One man’s words against thousands of people’s lives

Rana Plaza, a nine storied building which housed several garment factories collapsed at Savar, Bangladesh on 24th April, 2013. The building had developed severe cracks which was also reported on news channels. I learned about this information from ETV channel. The workers were hesitant to go to work the next day.

According to the ETV news interview with the owner Sohail Rana on Tuesday, the owner said that the media was improvising the situation. There was no crack, only the plaster around the pillars came up; it is nothing.

Sohail Rana

(Sohail Rana- Shot from the television during ETV news)

On 23rd April, some of the authority members of garments spread the news in the workers’ residing areas through loudspeakers that the building was safe for work and that there would be a usual work day the next morning. In addition, the manager of the factory also assured the workers that there was no severe problem. And so the workers went inside for their routine work. The next thing that happened marks a black day in the history of our country.

According to the sources, there used to work approximately 3100 people inside the factories. A fire fighter in the scene told that more than 2000 people have been rescued, out of which some managed to escape by themselves. According to the news, the death toll has already raised to 350.

(As I am writing this article, the numbers are consistently changing.)

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It was a lot of work for the rescuers against the limited time. People were alive under the giant walls of the broken nine storied building. The local people, the firefighters, the army, rapid action battalion, police, different social workers belonging to different organizations were on the site.

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It was not an accident, nor a calamity. It was murder, a massacre.

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Will there ever be any end to the endurance, to the cruelty and to the injustice that the people of this country are going through?

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The whole place was covered with the smell of death. It was impossible to believe that even a few days back people used to work here from the light of day till the darkness of dawn.

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Yes, it was one man’s words against thousands of people’s lives.

Story of the 21st hour

I was waiting with my friend (whom I call chacha) at the main road near Uttara. He was supposed to go to Mohammedpur this night as his nephew’s birthday was on the next day. This series of photographs talks about the random characters and stories I found within those 3-4 minutes. And it was a strike of 36 hours. The photographs were shot all around the 21st hour.

 

story of the 21st hourA rickshaw puller with his rickshaw on the main road. Only during the strikes and national holidays, they get to become the kings of the main road.

story of the 21st hourThe villain; he was charging double of the normal rate from the average people in that area. At the end the driver was looking if there was any potential passenger.

story of the 21st hourA man who did not rush to the CNG and did let four women in that place to take it first.

story of the 21st hourThe bus won’t even give a brake. Anybody who wants to get on has to rush for it.

story of the 21st hourMy friend Chacha inside the box. I think he will be alright. Because the driver has mother’s prayers with him, or at least thats what is written at the back in Bangla.

different people, different stories…

A series of photographs of people that I photographed from 1st March’13 to 4th March’13. I have started learning how to start communication with people and gradually ask permission for taking their photographs. These are some of the photographs that I was able to take of different people of different ages.

Mohammed Hazrat

Mohammed Hazrat

Aged approximately 50 years, he is Mohammed Hazrat; a father, a husband and a street shopkeeper. He runs his own pitha ghar where he sells pitha.

Mohsin

Mohsin

A driver by profession; his name is Mohsin. He has been driving local three tire-vehicles in Dhaka for the last 16 years.

Golam-E-Molla

Golam-E-Molla

42 years old Golam-E-Molla has been running tea shop stalls for over 10 years. He is from Barisal and stays here in Uttara, Dhaka with his family.

Mohammed Mainuddin

Mohammed Mainuddin

A cobbler with a shop on footpath; his name is Mohammed Mainuddin and he is 33 years old. He is also known as Mainuddin from Jashimuddin.

Tasfiq Mahmood

Tasfiq Mahmood

24 years old Tasfiq Mahmood is a student, an employee in an add agency and a hobbyist photographer. He is currently doing a 365 photography project.

Shamim

Shamim

Aged 14 years, he is Shamim; a servant and a baby sitter at one of the homes in my neighborhood.