Every time I am working with children on different projects, I like to collect their stories and I always ask them to tell me their dreams. Here, I am sharing with you 10 common dreams that these working children keep inside their hearts! These dreams can give us insights into the souls of these little angels.
Child labour in Bangladesh is sadly very common with 4.8 million child labourers or 12.6% of all children aged 5 to 14 finding themselves in the work force in order to survive or to help their family survive.
I have been working on this issue for the last 15 or more years to create awareness and to bring about positive changes in our society.During these last years, I have taken a lot of steps in an effort to contribute to the education of some of these impoverished working children.
A few years ago, I set up a school for unprivileged children outside of Dhaka where around 160 children from rural villages receive nearly free education. Most of their parents are illiterate and these children will be the first generation to be able to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
I have also given scholarships to hundreds of students who, otherwise would not be able to continue their education and might end up working in factories and in hard labour jobs.
Recently I have been trying to admit working children to school. I have been giving small businesses to their parents so they can earn enough money for the family and send their children to school instead of a factory. So far, I have admitted 22 children to school and have taken full responsibility for their education including all expenses. I will see that these activities will be continued for these children and hopefully more children, until my last breath.
These efforts have, of course, been effected by the COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock that is having a catastrophic impact, in particular, on poor people’s lives and livelihoods.
Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer. This crisis can push millions more vulnerable children into child labour.
When I grow up, I want to be the owner of a factory and I will name my factory after my mother. _ Razu
I want to send my younger sister to school; she loves to study and to go to school. _Sojib
I want to build a factory where there will be more light, drinking water, fans and more space for working._ Munna
We will rent a big house in our slum so my parents and my younger sister can sleep comfortably at night. Now, in one room four of us cannot sleep. It is too warm and crowded!- Sobuj
My mother works as a maid and my father pulls a rickshaw. I want to grow up fast so I can earn more money every day. Then my parents won’t need to work._ Parvin
I wish I could work in a textile factory. They have a better environment with a fan, toilet and clean building._Shilu
I dream I will have my own factory where nobody will beat any children nor say bad words to them. _Joinal
I studied until class 3 and then we came to the city for work. I miss my school and our village. I Hope I can return to our village and study in our village school._Midul
I want to buy everything that my mother likes. Like new sarees for her, good shoes for her, anything she loves._ Koli
Photojournalist and Profile Photographer at Panos Pictures, London
Founder of GMB Akash Institute of Photography, Dhaka
"I see the beauty of people and the human soul in the pictures I take. And though the circumstances of some of the people I portray may be grim, back-breaking, depraved, the people themselves are always remarkable characters and souls"
For me Photography is my language, to access, to communicate, to identify and mostly to make it hear. Through photography I only jot down my heart’s language. The best part about being a photographer is that I’m able to articulate the experiences of the voiceless and to bring their identities to the forefront which gives meaning and purpose to my own life.
I have received more than 68 international awards and my work has been featured in over 70 major, international publications including: National Geographic, Vogue,Time, Sunday Times, Newsweek, Geo, Stern, Der Spiegel, The Fader, Brand Ein, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Colors, The Economist, The New Internationalist, Kontinente, Amnesty Journal, Courier International, PDN, Die Zeit, Days Japan, Hello, and Sunday Telegraph of London. In 2002 I became the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in the Netherlands. In 2004 I received the Young Reporters Award from the Scope Photo Festival in Paris — once again, the first Bangladeshi to receive this honour. In 2005 I was awarded “Best of Show” at the Center for Fine Art Photography’s international competition in Colorado, USA. And in 2006 I was awarded World Press Photo award and released my premier book “First Light”. In 2007 I became the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the 30 Emerging Photographers (PDN 30), sponsored by Photo District News Magazine, USA. I won the 7th Vevey International Photography Grant from Switzerland in 2009 and in the same year, I took home the international ‘Travel photographer of the Year” title at the International Travel Photographer of the Year Competition (TPOY 2009) in the UK, the most prestigious award in travel photography. I was one of the speakers in the fifth Global Investigative Journalism Conference, held at Lillehammer, Norway in 2008 and as well I was the first Bangladeshi in Ted talk at TEDxOporto 2011, in Portugal. I was one of the speaker of “7th Forum of Emerging Leaders in Asian Journalism”, Yogyakarta / Indonesia”. In 2011 Nikon has selected me as one of the 8 influencers in Asia pacific (APAC region). Presentation of my 10 years project published as form of book ‘Survivors’ in 2012, which has reviewed by prestigious Geo magazine.