining example of varieties of season. Each season appears itself with its own features and beauties. The winter is one of the six seasons. It comprise the Bengali months of Poush & Magh. It is the coldest period of Bangladesh. During this season the atmosphere remains by dry and hazy.

Winter brings about a change in nature. At advent of winter, nature becomes dull and gloomy. The leaves of some trees whither at touch its icy hand. Days gradually become shorter and nights become longer. Cold wind blows continuously from the north. The morning often remains foggy and something nothing can be seen even at a little distance. The sky often remains cloudless and the rays of the sun become very mild. 

Today's foggy morning - 

DATE: 31/12/2012
Location: Rupnagar R/A, Pallabi, Mirpur-1216, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Time: 7:45 AM

Sunday, November 4, 2012


There is a Mexican saying that we die three deaths: the first when our bodies die, the second when our bodies are lowered into the earth out of sight, and the third when our loved ones forget us. Catholics forestall that last death by seeing the faithful dead as members of the Church, alive in Christ, and by praying for them -- and asking their prayers for us -- always.

All Soul's Day is a Roman Catholic day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have passed away. This comes from the ancient Pagan Festival of the Dead, which celebrated the Pagan belief that the souls of the dead would return for a meal with the family. Candles in the window would guide the souls back home, and another place was set at the table. Children would come through the village, asking for food to be offered symbolically to the dead, and then donated to feed the hungry. 

The importance of All Souls Day was made clear by Pope Benedict XV (1914-22), when he granted all priests the privilege of celebrating three Masses on All Souls Day: one, for the faithful departed; one for the priest's intentions; and one for the intentions of the Holy Father. Only on a handful of other very important feast days are priests allowed to celebrate more than two Masses. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Yard & The Manimals

During the Liberation War in 1971, a Pakistani ship ‘Al Abbas’ was damaged by bombing. It was later salvaged and brought to the Fauzdarhat seashore. In 1974, Karnafully Metal Works Ltd bought it as scrap, introducing commercial shipbreaking in Bangladesh. The industry flourished during the 1980s. Today it has become large and profitable industry for Bangladesh. 

Shipbreaking activities in Bangladesh is concentrated in Sitakund (Bhatiary to Barwalia), just north of Chittagong city on the Bay of Bengal. It is of paramount importance to the macro and micro economies of poverty stricken Bangladesh. Shipbreaking activities present both challenges and opportunities for our coastal zone management. Meeting the increasing demand for raw materials such as steel needs to be balanced with the negative impact this activity is having on our coastal environment and the conditions of the workers.

The shipbreaking industry started its operations in the 1960s when a Greek ship ‘MD Alpine’ was stranded on the shores of Sitakund, Chittagong after a severe cyclone. The ship remained there for a long time before the Chittagong Steel House brought the vessel and scrapped it. 


Most of the ship breaking workers come from the poverty stricken northern region of Bangladesh where there are limited employment opportunities. Usually, the workers are not given an appointment letter and there is no formal contract between the employer and the employee. Workers have been unable to enforce their right to permanent and secure employment as they are unable to demonstrate an employment relationship exist between the yard owners and themselves. Their wages depend on the number of hours worked as well as the type of work and skill level. They have no entitlement to overtime, sick or annual leave. Their wages range from BDT 150 -250.


It was found that majority of the labour (40.75%) are between the ages of 18-22 years old. Only 1.13% of labour is between 46-60 years old. One of the most disturbing findings was that child labour (under the age of 18) made up 10.94% of the workforce. 46.42% of yard workers are illiterate while 43.02% attained primary school education.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Farmers of Bangladesh (Bangladeshi Farmers)

A plurality of Bangladeshis earns their living from agriculture. Although rice and jute are the primary crops, wheat is assuming greater importance. Tea is grown in the northeast. Because of Bangladesh's fertile soil and normally ample water supply, rice can be grown and harvested three times a year in many areas.

Due to a number of factors, Bangladesh's labor-intensive agriculture has achieved steady increases in food grain production despite the often unfavorable weather conditions. These include better flood control and irrigation, a generally more efficient use of fertilizers, and the establishment of better distribution and rural credit networks.

Although rice and jute are the primary crops, maize and vegetables are assuming greater importance. Due to the expansion of irrigation networks, some wheat producers have switched to cultivation of maize which is used mostly as poultry feed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

People of Brothel

In Bangladesh, there are 60,000 -100,000 people in prostitution. Approximately 1 million men buy prostituted women and children in Bangladesh. 65 percent of 135 surveyed women and girls in brothels in Bangladesh were between age 11 and 13; 33 percent were between age 13 and 15. There are 15,000 to 20,000 children in street prostitution in Dhaka, most of whom are in prostitution before reaching 12 years of age. Bangladeshi women, who have been in prostitution, fear and risk being killed by their own families through honor-killings. The Tanbazar brothel in Narayanganj is a market for the sale of minor girls. At least 50 minors were kept hidden in the brothel, and when discovered, police did not attempt to help the girls imprisoned there or arrest the owners. 

Source - 
(Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, "Open sale of little girls at Tanbaza brothel," Daily Star, 2 July 1998)
 (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)
(BNWLA survey, police estimates, Fawzia Karim Firoze & Salma Ali of the Bangladesh National Women Layer Association," Bangladesh Country Paper: Law and Legislation") 

[The Story are covered in a brothel which is near to Dhaka, Bangladesh. ]

More than 300+ sex-workers live in this brothel who are locally called “Nori”. They are not permitted to cross the compound. 

Locally she is known as aunt . She was also a “Nori” before.  She owns three rooms with 12 “Nori” & earns BDT 9600 per day. 

Girls from different places come here; 

sometimes willingly (rare), sometimes cheated by their husband, beloved, step mother or others. 

Probably “Destiny” make them come here. 

Shimu (20) was sold here within 4 months of her marriage. On the way to  Cox’sbazar with her husband, she felt sleep and found her destination here. 

Lili (15), her step mother sold her one year ago. The  shock made her  mentally disordered  and  speechless. 

Romij (34) and three more security guards get BDT 2.00 from each “Nori” per day. 

Average per day expenses for each “Nori” is BDT 700 for Food & shelter & BDT 100 for drugs & others. Minimum sex-trade fee is BDT 110  (10 taka for condom)

Everything is to survive …
Every thing is for money…

Negotiation can take place any time, any moment.

If any “Nori” fall in love with any man he is called BABU. They are paid by “Nori” to be with them.  Rajesh (37) locally known as “BABU”.

Most of the child know what their mothers' profession. 

Some of them are make fun within them – through which they can forget their pain.

KOLI (20) already planed to sell her child. That is not for money, for betterment of her child. 

Munmun (5) doesn't know the world outside.
Depali (25), her mother was sold by her husband when she was just 17. She wants Munmun to be a Doctor. But  now the only need is a “Shelter Home”. 

From their point of view they are not problem for the society, they are “Social Workers”.
May be they are right or wrong. But now there is no alternative way for them.
But what about the children born here ?
Will they be able to come out from Darkness ...???

Story By
Atik Ullah Sayeed

Special Thanks to 
AFM GAZI (My Co-photographer)
Mustafiz Bhai (Shuktara Kallan Shamity) 
Ahmed Sharif (TTL)
Local MP and others.