Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parallel Boundary

In 1970 Dhaka was the provincial capital of former East Pakistan. As it was a river rein country, the unemployed villagers especially those who were landless due to the river erosion, flood, and cyclone came to the province capital Dhaka for the hope of shelter and employment. In 1970 there were 730 slums in Dhaka city. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the rate of migration to Dhaka increased significantly. In the decade of 1990, it increased more and more and rose to 2147. According to a survey of 1996 there is 3007 nos. of small to large slums in Dhaka.

The major slums of Dhaka city are located in areas like Islambagh, Shahidnagar, Maurertek, Rahmatgonj, Kamrangirchar, Hajaribagh, Rayerbazar, Mohammadpur, Zigatola, Agargaon, Mirpur, Pallabi, Badda, Karwanbazar, Tejgaon, Mohakhali, Mirertek, Nayatola, Rampura, Ulan, Khilgaon, Shahjahanpur, Meradia, Goran, Mothertek, Mugdapara, Maniknagar, Rupgonj, Golapbag, Gendaria, Sutrapur, Sayedabad, Faridabad, Shantibag, Gulbag, Babupura, Bangshal, Ganaktuli, Gopibag, Narinda and Lalbag.

The story leads Kawranbazar slum. The slum has always been a place where new arrivals found their footing, made business, and started a life. Most of the daily worker stays at Slum. Male & female worker works near the Kawranbazar market. Other people works on garments industry, rickshaw pull, Construction works etc.

Mr. Ain uddin, age above 80 yrs. oldest man says “We have at least one own house in this slum and some stay with rental house.”
“Without seeing the signal of train we can easily feel which way the train is coming. Even our youngest kids have the same practice. Says Moyna begum, age: 35 working in kawran bazaar.

“It is the first day of bangla year. We visited Ramna & enjoy the day with my friends…………… but with out living slum we cannot enjoy like what we have done.” Said by Sumon.

Slum is home and work place for the hundreds of people. Some made small grocery shop, some made hotel and some are involved with water selling business for the slum people.

A slum dweller joynab, age 12, student of Ispahani school quoted “Life of the slum is looks like flying kite with bounded string…………….” Thousands of slum dwellers, is at the centre of a tug-of-war between the residents who have built their lives there and city planners, who are seeking to redevelop the valuable piece of real estate. If these plans go through, for good or bad, everything that is currently Kawranbazar will be demolished.
What does it mean to be an urban citizen on planet earth in the 21st century? For more and more thousands of people, it means one of the world’s innumerable Kawranbazar slum.

Photos & Text by:
Md. Iqram Chowdhury
Graduate from Pathshala

Monday, April 21, 2008

Inaugural Train Flag off after 43 Years

After a long break of 43 years direct passenger train service “Moitree Express” between neighboring & SAARC countries Bangladesh & India formally starts, first day at the Bengali New year, Pahela Baishakh 1415. The train service was stopped during the India- Pakistan in 1965.

The Inaugural train flag off Dhaka Cantonment at 8:30 am with 418 passengers including distinguished personalities, Government officials, Journalists.

The whole cantonment station wore a festive look as the terminal & the compartments of the train wear decorated with flags, flowers & banners. Passengers are received flowers as participants of the inaugural train. Baul singers rendered songs marking the historic moments.

Early morning unprecedented security measures were taken in and around the station deploying a huge number of laws enforces member.

Thousands of long waiting cheerful people & School going kids lined up along the Dhaka- Kolkata rail route on the both sides at the rail with national flag, colorful buntings & garlands.
Upon arrival at Darshana station immigration officials of both the countries well-come the train & its passengers wishing “Suvo Nababarsha”.

13 hour long or 538 KM journey was pleasant & attractive with full of fun, fooding & gossiping. The happy & memorable journey ends at Chitpur station with Cultural nights.
Md Iqram Chowdhury

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Stage performer is working in theater as a member of the theater group. Perform looks like art, skill, passion, love and satisfaction for viewer. To become a successful performer is the only dream of a stage performer. Vision is to be professional artist through this channel and believe to become megastar.

Stage is so colorful due to the light, dress and live performance. But the real life of a performer is not as colorful as it seems. It is handwork, low income and supports less from the family point of view.

Moniqa, performer of “PALAKER” group has an interesting character to me and she represents other performer in a sense. She is a college student and do not have enough energy to go college or study. But she love to perform and other side work like modeling. She is 22yrs old but still she need money form her family but unfortunately her family didn’t support her as it should. So she has to earn her own to maintain herself.

Moniqa is only child of her family. But her father and mother both are busy with their official work. They do not have enough time to give for their only child. So she is alone and has lots of friend to enjoy her time. Most of the time she is trying to keep herself busy with friends to avoid the loneliness but she is loosing her most valuable time.

By doing this most of the rising performers are lost their destination. The valuable time was passed then finally the word come true “A ship without a ruder in a vast ocean”.

Moniqa Loving a man named Kamruzamman Tapu worked as director & performer of stage. Once, Tapu worked as a performer of “PALAKER” and meet with Moniqa. They know each other while they are performing together. They started love each other. But Tapu has to leave the team due to some unavoidable circumstance. Now Tapu is working to make new stage show for the street people which are financed by foreign donned NGO.

Tapu and Moniqa Finally decided to start their life together. Both of their family agreed with their decision and support them to make life successful.

Happy, smile and honeymoon life started together and made a new group named "Mazhimallah" in Rajshahi. 15 Members are performing their. Moniqa join their as a performer and already start produce work for the rural people together.

So I believe that this is such a strong social & political problem and need more action to prepare the stage for the performer that they can do their work with a professional way and can educated them with academically.

Md. Iqram Chowdhury
2nd Year, Pathshala

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Gift of the nut nana

He is a man who not only has a brilliant aim in life but also successful in his personal life & as a businessman. He is one of the richest persons of our society. He is honest, punctual, religious, discipline & well behaved. But at the same time he is extremely lonely.

I have an opportunity to meet with him and have time to spend with him. I have a close observation and found every body can follow his some activity to serve and redecorate our society.
The official name of the most talent man is Mr. Gafir Ahamed but general people know his as “Nana”(Grand father). In the year 1950 he came from India and started a small business in here. Now he has a large pharmaceutical factory and even three star hotel. He has four sons and four daughters (all four daughters are married and are well settled in their own families).

His three sons are married except one son and they all live with their father in family’s Dhanmondi residence. His wife passed away in the year 2000. In spite of such an extended family no body has enough time for him. So this elderly widow passes away his time amongst the people around him.

The “Nut Nana” as he commonly known decided to follow the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (SM). For the last twenty years he has been distributing certain amounts nut everyday after As’r prayer (afternoon prayers) in the area surrounding the Dhanmondi Lake.

This Nan is a devout muslim and prays five times a day. And it is in precincts of the mosque that he imparts valuable counsel to the poor children.

Nut nana teaches the young stars among whom he distributes his nuts: “Bid salaam to all. When you enter your homes bid salaam to all. If you treat others well Allah will repay you well”.

He also preaches:“Help the poor and love people.” He forbids the younger to smoke because smoke is an indulgence which endangers one’s health and in the process we loose our valuable money.

His only companion is his driver. He looks after him on the way to the mosque and caters to all his need. Though his health is deteriorating gradually yet this polite and soft spoken grand father’s mental and spiritual states are as strong as ever. And in all these years he has never lost his vision. He is a rich man and most of the people around him treat his as fool and a madman.

However, in spite of all his apparent eccentricities most people respect him and accept his nuts with a smile.

Md. Iqram Chowdhury
2nd year (evening),
South Asian Institute of Photography