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Outside Chobi Mela VI: at General Hospital

January 23, 2011 1 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.

The daughter and daughter-in-law of a woman pour bottled water for her to drink, as she lies ill in the corridor of the general hospital of Dhaka, with meningitis. She lies on the floor because the hospital, built by the British during colonial rule, now lies poorly kept to deal with the current overpopulation in the city. Hundreds of people lie in corridors, on balconies, under stairs and in exits awaiting treatment or being treated for days in these conditions.

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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 #18: Garment Workers

August 26, 2010 1 comment

A young woman sews in the dark at home in slum in Dhaka, during one of the many regular daily power outages the city suffers. She is working during her day off from the garment industry, to help ends meet and pay off family debts.

The garment industry of Bangladesh has been the key export division and a main source of foreign exchange for the last 25 years. At present, the country generates some $5 billion worth of products each year by exporting garment. The industry provides employment to over 3 million workers of whom 90% are women. Bangladesh-based factories make clothes for international brands such JCPenney, Wal-Mart, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Zara and Carrefour.

Violence has erupted in the Bangladeshi capital periodically this year as thousands of garment workers continue to protest over a government-backed wage increase that falls short of demands.
The minimum monthly wage was risen to 3,000 taka ($43), up from 1,662 taka. However, some labour unions are insisting and calling for a wage of 5,000 taka. After the end of Ramadan, the protests and demands are set to continue.

Dhaka Mega City Post #1: The Lawn Cutter

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

A woman in her later fifties, working as servant in a household in Dhaka, cuts grass on a public park sports facility to feed a cow kept at home. She will fill five sacks to make an additional 50 Taka or less than 1 USD. When her photo was taken she asked what benefit she would get from this.