Tuesday, July 29, 2008
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