Angels on Street
Imagine you are six years old. Left alone on the street. Your ragged clothes are all you have with you. You are bare foot and empty hand. You have no idea what to eat and where to sleep. You roam around at places for couple of hours. Whenever you are trying to go close to people they are yelling at you. And then you are hungry and have no idea how to get some food or a glass of water. You remain hungry and thirsty all day long and there is no place to rest or seat. And finally night arrives when you meet people like you, who are waiting to sleep nearby closed shops and counters. You are trying to sleep but you shiver in fever. There is no one to hold you other than the newly met street dog who is the only family you have now. Welcome to street!
Sharing Ten real life stories of ‘Angels on Street’, featured first on my Facebook page. GMB Akash
I did not get anything to eat yesterday. I slept hungry. But now I am feeling lucky to get this rotten bread. My shoes, cloth and food everything comes from this dump yard. Aren’t you asking me about the odor? I was born in this place, someone left me here after my birth, smell of this place make me feel like a home. This is my home and these dogs, birds are my family.
– Abu (10)
One day my father did not return home from work. We searched him everywhere. We went to hospital, spent days by knocking at police station but we found out nothing. I had two younger brothers who had no idea what was happening. After a year of his disappearance everyone started telling that he flew with another woman. My mother was changing and treating us worse in every passing day. Once she locked me in the toilet and punished me for hours knowing well how much I was afraid of darkness. Then one morning, I wake up and saw she is gone. She as well escaped with someone. I was eleven years old and did not have enough time to find out anything as my brothers were crying all the time. We passed two days without food or any help. After begging to everyone, villagers sat in a meeting with my uncles, aunts and grandparents. My grandparents accepted my two brothers and decided to send me to work as a housemaid in Dhaka. A girl is a burden that is what my relatives told to everyone. On my way to Dhaka, I discovered the woman who was accompanying me was telling my price to someone on the phone. I had no idea who was selling me to whom but I knew I need to escape. I took an enormous brick and hit on her head, she was bleeding heavily but I did not look back. This world is a bad place but I have already learned to survive – Nargis (13)
I have nobody. I live alone. Sometimes I go to play with children of this neighborhood. They do not take me to participate in their game. They laugh at me because I have no idea where my parents live. They mocked me by making my parents name. I do not mind. Humiliation is a part of my life. That’s why now-a-days, all the time I play alone. You will not feel bad anymore when you will learn how to enjoy alone. That’s how I stopped looking for friends. I am happy and can move freely now. By the way, I call myself bird, isn’t this a good name?
– Pakhi (10)
My mother was a prostitute. I was born in a brothel. I never saw her happy but she smiled every single time I looked at her. Everyone at our place was unhappy because my mother gave birth to a boy. My mother was different. She never allowed me to go near her. I wanted to sleep in her lap; I wanted to get her kisses. But she never let me to touch her. Sometimes I wanted to hate her badly. Some days when I woke up, I saw her torturing herself by scratching her hands, feet with sharp blades. I wiped her blood, I wiped her face, but she never cried. She always smiled to me. One day I asked her where my father lived, my prostitute mother pointed at her heart. I tried to hate her with all my heart. Every day, everyone called me a bastard. It was same in the slum where me and my mother arrived after fled from brothel to start a new life. No one gave work to my mother, no one talked to us. Often times people threw stones in the roof of our plastic hut. The day my mother died, she was very clam. For the first time she kissed me on my cheeks. Told me that, she is thankful to me for choosing her as a mother, for giving her love that she never received in her life. My mother left me alone. She cannot come to me. But I can go to her.
