War Veterans

June 18, 2014 Linda 0

War Veterans of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 “You remember us for only two or three days a year. The rest of our time is spent on this floor in turmoil and illness” – said Mojai, a veteran of the war of independence of Bangladesh, now a resident of the rehabilitation centre for war veterans. Before the war, the lives of many people in Bangladesh had been based on dependence and ignorance. Ironically, those who fought the Pakistani Army to change this scenario have now become dependent and highly ignored. During the nine months of war in 1971, after which Bangladesh separated from Pakistan, three million people lost their lives. Thousands of soldiers and civilians lost arms and legs. The injured and disabled freedom fighters have still not been properly rehabilitated. They are ignored by the nation at large and hidden away from mainstream society, their lives stretching ahead — friendless, jobless, and lonely. The younger generation has no notion of what happened during war in 1971, nor are interested in learning about it. Most of them don’t even how many people senselessly killed, or how many women were raped during those nine months. They don’t know how many freedom fighters are still alive—helplessly counting their days to death. Perhaps, in time, the mass population will decide to honor the war veterans properly. However, the true heroes of our liberation might not be able to wait that long, as their days are numbered. This photo essay portrays the lives of the remaining war veterans and will increase the public’s awareness of the degradation we are causing by neglecting the heroes of our liberation.

Death Traps: Tales of a Mega Community

April 5, 2014 Linda 0

Fire is an ever present death threat for the entire community of Dhaka city. From homes and workplaces to shopping malls and public spaces, a lack of building codes and fire protection have created a situation where residents are living in a continual death trap. And due to lack of training and proper rescue equipment for the fire service authority, fire accidents are responsible for the destruction of assets and homes as well as lives. The widespread lack of equipment and protection means fire deaths affect nearly everyone, from working class to middle class, and even the elites. But for poor people living in slums of Dhaka city, fire creates even more havoc, among some of the capital’s most vulnerable people. Unlike their middle class neighbours, slum dwellers have no bank accounts where a lifetime’s savings are kept away or safety lockers for emergency survival after a short circuit or burning stove catches alight. As slum dweller Morjina Begum said: “I had 3,000 taka (about 44 USD) to spend at my daughter’s wedding, but after the fire all got burnt and I could not recover it.” With little or no support after fire accidents, slum dwellers live under the open skies and live on hand to mouth. Likewise, workers in the textiles industries also suffer disproportionately due to fire risks caused by inadequate safety procedures or facilities. Just recently, 21 workers were killed following a fire at the Garib and Garib sweater factory, in the southern district of Gazipur. A post fire inspection of 4,500 of the country’s garment factories recently found 60 percent had inadequate firefighting equipment. Many factories have no battery-powered emergency lighting. As a result, the building is plunged into darkness when fire occurs, intensifying the chaos and panic of those trapped inside. ‘After completion of our night-duty the factory authorities usually lock all the doors, so we couldn’t flee even after hearing the repeated fire alarm,’ said Hanufa Banu, a worker of the sewing section. Death is continually around the corner in this industry. I have been documenting the important issue of fire risks faced by residents of Dhaka for the last couple of years. Through my work, I have seen civilians risking their lives to save others in rescue operations. Firefighters with lack of training and proper rescue equipment are also part of the rescue operation, bringing injured and panicked victims of fire to safety. I believe my photo essay will raise awareness, and hope that it will act as a catalyst for the authorities to take prompt action to save the life and property of an entire community. I hope it will help the policy makers and administrations to consider how Dhaka city has become the ‘second worst’ livable city in the world. I want to show how reversing the trend of inefficiency and neglect by the authorities can help bring an end to the needless loss of many lives in the peaceful, beautiful city of Dhaka.

