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Outside Chobi Mela VI: One Twin At a Bridge in Dhanmondi

January 25, 2011 1 comment

There are two twin brother beggars in Dhaka. They are well known due to the severity of their medical condition. Which I cannot recall, it is a respiratory disease. It is not TB. Both twins are bone thin, literally. A most hard scene to look at. They beg the streets of Dhanmondi, very often near the mosque. It is often a sad site as one sees the first and then shortly after you may find the second.

Begging in Dhaka is a controversial human situation. There are thousands of them, some say perhaps 50,000. Many believe the beggars are purposely mutilated by mafias. Others believe some of them to be even rich. I have a friend who claims he knows a beggar with a three story house in Dhaka. Yet, many give and believe they are doing the proper thing. Finally then there are those that in Bangladesh, like in so many other places, believe it is compassionate to give and that is what Mohammed spoke of.

Here lies one of the twins, on a famous bridge in Dhanmondi, under a torrential rainfall whom everyone scattered from. He remained and so did I, and I paid him. Yes, i paid him.

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.

Outside Chobi Mela VI: Dhaka Sleepers

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Dhaka; Sleeper 05; Chobi Mela VI; Now in Dhaka go!

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

Hundreds of thousands of people sleep every night on the streets of Dhaka. They are not homeless. Well they are when the live and work in Dhaka. They come to the city for three, maybe four days and work until the have enough money to go home

Dhaka; Sleeper 07; Chobi Mela VI; Now in Dhaka go!

 

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 #17: Farmgate, the Beggar and the Rain

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

In a flash you could see the rain coming into the Farmgate neighborhood, one of the city’s central commerce areas. The water drove itself across the sky, across the road on to the pedestrian bridge. The people scrambled for shelter, the merchants covered their belongings, the beggar simply wetted it out.

Dhaka Mega City Post #15: Nimtoli Nightmare Revisited

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Old Dhaka is one, if not the most densely populated area of the city. On June 3, a factory, holding chemicals on the first floor of a residential building caught fire, spread and killed 123 people in one of the city’s biggest tragedies.

I visited that building today, because after several months in hospital care, victim number 124, Shahida Begum, 35 died today of her injuries, she had also lost her child in the fire. At the site I found Haji, owner of the building, now reconstructing. He lost 11 members of his family, including wife and children who suffocated to death unable to escape. Windows and doors are barred on all floors to avoid thieves entering but are also serious fire risks. Haji said he would normally have committed suicide, but life goes on and trees continue to grow. Asked if he would consider leaving because of the risks, he answered planes fly across the world, sometime they crash.

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.