Street People of Dhaka
Picture: Dhaka Courier
“Jamir shar is a youngster whose age is close to thirteen. This parentless lad came to Dhaka city three years ago. He lost his parents in a road accident. With nobody to take care of him, he sells nuts in different areas of Dhaka city. He lives with a family at Pirjangi Mazar in Motijheel, taking his two meals with them and giving them his total income, which ranges from Taka 50 to 60.” (Dhaka Courier)
“Anwar Ali sells tea, biscuits and cigarettes in the city’s parks. He came to Dhaka from Mymensingh (a district in Bangladesh) five years ago. His two sons live in Mymensingh with their mother. Sometimes Anwar Ali goes to his village. He lives near Khilgaon Rail Gate and starts his work at dawn returning late to his house made out of waste plastic.” (Dhaka Courier)
“Haris Ali, 40, lives at night in front of Sonali Bank at Motiheel Head Office. He came to Dhaka five years ago. At first, he was a laborer in Kamlapur rail station. He changed his track two years ago. Now he collects waste like scattered paper, broken pens, plastic stuff and different categories of vehicle parts. He sells these things at Nowabpur market. His regular income ranges from Taka 50 to 70.” (Dhaka Courier)
Picture: Dhaka Courier
Those three characters described are representative of the street people. There are thousands of characters like those in Dhaka city. You can find them in front of every market, commercial areas, in the bus terminals, around hotels, parks, on the pavements, around two main stadiums, all over old Dhaka and even on all VIP roads. They try to earn a living by doing various types of activities example, collecting rickshaws, serving tea, carrying goods in the terminals, selling various types of food and even water. Usually those street people go out with their torn and patched bags for the day’s collecting from garbage bins and those whom are beggars, go to those areas where they will get some kind of alms. Street people normally buy their meal from roadside food shops and eat sitting on bricks.
In Bangladesh Street people can be defined in two groups:
- Those who spend all the time in the streets as it is their home, where they eat, sleep, make friends and carry on other activities.
- Those who spend the day on the streets and at night they return home, even it be a mere shack in the slum.
In Bangladesh street people is increasing day by day mainly cause of migration to the urban streets, family breakdown, poverty and family size. People who are rootless or have been uprooted by flood, crop failure, river erosion etc. migrate to big cities. Most of the time, they don’t get any job so they beg on streets in order to make a living. In Bangladesh, about five hundred thousand people are engaged in begging. Street people don’t have any fundamental right like food, safe water, shelter, sanitation, health care and schooling.