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Outside Chobi Mela VI: Eyes and Scars

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

As Chobi Mela VI continues in Dhaka, we here present a visual series of images of the mass urbanization occurring in Dhaka and its consequences.

On the periphery of Dhaka, behind one of the Jatrabari Market the remains of a pond, once potable. As the city of Dhaka grows in population the need for urban housing does too. Nearly 300,000 to 400,000 people come to the city every year in search of income. Some stay temporarily, some sleep on the street but in the meantime thousands of high rises are being built for all classes. Dhaka suffers from one of the most polluted urban environments and with a low supply of drinking water. Yet the water table is very low below the ground surface. Dhaka used to be a city of fresh water ponds, as was once pictured here. Due to a lack of space in the city and the fast paced urban construction these ponds have been destroyed due to land fills. The irony lies in that as Bangladesh’s countryside slowly floods in the north and the south due to climate change,  Dhaka too will soon suffer more arriving water from the sea, making the already scarce water supply salty.

Dhaka Mega City Post #19: Beggars at Eid ul-Fitr

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Today on my way to Mohammadpur I bumped into a crowd of beggars and poor stricken women crowded outside an upper middle class building. During the end of Ramadan, the tradition amongst those who can is to give a percentage of their wealth to the most needy. Inside the building I was able to see what is a common event but rarely seen, a woman was handing out 100 taka bills as the people outside fought in a moderate way to get in. Reminder 70 Tk = 1 USD

Dhaka Mega City Post #14: To Be A Child In Dhaka

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I could sit here and give you a whole load of information about the amount of children that are homeless or malnourished or abused in this city that never seem to sleep and works all night. However, I think everyone can relate to having wet their bed at one point in the childhood and so this says a lot about living in this hard city as a child. Enough said.

Dhaka Mega City Post #12: “Give me some coins, I am hungry. God will bless you.”

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment

The Beggars of Dhaka City:

The seedy Bangladesh capital Dhaka is home to at least 50,000 beggars, according to municipal officials. The numbers are going up every day with more homeless, jobless people flooding into the city. In fact the 50,000 beggars support a much bigger population by providing indirect livelihood. Beggars give a portion of their income to people whosecure a place for them beside a road or under a leafy tree.

The Un-Imposed Law
In April 2009 the government of Bangladesh banned beggars. With a law approved in an open vote, the parliament decided that anyone who asks for charity in public, or displays handicaps or mutilations in order to obtain money, will be punished with three months in prison.

Dhaka Mega City Post #5: Shuvo

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Kuril Slum

The Kuril slum, one of Dhaka’s largest sits inside the wealthiest part of the city, know as Gulshan, Where property can reach 50,000 Taka ($724) per square foot, more expensive than London and New York City,

Shuvo who doesn’t know how old he is, lives in Kuril and works in Gulshan sometimes selling flowers, but does not go to school.

In 2003 Unicef reported that 54.5 percent of boys and 60.9 percent of girls, aged between 6 and 10, go to school from the slums in Dhaka City. Of those, only 2.8 percent go to school when they are of school age. The report also reveals an alarming figure that 62.9 percent slum children work more than eight hours a day where 31.5 percent of boys and 33.2 percent of girls never go to school. In the countrywide, the report shows that 44.8 percent boys and 12.6 percent girls never go to school.