05 September 2018

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Hasina Begum

Hasina Begum

Hasina Begum
Photo location: Bramanbaria, Bangladesh

I can’t make you understand what a big sin I have committed. I don’t know if Allah will forgive me or not but I am sure my child will not forgive me. My family members will not forgive me as I can’t forgive myself.

I had to sell my 6-year-old son to a man in order to survive with my other two children and my husband. To save 4 more lives, I had to make the most devastating decision of my life.

We had one little piece of land to cultivate that we had to sell 4 years back for very little money. After cyclone Aila, nothing grows on our land anymore so no one wanted to buy it for a fair price. My husband and I, we both used to cultivate fish in our own fishery. That was the only work and income source for us.
But after cyclone Aila, there was no sweet water anywhere anymore. We couldn’t cultivate fish or grow crops on our only field. Aila took everything from us: our house in the tsunami water, our land, our fisheries, the food from our mouths and even our elder son.

We had to sell our son to feed the other four mouths. How many days could we live without food? Day after day we all had to starve. I was pregnant. I remember getting faint after several days of hunger. I don’t know where my son is now! I don’t know what they have done with that piece of my heart. I don’t know if I will ever meet with him again or not! When I think of him I become like an insane women. Sometimes I feel like killing myself because I feel so guilty. But no one will ever understand the anguish of it if they do not go through having an empty pocket and a hungry stomach.

With the money we saved, we managed to move to Dhaka last year. Now I work as a house maid and my husband works as a porter at Shadarghat. Now we don’t have to starve anymore day after day but we can’t sleep happily every day anymore. Every day before we sleep we regret our loss. We think about our son. My husband cries loudly holding me and my two children. Almost every day we fight and cry before sleeping. My middle daughter always asks me where her brother has gone. I can’t reply to anyone; instead I try to make myself into stone again in order to go to work the next day.

Link to ‘Stories from Bangladesh’.