On the front line of Climate Change

February 3, 2014 Linda 0

Nature has never made it easy to live in Bangladesh. The country is situated in the low-lying Ganges Delta, formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, and most of it is less than 10 meters above sea level. It is a country swamped by annual floods, with a coast battered by cyclones and tornadoes, yet an interior at times subject to drought. With nearly 150 million inhabitants, Bangladesh is also the most densely populated country on earth. As warnings about climate change grow in intensity, Bangladesh is forecast as the scene of increasing numbers of climate refugees. In low-lying areas it is not unusual to be knee-deep in water in flood season – some local crops, such as rice, depend on rising waters. But floods are becoming more extreme and unpredictable. Crops have been totally destroyed, livestock lost. Houses made from bamboo, straw and corrugated iron – made to be portable when the floods come – have been totally washed away. People have been forced to tear down their houses and move dozens of times as waters rise ever higher, and they return when waters recede to find their former land has gone completely. People are having to crowd onto less and less land, and disputes are developing. Local sea levels in Bangladesh do appear to be rising, and summer temperatures climbing. People in some coastal areas have already switched from rice crops to farming prawns, as their paddies turned too salty. The weather seems to be growing more extreme and erratic. In 2004, tides in the estuaries stopped ebbing and flowing – the water simply stayed at high-tide level. In 2005, the country had no winter, with serious consequences for its potato crop. The direction of the monsoon has changed – it now advances west instead of north across the country. In the northwest, the monsoon failed entirely in 2006, causing severe drought, and 2007 saw a tornado occur months out of season. As yet, there have not been sufficient in-depth studies to prove that these phenomena are a direct result of global warning, but they do indicate the effect that climate change would have on Bangladesh. A country where many people have never driven a car, run an air-conditioner, or done much at all to increase carbon emissions, could well end up fighting climate change on the front line.

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Death Traps: Tales of a Mega Community

September 1, 2010 Linda 0

Fire is purchase Aldactone an ever present death threat for the entire community of Dhaka city. From homes and purchase Aldactone workplaces to shopping malls and public spaces, a lack of building codes and purchase Aldactone fire protection have created a situation where residents are living in a purchase Aldactone continual death trap. And due to lack of training and proper rescue equipment for purchase Aldactone the fire service authority, fire accidents are responsible for the destruction of assets and purchase Aldactone homes as well as lives. The widespread lack of equipment and purchase Aldactone protection means fire deaths affect nearly everyone, from working class to purchase Aldactone middle class, and even the elites. But for purchase Aldactone poor people living in slums of Dhaka city, fire creates even more havoc, among some of the purchase Aldactone capital’s most vulnerable people. Unlike their middle class neighbours, slum dwellers have purchase Aldactone no bank accounts where a lifetime’s savings are purchase Aldactone kept away or safety lockers for emergency survival after a short circuit or purchase Aldactone burning stove catches alight. As slum dweller Morjina Begum said: “I had 3,000 taka (about 44 USD) to spend at my daughter’s wedding, but after the purchase Aldactone fire all got burnt and I could not recover it.” With little or purchase Aldactone no support after fire accidents, slum dwellers live under the open skies and purchase Aldactone live on hand to mouth. Likewise, workers in the purchase Aldactone textiles industries also suffer disproportionately due to fire risks caused by inadequate safety procedures or purchase Aldactone facilities. Just recently, 21 workers were killed following a fire at the purchase Aldactone Garib and Garib sweater factory, in the southern district of Gazipur. A post fire inspection of 4,500 of the purchase Aldactone country’s garment factories recently found 60 percent had purchase Aldactone inadequate firefighting equipment. Many factories have no battery-powered emergency lighting. As a purchase Aldactone result, the building is plunged into darkness when fire occurs, intensifying the purchase Aldactone chaos and panic of those trapped inside. ‘After completion of our night-duty the purchase Aldactone factory authorities usually lock all the doors, so we couldn’t flee even after hearing the repeated fire alarm,’ said Hanufa Banu, a purchase Aldactone worker of the sewing section. Death is continually around the corner in this purchase Aldactone industry. I have purchase Aldactone been documenting the important issue of fire risks faced by residents of Dhaka for purchase Aldactone the last couple of years. Through my work, I have seen civilians risking their lives to purchase Aldactone save others in rescue operations. Firefighters with lack of training and purchase Aldactone proper rescue equipment are also part of the rescue operation, bringing injured and purchase Aldactone panicked victims of fire to safety. I believe my photo essay will raise awareness, and purchase Aldactone hope that it will act as a catalyst for the authorities to purchase Aldactone take prompt action to save the life and property of an purchase Aldactone entire community. I hope it will help the policy makers and purchase Aldactone administrations to consider how Dhaka city has become the ‘second worst’ livable city in the purchase Aldactone world. I want to show how reversing the trend of inefficiency and purchase Aldactone neglect by the authorities can help bring an end to purchase Aldactone the needless loss of many lives in the peaceful, beautiful city of Dhaka. Read more articles here…

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