Dreams of child laborers

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.

fader (13)

When I grow up, I want to be the owner of a factory and I will name my factory after my mother. _ Razu

BC (44)

I want to send my younger sister to school; she loves to study and to go to school. _Sojib

born to work (180)

I want to build a factory where there will be more light, drinking water, fans and more space for working._ Munna

GMB Akash (9)

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

GMB Akash (18)

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

GMB Akash (17)

I wish I could work in a textile factory. They have a better environment with a fan, toilet and clean building._Shilu

GMB Akash (3)

I dream I will have my own factory where nobody will beat any children nor say bad words to them. _Joinal

GMB Akash (12)

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

GMB Akash (16)

I want to buy everything that my mother likes. Like new sarees for her, good shoes for her, anything she loves._ Koli

GMB Akash (5)


GMB Akash 

Photojournalist and Profile Photographer at Panos Pictures, London

Founder of GMB Akash Institute of Photography, Dhaka



Website: www.gmb-akash.com

Photo Agency: www.panos.co.uk

Photography Workshop: www.gmbakashworkshop.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/gmbakash

Instagram: www.instagram.com/gmbakash

Blog: www.gmbakash.wordpress.com


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