Arif

 

Arif
Photo location: Dhaka, Bangladesh


For the last five years I have been working in this factory with my father. There is a lot of noise, and a lot of chemicals and dust that makes my work very difficult. It’s a kind of hell full of loud disturbing sounds, fiery heat and clouds of toxic dust. But this is the only work we have in this area. All these factories are making wheels for ships. Lots of people working here are from the same village that I came from.

 My father migrated here six years ago with one of my uncles. After one year he brought me and my mother along with him. Now all of us work here together in the same factory.

 I used to go to school in our village; I used to play with my friends; I used to swim in the river and clean my calf in the river. But now I only work from morning to evening inside this dark, noisy, hot, and dirty factory. My father said, “If we cannot eat properly three times a day then what we will you do at your school and in our village?” He is right. We had many days without proper meals before we came here. Now at least we can eat properly every day. 

 But I miss our village. It was so beautiful. It was near the river. Once we had everything in our village. We were a happy family. My father was a farmer. My mother was a housewife. We had two cows and a beautiful calf. We had a beautiful house beside the river.

 But Cyclone Aila took away all of our happiness. That one night changed our lives and forced us to leave our home. Our house was destroyed by the cyclone and our two cows died. The next day I found my calf hanging in a broken tree in our yard. He was dead. We  survived with only our lives. After all this, my mother became ill.

 Our land was covered with  salt water after the cyclone and my father was not longer able to grow anything. He could not even manage to provide three meals a day for us. He started fishing in our river but he could not get enough fish every day. It was a very difficult time for us to live in our broken-down hut without food and water so my father decided to come here in order to search for work.

We started living in the slum. We have everything now: food, drinking water and water for taking baths. With the three of us working, we earn enough money. We can eat properly three times a day, but I always miss my beautiful village with lots of green trees, the sweet singing of birds and the fresh air!

Link to ‘Stories from Bangladesh’. 

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