– Shadhin (13)
I was very afraid of dogs. Now it’s been one month I cannot sleep, if dogs do not sleep around me. Often times, I cry during sleep. When my friend Jewel shakes my shoulder, I usually stop crying. In the first day, when I arrived in Sadarghat, street boys had beaten up me a lot. They said it is needed to make street boys strong. But I am not at all strong. I cry in simple things. But people around me do not have time to notice my crying and that I feel relieved for that. I cried a lot, when my mother got married after death of my father. When I was following the groom’s group, she called me and said, if I try to follow her, she will throw me in the river. My grandparents also refused me to take inside their home. Now-a-days I do not feel that much bad, my mother was very poor, so how she could take care of me! When we street boys try to sleep at night, we talked about our dreams. One day I will have a house, where I will have a bed. That time if I want, I can eat hot rice by cooking in the kitchen, I do not have to save money for taking shower, and there will be a bathroom in my house. My friend Jewel, request me to give him a place inside my house. I said, if he stop telling lie, I will think about it – Israfil (8)
My step mother was like a rose. After my father got married with my mother, I used to be with her all the time. She could tell all kind of funny jokes; she made various kinds of pickles for me. When everyone used to say, my mother is a witch, I burst into tears and fought with them. I used to love my mother a lot. Even I loved my brother who came with my new mother. I used to play with him and shared all my things. One day we got to know a little brother will come soon into our life. I was so happy, so was my family. Mother one day told me, she wanted to go to ride the boat in river, and wanted me to be with her. She told me not to share this with my father, as he never would let me to go to river, because I am afraid of water. Without telling anything to anyone, I went with my mother and her cousin for a boat ride. That was a beautiful afternoon. When the boat went in the middle of river, my mother asked me to pick a floating wild flower for her. While I bend my head to pick the flower, I was pushed into the river. Before I understood anything I was drowning in the middle of the river. While screaming for help I saw their boat went very far from me. I do not know how much distance I passed while a fisherman boat saved me. With the fisherman, I got into a launch. I did not try to find out my lost home. That one push took my childhood and I become mature. I did many kind of works to survive. Now I help the van owner while he carries sacks. Many years had passed but still I am having the nightmare that I am drowning in the river and everyone is laughing.
– Manik (12)
I have to work with a lot of attention. This is not easy to find usable stuff from garbage. Sometimes after whole day I found one thing to sell in the recycle shop. And in a good day I can find biscuits. Not ordinary biscuits, the one which has cream. That’s my favorite. Some days I find biscuits which tastes very sour but my dog like to have that, so I give him without eating those. And in a very bad day, I cut my feet. I think people do not know that children work in the garbage on bare foot. They throw away broken glasses which often scratch our feet. Sometimes it bleeds heavily. It hurts a lot. I and my dog have had many scars in our legs. That’s why now a days I am keeping clothes with me. If it bleeds I tie and continue to work.
– Jesmine (7)
My name is Rasel and I do not know who gave me this name. I am an orphan. I am living in street for four years. When I arrived in Dhaka I was injured and hungry, but no one cared about street people. I cried so many days because I wanted someone to care for me or talk to me with a smile. But people have no time for love. So, I started loving everyone. I share my food and take care of my street friends. Meet with my new friend, Kutum, it means guest, and she is my guest. I cured her injury with my love and now taking care of her. I will look after her, as long as she will not leave me. But I will never leave Kutum. I know how it feels to be alone and being unloved.
My mother flew with me when my father wanted to make me disable, after my birth, so that he could use me, for begging. I do not know what my mother actually does; she sleeps whole day and works at night when I sleep. We live in street, our neighbors and police calls me ‘whore’s daughter’, mom told me not to reply them, as bad people always talk bad. I am a flower seller, I sell flowers, I do not beg. But people have no time to look at flowers. I pop into the window of big cars and see beautiful children, with their parents. Sometimes I wonder, didn’t their dad want to sell their organ or want to make them disable for begging! One day a rich mom buy all my flowers for her girl but when the girl wanted to give me money, she said not to touch me, I might have disease. The baby girl threw the money in the air and I caught that. The day made me the best flower seller among all – Lutfa
My problem is I am a fool and I cannot tell a lie. A few days ago a beggar hired me to act as her blind child. We supposed to roam around the city’s signal and beg for food. At the end of the day she promised me to give fifty taka and food. I rehearsal well and she was convinced that I acted marvelous. And then we started our mission. For an hour it was going good, but then we went near to a car window and a lady with her child was giving me some money. I saw the boy was playing with a car. The lady seemed generous so instead of taking the money I told her, ‘Madam, I am a blind child, I have no toys, can you please give your son’s red car?’ After a few minutes the car driver was chasing behind me and I was running with my life by leaving my fake beggar mother behind.
– Polash (10)
You can be part of making some of them smile, you can also tell them they are loved, you can give them some hope for a day or life time. Last year I organized three events for more than 2000 unprivileged children of streets, dump yard, brick field and child labourer. This year I want to reach more and want you as well to be part of this happiness. You can send clothes, slippers, toys, dry food for these children. Email me at email@example.com to contribute for a smile. I will send you detail how you can become someone’s light.
To check my last year’s event with unprivileged children: