Changing Lives, One Child at a Time: A Mission to End Child Labor.

Dear friends,

I am happy to share that all 30 of my students have been promoted to their new classes and have received their new books. With excitement and happiness, they all shone like stars. It brings me great pleasure to share these radiant faces with you.

As you know, in 2020, I took on the responsibility of ensuring their complete education for my entire lives. For this reason, I regularly visit their homes and families to assess their situations. The years seem to be passing for them in the blink of an eye!

I began with 10 children, and now I have more than 30. Hopefully, in the coming years, I will be able to admit and shift more child laborers from their workplace to school.

For more than 15 years, I have been working on the issue of child labor in Bangladesh. From the beginning of my photography career, I wanted to change the situation and raise awareness of this issue. However, I was not happy with the slow progress happening in our society. Therefore, I decided to change people’s lives directly and started with those people whom I had photographed and those with whom I was already working.

I started by providing training and helping to set up businesses for people in need, especially the parents of child laborers. With these businesses, the families could earn more money and send their children to school instead of factories.

To get working children to school, I had to go door to door many times and request that their parents send them to school. Eventually, I was able to convince some parents about the importance of education and motivated them to send their children to school. It was not easy, as I had to take full financial responsibility for these kids, including expenses such as admission fees, tuition fees, daily food, books, clothes, and financially compensating their parents for the entire amount of money they would have earned each month if they had worked instead of going to school. I will also have to bear all the children’s expenses to ensure that they will continue to attend school.

Like these 30 children, more than four million children are struggling in our country. It may be difficult, but it is not impossible to give hope to these 4 million children. If every capable person would lend a hand to one child, miracles would happen, which could transform our society into a better-educated population who could better contribute to the development of our country, a benefit for us all.

My heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude for your kind support for the work I do. Without your support and love, I could not make all of this happen.

Sending my respect and prayers.

Love and light!

GMB Akash

Ralph Striewski came from Germany to join me in my exclusive six days One on One photography workshop.

Ralph Striewski came from Germany to Bangladesh in order to join me in my exclusive six days One on One photography workshop. January, 2023

To check the other participants work visits my workshop website:

If you are interested to join this exclusive program send an email to know detail at:

About the workshop: The focus of this customized program is to teach photography going beyond boundaries. Each student will have exclusive access to me through the duration of the workshop, giving them the opportunity to take advantage of my work experience, teachings, and methodologies. Due to the intimate nature of these workshops and the real world working environment, each student can expect to learn and experience much more than they would during one year in a standard university photography program. Each workshop is six days long and set in locations that are rich in culture with a wealth of photographic and documentary subject matter.

Pedro Marsault traveled from France to Bangladesh to participate in my exclusive six-day One on One photography workshop.

Pedro Marsault traveled from France to Bangladesh to participate in my exclusive six-day One on One photography workshop in February  2022.

To view the work of other participants, please visit my workshop website at

If you are interested in joining this exclusive program, please send an email to for more details.

About the workshop: This customized program is designed to teach photography beyond boundaries. Each student will have exclusive access to me throughout the workshop, allowing them to benefit from my professional experience, teachings, and methodologies. Due to the intimate nature of the workshops and the real-world working environment, students can expect to learn and experience much more than they would in a standard university photography program in just six days. The workshops are held in culturally rich locations with ample photographic and documentary subject matter.

Bangladesh’s Unsung Heroes: Celebrating the Backbone of Our Nation on Labor Day

Behind the growth of any nation lies the hard work of its workmen. Saluting our indefatigable workers, who keep Bangladesh moving forward as we celebrate #LabourDay#MayDay.

It is essential to recognize the contribution of Bangladeshi laborers who work tirelessly in various industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and service sectors.

Unfortunately, many of these workers face challenges like low wages, unsafe working conditions, and lack of job security. On this day, we must take a moment to reflect on these issues and pledge to work towards improving the lives of our workers. Let us honor the achievements of our working-class people and commit ourselves to creating a better future for them.

This photo album serves as a tribute to the hardworking men and women who contribute immensely to our society. Your comments, filled with appreciation and support, only reinforce the significance of this celebration.

Each photo represents the resilience, dedication, and unwavering spirit of our labor force. It is an honor to capture and share these moments with all of you.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the achievements and sacrifices of our labor community. Feel free to share your thoughts, personal experiences, or messages of gratitude.

Together, we can amplify their voices and recognize their invaluable contributions.

May this album serve as a reminder of the strength and unity that define us as a nation. Happy Labour Day to all, and thank you for being a part of this meaningful journey!

_GMB Akash

A journey through time and culture : Discovering the magic of Istanbul, Turkey.

“The moment I wake up, right away, I smile…. I am aware that a life is offering me twenty-four brand new hours to live, and that’s the most precious of gifts I received, while living every second of my life for a new day, for a new hope, for a new destination. I am a traveler, and I don’t mind being called gypsy. Hanging my bag, holding my camera, eying over everything, I keep walking. I discovered a part of me in my journey. I mostly save each penny from my work for traveling. Simplicity is my luxury. Visiting my maples world is pretty sweet but I don’t mind waiting. Travel brings power and love back into our life. Sometimes we plan a trip to one place, but something takes us to another. Whatever purifies it is the correct road. Thus I stepped to Istanbul with an open eye in road to be lost”

– GMB Akash

There are a handful of cities around the world that draw me back again and again. In my list Istanbul was a most desirable place to visit. I got my chance and landed for a quick tour. In Istanbul It is difficult to be in quiet places in a city of 13 million, which was best for me. I was attracted to the city for its rich history—it was the capital of three empires and it’s the only major city in the world that straddles two continents. Navigating Istanbul can be difficult for tourists. There are so many forms of transportation—trams, trolleys, ferries, taxis, metro—and so many ways to get to a place.

As a travel photographer I love all options. While I keep clicking my camera, a short, wiry Turk goes past, carrying a dozen folded carpets balanced on his head. The weight of the load seems to be greater than that of the carrier. Women wearing veils, only showing their eyes, gold bangles and chains reminding women of my Old Dhaka’s. Several groups of photographer’s roaming around like me with cameras on shoulders and heads almost mechanically swiveling from side to side in an endeavor to miss nothing. The famous Blue Mosque was just near my hotel, I was stunned by seeing one of the most famous and most stunning Mosques in the world.  Istanbul is a city for those who can still enjoy a sense of providence: a sense of discovery and a sense of marvel.  

Continually after walking almost ten hours it was not tiring to me. As a travel photographer one must quality is to be brave. Brave to face anything and everything on the journey. I travel alone and learn to enjoy entertaining myself. It is quite fun to explore a strange place and not get bored in loneliness. I love to watch people, introduce new rituals and learn about different forms of life. I keep images of memory in my travel folder. Photographs are not only holding my memories, but emotions and my interpretation of an untold journey.

Wherever I go, I keep trying to match my country with the place I am visiting. Often I started missing my country. In Istanbul I was finding my bond, hearing Azan in mosques was weaving images of my place, my Dhaka. There is a universal language in the world, the language of love. We human beings are always trying to name our emotions, level our feelings so I keep trying to write in my dairy. My days ended so quickly, with my mixed emotions I was leaving the city, Istanbul. I headed to catch another flight for another place with the imaginary in my mind ‘Splendid Istanbul’

“I am not only burning myself in these journeys, I am shaping my molecules, the discovery and ending up here, neither do I go home. I will pack my bag by holding my camera, & another mystic road will open its arm for me, and I very well know, miracles dwell in invisible. I – a lost soul will walk step by step, hearing entirely in silence. When I keep learning the art to fly, I keep discovering till my universe dissolves”

– GMB Akash

Eid Mubarak – from 300 happy families!

Dear Friends,

Eid Mubarak – from 300 happy families!

By the grace of Allah, I could deliver 300 new dresses for 300 most unprivileged families the last 3 days.

I truly hope that the new dress will bring them happiness and lift their spirits with warmth and contentment today.

Sharing some of the happy faces with you all.

Many of you came forward to make their EID a happy and special one, I believe the heartfelt prayers of these 300 families will surely reach your doorstep.

I am always thankful and grateful to all my friends and well-wishers who are constantly supporting and helping me in every way possible in my journey.

Have a very happy and healthy Eid everyone…

Eid Mubarak ❤️❤️

_GMB Akash

Rakher Upobash Festival.

During Kartik, “the holiest month” beginning every year with new moon in November, thousands of Hindu devotees celebrates the feast of “Rakher Upobash”.The followers of “Loknath” who is said to embody love in the Hindu tradition, light small lamps and special incense asking for the betterment of their loved ones’ health.They also fast in the name of “Rakh” hence the name “Rakher Upobash”. Also known as “Kartik bhroto”, it is held on every Saturday and Tuesday of those 15 daysFasting and praying to the gods, sitting before the Shri Shri Loknath Brahammachari Ashram, among the Swami Bhag temple near Dhaka.Bangladesh.

Rakher upobash is a beautiful and deeply spiritual tradition observed by the people of Bangladesh. The atmosphere during Rakher Upobash is enchanting, with devotees singing devotional songs, lighting earthen lamps, and performing various rituals to appease the deity. It is a time for self-reflection, spiritual awakening, and spreading love and compassion among fellow human beings. This tradition not only represents the rich cultural heritage of Bangladesh but also brings people of different faiths and backgrounds together, reinforcing the message of unity and peace. Rakher Upobash is truly a unique and beautiful festival that embodies the true essence of Bangladesh’s cultural identity.

The festival holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Bangladesh. It is a time when they come together to celebrate their faith and culture, and to seek blessings for themselves and their loved ones. The fast is observed from sunrise to sunset, and during this time, devotees abstain from food and water. It is a test of their faith and endurance, and a way to purify their minds and bodies.

Rakher Upobash is a festival that represents the essence of the Hindu faith and culture in Bangladesh. It is a time when people come together to seek blessings and offer gratitude, and to celebrate their faith and traditions. As a photographer, I am honored to be able to capture the beauty and richness of this festival and to share it with the world. Through my photographs, I hope to bring to light the beauty and richness of the Hindu culture in Bangladesh, and to inspire people to appreciate and respect the diversity of our world.

Building hygienic toilets for unprivileged people every month.

It is easy to take a restroom or toilet for granted. But everyone is not fortunate enough to build one. The best thing about a toilet is that it helps people have dignity, better health, safety and so much more.

Dear friends, I have started donating ‘Restroom/Toilets’ to old unfortunate elderly couples, fathers and widowed mothers (with young daughters) who are neglected by their children and who do not have the ability to make one for themselves and because of this basic need they are suffering in various ways.

Mother of Brishty said, “My daughter has to wait until it gets dark to go to the toilet, because our toilet is broken and everything is visible from outside, so we can only use the toilet in the dark to protect our dignity.”

“Now after getting the new toilet, we can go and use the toilet whenever we want.”

“Khadija Khatun, 70 said, Unfortunately, I do not have my own toilet, I have to use my neighbor’s toilet. Every day, I have to endure various insults just to use the toilet. It’s a difficult situation for me, but I have no choice.

If I were to go outside in the field, it would be even more challenging for me to stay clean. This makes it difficult for me to fulfill my daily prayers.”

“After getting the new toilet, now I can stay clean and can fulfill my daily prayer.”

To give them a dignified and healthy life, I have already started building toilets for such helpless families.

By the grace of God, we have already built 10 new toilet this month for 10 families, and from now, I am going to build hygienic toilets in different remote villages for unprivileged people every month. Starting with 10, but my dream is to build toilets for every needy person, who are suffering for this basic human right.

My dear friends,

Looking at the pictures, you might think it was an easy task, but in reality, it was far from that.

Many of the people had no place of their own, so we had to manage the location to set up a toilet. The previous toilets were often in very low places or on the edges of the chanels, so we had to prepare the ground by filling the soil and raising them above.

We also faced a shortage of masons in many of the villages. We had to work hard to get the masons there and deliver the insufficient materials to the villages.

It took a lot of time and effort to complete 10 toilets and another 10 in progress. Despite the challenges we faced, the satisfaction of completing the task made it all worthwhile.

I must say, seeing the smile on the faces of the people who now have access to a safe and clean toilet is priceless. It makes all the challenges and hard work worth it. Knowing that my efforts are making a difference in their lives fills my hearts with joy.

I am always Grateful to all of you for your support and inspiration. Let’s continue to work together to make a difference in the lives of these people and create a better future for all.

Love and Light

GMB Akash

Debby Mosseveld came from the Netherlands to join me in my exclusive six days One on One photography workshop.

Debby Mosseveld came from the Netherlands to Bangladesh in order to join me in my exclusive six days One on One photography workshop. November 2022

To check the other participants work visits my workshop website:

If you are interested to join this exclusive program send an email to know detail at

About the workshop: The focus of this customized program is to teach photography going beyond boundaries. Each student will have exclusive access to me through the duration of the workshop, giving them the opportunity to take advantage of my work experience, teachings, and methodologies. Due to the intimate nature of these workshops and the real world working environment, each student can expect to learn and experience much more than they would during one year in a standard university photography program. Each workshop is six days long and set in locations that are rich in culture with a wealth of photographic and documentary subject matter.

Dr Vikas Bajpai, came from India to join my exclusive six days One on One photography workshop.

Dr Vikas Bajpai, MD, PhD, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, came from India to Bangladesh in order to join me in my exclusive six days One on One photography workshop.

To check the other participants work visits my workshop website:

If you are interested to join this exclusive program send an email to know detail at

About the workshop: The focus of this customized program is to teach photography going beyond boundaries. Each student will have exclusive access to me through the duration of the workshop, giving them the opportunity to take advantage of my work experience, teachings, and methodologies. Due to the intimate nature of these workshops and the real world working environment, each student can expect to learn and experience much more than they would during one year in a standard university photography program. Each workshop is six days long and set in locations that are rich in culture with a wealth of photographic and documentary subject matter.

House for Farzana and her mother.

Dear friends, 

Many of you may remember Farzana Akhter, a brilliant student. Whose only place to live is the balcony of her maternal grandmother’s house. But her greedy uncle is trying to evict them from there too. 

You can’t even imagine that she has managed to make her serial number 5 out of 200 students in her school by studying on that little dark balcony for the last six years, with no electricity or any study facilities! 

Seeing her merit, the headmaster of her school and the English teacher have been giving her free tuition for the past 6 years. Luckily her school friends were always very helpful to her. Without their help, Farzana might never have come this far and appeared in her SSC exam this year. 

She was preparing for her SSC exam, but she and her helpless mother were struggling to manage the big amount of money for her form fillup 3 months ago. Then luckily Farzana came to my notice as like my other hundreds of helpless students whom I help with their Form fillup money for participating in their examinations.

Her story made me cry immediately. That day, by the time she was telling me her story, it was already afternoon, but everyone in their house was still starving because at their house, they did not have a handful of rice to cook!!

By the grace of God, I was able to take their responsibilities and build a house for them. The house was under construction for the last two months meanwhile, Farzana’s SSC exam was going on. Finally, the update post is here. 

To build the house the place needed to be filled with soil. We made two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The earthen floor is paved with cement too. You will be happy to know that I have also arranged some furniture like a bed for them and a table chair for her study, and a rake for clothes. I also arranged electricity for their house. 

For Last two months I have been bearing all the medical expenses of her sick mother who was suffering from skin disease. In total it cost almost 2 lakh taka or 2000$

I took all the responsibility for Farzana’s studies too. For that I will also give her an amount monthly as long as she wants to continue her studies. She wants to be a barrister. I believe she will become one. I also believe, getting a little help can change her life and can fulfill her dreams. Please keep her in your prayers.

My friends, thank you so much for all your support. Please keep me in your prayers so that I may continue my mission to change the lives of helpless people in their need. 

Sending my Love and prayers for everyone…

Love and Light!

_GMB Akash

GMB Akash

Photojournalist and Profile Photographer at Panos Pictures, London

Founder of GMB Akash Institute of Photography, Dhaka



Photography Workshop:

Facebook Page:




Love for Amir Hussain and his father.

Dear friends,

You may all remember Amir Hussain, a kind responsible son, who really loves and cares about his father – Abdur Nur who is suffering from a severe ulcer from a long time and enduring a lot of hardships every day but never stopped loving and caring for his children too.

Amir Hussain had to sell his only cow in order to treat his father. The cow was his best friend and most favorite things in his world and the only source of income for his family. But he had to sacrifice his friendship and earnings to save his father’s life.

Despite his father’s treatment, his father never fully recovered and Amir Hussain had to pay a hefty sum of money every month for his father’s treatment which he is struggling to earn.

I believe the story touched all your hearts. Such a responsible and love story between father and son is very rare these days. We can be at least hopeful from this story that poverty has not yet taken away humanity from all people.

The day I heard his story; I wanted to do something for them, so that Amir Hossain can get his friend back and can continue his father’s treatment.

I promised Amir Hussain and his Father Nur Uncle that I will help them to do something for them so they can get a sustainable life.

So, arranging money, I met with them again. Since Amir Hussain is used to rearing cows and knows how to run a household by rearing cows, I did not have to think too much about how to help him. Since they live in the village, milking a Cow with a calf is the best solution and business for them.

I know that; many of you are eagerly waiting for their updates and now, you all will be happy to know that, by the grace of God, I bought a cow and a calf for them. After getting back the cow and the calf Amir Hussain seems to have got his life back. I can’t explain his happiness and gratefulness with words when he saw them… Brother Amir hugged me with all his strength to show his gratitude and started crying while sitting next to the Cow.

The Cow gives 3-4 liters of milk a day and by selling that milk he can earn about 300 taka per day. Keeping milk for his family, he can earn almost taka 9000 per month. Alhamdulillah, now with this money they can live a prosperous life as they wished for. In total it cost almost 1,000 USD.

My friends, your positive inspiration, pure love, and strong faith in me, helps me to move forward every single day. Know that nothing would have been so easy without you all. My journey could never have gone so far without you and your support. I am grateful!

Please keep me in your prayers so that I may continue my mission to change the lives of helpless people in their need.

Sending my Love and prayers for everyone…

Love and Light

_GMB Akash

GMB Akash

Photojournalist and Profile Photographer at Panos Pictures, London

Founder of GMB Akash Institute of Photography, Dhaka



Photography Workshop:

Facebook Page:




‘A Father, A Hero’

Whether you fall or fail, whether you cry or sob, all you can look forward to is that your father believes in you. He picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again. Your father will always be your hero.

Sharing ten real life stories of ‘Father’

Featured first on my Facebook page: GMB Akash


Yesterday, I was able to buy a new dress for my daughter after two years. While I handed sixty pieces of five taka note to the seller, he yelled at me by asking if I am a beggar. My daughter held my hand and cried to leave the shop by saying that she did not want to buy any dress. I wept off her tears with one hand. Yes, I am a beggar. Ten years ago I had never thought in my nightmares that I have to live by begging from people. The night coach fell from the bridge and unbelievably I was alive. I was alive by becoming a disable. My youngest son often ask me where had I left my other hand.  And my daughter Sumaiya feed me every day by saying she knows how difficult it is to do all work with one hand.

After two years my daughter is wearing a new dress, that’s why today I brought her with me to play for some time. May be I will not be able to earn anything today, but I wanted to roam around with my little girl. I secretly borrowed this mobile phone from my neighbor without informing my wife. My daughter has no picture and I want to make this day memorable for her. When one day I will have a phone I will take a lot of pictures of my children. I want to keep good memories. It’s very difficult to send my children to school, but I am educating them all. Sometimes they cannot attend exam because giving exam fees is not always possible by me. On those days they feel very sad then I tell them, sometimes we can miss exams because the biggest exam is life which we are giving every day.

Now I will go for begging. I will place my daughter in a signal where she will wait for me. I will look at her from distant while begging.  I feel shame while she looks at me when I lend my one hand to others. But she never leaves me alone. Because there are big cars, she thinks accident can happen again, these cars could run on me and I would die. Whenever I managed to get some money I return to home by holding my daughter’s hand. We do bazaar on our way and my daughter always carry that bag. During rain we love to get wet and talk about our dreams. In someday I do not get any money, on those days we return to home silently. On those days I feel like to die but at night when my children fall in sleep by holding me I feel being alive is not a bad thing. Only bad is when my daughter waits for me in the signal by keeping her head down. When I cannot look at her eye while begging. But today is different. Because today my daughter is very happy. Today this father is not a beggar. Today this father is a king and here is his princess.

– MD. Kawsar Hossain


I never told my children what my job was. I never wanted them to feel ashamed because of me. When my youngest daughter asked me what I did, I used to tell her hesitantly that I was a labourer. Before I went back home every day, I used to take bath in public toilets so they did not get any hint of the work I was doing. I wanted to send my daughters to school, to educate them. I wanted them to stand in front of people with dignity. I never wanted anyone to look down upon them like how everyone did to me. People always humiliated me. I invested every penny of my earnings for my daughters’ education. I never bought a new shirt, instead used the money for buying books for them. Respect, which is all I wanted them to earn for me. I was a cleaner. The day before the last date of my daughter’s college admission, I could not manage to get her admission fees. I could not work that day. I was sitting beside the rubbish, trying hard to hide my tears. All my coworkers were looking at me but no one came to speak to me. I had failed and felt heartbroken. I had no idea how to face my daughter who would ask me about the admission fees once I got back home. I am born poor. I believed nothing good can happen to a poor person. After work all the cleaners came to me, sat beside and asked if I considered them as brothers. Before I could answer, they handed me their one day’s income. When I tried to refuse everyone; they confronted by saying, ‘We will starve today if needed but our daughter has to go to college.’ I couldn’t reply them. That day I did not take a shower, I went back to my house like a cleaner. My daughter is going to finish her University very soon. Three of them do not let me go to work anymore. She has a part time job and three of them do tuition. But often she takes me to my working place. Feed all my coworkers along with me. They laugh and ask her why she feeds them so often. My daughter told them, ‘All of you starved for me that day so I can become what I am today, pray for me that I can feed you all, every day.’ Now a days I don’t feel like I am a poor man. Whoever has such children, how can he be poor!  – Idris


We always wanted a daughter. But we have three sons. I often told my wife only fortunate have daughter. I am working as a rickshaw puller for more than thirty years. Most of my passengers were bad tempered. They always scolded me. One morning a father hired me to take his daughter to the college. He requested me to be careful in the road. He told his daughter to hold the rickshaw tightly. Before we left he told me to go slowly so the girl may not get hurt. On our way after sometime I heard the girl was crying insanely. I tried to look back and wanted to ask her if everything was okay. She scolded me and warned me not to look back. After a while she asked me to stop and started calling someone by her phone. She was screaming and crying all the time. I understood she supposed to escape from home with a boy. He did not show up. Suddenly she jumped from the rickshaw, left the money in the seat and quickly went to the train line. I was about to leave, felt sorry for the father and thought it may be good not to have a daughter.  But I was not able to paddle further; I heard her father was requesting me to be careful. I parked my vehicle and ran for the girl. She was in the rail line, moving like a sick person to harm herself. I went near to her and requested her to go back with me. She yelled at me, called me uneducated stupid, in between she kept crying insanely. I was afraid to leave her in that empty place. I let her cry, as much as she wanted. Almost three hours we were there and rain was about to come. Before the rain starts she got up and asked me to bring the rickshaw. We did not talk about anything. In the rain I paddled quickly. I dropped her near her house. Before I left she stopped me and said, ‘Uncle, you should never come at my place again, never tell anyone you know me.’ I lowered my head and returned to home. That day I did not talk to anyone, I did not eat anything. I told myself it was better not to have a daughter. After more than eight years, very recently I had an accident. I was kind of senseless. Public took me to the hospital;. When I got back my sense I saw the girl was working near me, she asked me how I was feeling, why I never went to meet her.  It was hard for me to recognize the girl in white dress, in spectacle and stethoscope. My treatment went well. I was taken to a big doctor. I was listening to her telling him, ‘Sir, he is my father’. The old doctor told her something in English. Then she touched my injured hand and replied him, ‘If this father did not support me in the past, I won’t be able to become a doctor’. I was lying in a narrow bed and tightly shut my eyes. I cannot tell anyone how I felt. This rickshaw puller has a daughter, a doctor daughter.

– Bablu Shekh (55)


Six years ago my daughter ran away with a boy. Their married life was one month. After one month the boy disappeared. I found my daughter after three months. When I found her, she was living in the same slum room they rented and discovered something is very wrong with my child. She was abnormal and three months pregnant. I decided to stay at the house with her without forcing her to come with me. I slept in the floor and she slept in the bed. Every night she wake up and screamed by asking me to open the door as she felt the boy is knocking at the door. For every single time I opened the door and showed her there was no one.

After one year we returned to village with no mental improvement. She held her new born boy in her chest and never let anyone to take him, as she used to think the child may leave her as well. A year ago I got a marriage proposal for her. My son-in-law was a widow and had four little children. Everyone told me not to share anything about my daughter’s mental condition. I also realized I would never tell it to him including hiding about her son.

But when we were fixing the wedding date I was feeling like a criminal. The moment the groom was leaving I stopped him and took him to the river side. I opened my heart and started to tell what I had to say at our first meeting. He stopped me and said he knew everything. I was surprised and asked him how. He said the day he met my daughter she said everything and he really wanted to marry her. He left and I rushed to my daughter. I asked her what she said, she reluctantly told me, I said – ‘I am Nahar. I have mental problem. I scream at night to open door and ask to check if someone is knocking. Except this I am all okay. I also have a five years old son, whom I will take with me after we get married.’

My daughter is married for a year now, taking care of her five children wonderfully. This cow was their wedding gift which my son-in-law did not take with him. He told me to keep the cow for myself. No, my daughter is still sick. During my last visit when I asked my son-in-law what he do when Nahar screams. He said, ‘Every night I take her outside to show there is no one’. Tears were rolling all over my face when he assured me, Nahar will be okay. I also know my child will be cured. Because love is the best medicine which my daughter is receiving abundantly.

– Ali Noor


I grew up vulnerably, struggled like an animal because I was an orphan. I ate people’s left over and sometimes snatched food from animals. I had no home and no one ever touched my forehead to check my fever. I hated everyone, every face I met. I only survived for myself, and only cared about me because I was no one for anybody. I suffered for the lack of love more than food. And with time those emptiness went deeper and I stopped laughing, dreaming and hoping. Like a donkey I worked as a labouer in people’s field, at night slept with cattle. For everyone I was a labourer. Only our village doctor was different. He often forcefully took me to his home and asked her only daughter to feed me well. It was very irritating for me because I never ate inside a house; never sat in chair and table. No one ever fanned me while serving food. Doctor’s girl continually talked to me about useless things, about things I never knew exist in the world. Most of the time, I nicely asked her to go back to her study but she always giggled and continued her nonsense while feeding me. Whenever I looked at the girl, I felt if I ever had a daughter she would look exactly like her. She never let me to leave the house without having sweets after lunch. She would come far with me by holding an umbrella and always requested me to go again. Most often my eyes got wet for no reason and I ran away without replying her. The day I last saw her, she was lying in her bed, her skin turned pale, hair was short and eyes were puffy. For the first time, I talked to her first, asked her how she was feeling. Like every day she giggled and said, ‘I become rich uncle, I got a rich disease.’ Her father asked her to stop talking and within minutes she started vomiting blood. I escaped the place without saying her any word. At night I secretly met our doctor, handed him my sixty years savings, asked him to take our daughter any place where nothing will be able to take away her smile. It’s been three months they had gone, I heard she is improving. There is still fair chance of her survival. I have been waiting at this river side every day, with a hope of their arrival. I know my daughter will come back. She will again force me to eat more. She will laugh loudly and say, ‘Uncle, do you know you got a cold heart’.

– Rohmot Miah


I was a honey collector. I was never afraid of tiger or crocodile. And I had a beautiful daughter. My daughter could dance like a peacock. She was like a goddess of the forest. Before I could return from work she used to stand in the jungle and every day waited for me. She could win anyone’s heart with her childishness. But after the death of her mother, she could not talk since childhood. Being a poor father I was unable to take her for treatment. I still can remember her smile; with her smiles she could conquer all my sorrows. It was a rainy day of monsoon. I was coming to the home and expecting Pari on my way. But she was not there. After a twenty minutes search I found her. She was hanging from a tree, her clothes were torn apart. My child died before I arrived. I was screaming in anger, I was trying to kill everyone who appeared to console me. My child’s death still haunts me. Nowadays I spend all evening in the jungle as a guard so that no one ever lose any daughter again’ – Kashem


I earn very little from my job. I work in a factory. So, I could not save anything. I have to meet my children’s educational expenses and my old mother’s treatment. That time my elder son finished his college and admitted into the university. Then all the time he was very sad. After many questions his mother hesitantly informed me that he wanted a laptop. I became very angry and shouted by asking, does money grows in tree. But at night I could not sleep. All the time I felt like all other children will do good result because of a laptop and son will roam around in depression. How is it possible till I am alive! Between the time my son returned home at late night, when I asked him why he replied briefly that due to group assignment he had to go in friend’s house. My son did not look into my eyes. It started hurting me lot. I went to my boss and asked him to give me the night job. He exclaimed in doubt how I could manage both day and night shift. I assured him this will be only for four months. I had to walk one hour to go to work and only returned to home once for dinner. I did not share anything at home, just said them I am paying off my loan. After four months I went to my home with bundles of money in my pocket. I was happier than ever and keep thinking how I will explain to my son what a father can do. After entering at house I saw a cycle standing at our yard. Everyone came out after listening me. My old mother giggled and said, ‘Have a look, your son bought a cycle for you by his scholarship money.’ My son was standing in front of the door by looking at the ground. I wanted to take him in my arms and roam around the entire city again just like we did often when he was a child. But a father cannot express his heart so easily. Even if a father feels to cry, they cannot do it like mother’ – Razib’s Father


Tuni got married with my son when she was in a stage of playing with doll. Her widow mother could not provide food for Tuni and upon her request I agreed for the marriage. While Tuni’s mother handover her in my hand, she said, ‘From now, your father-in-law is your father.’ By opening her long veil little Tuni nodded to us. On our way back to home, Tuni fall down in the wet mud and started crying. To stop her crying I was holding her with my one hand and carried her mud toys in another hand. With time, my eight years old daughter-in-law turned eighteen years. My wife and daughters used to hate our daughter-in-law. Even my son never spoke to her nicely in all those years. In a poverty stricken family, I was too helpless to help Tuni. Sometimes when I heard my son to beat her, I rushed to her door and knocked vigorously to help her, but she always replied, ‘I am fine, Abba’. She was more than a daughter to me, during one winter I had pneumonia, every day she cleaned my blooded vomiting with her hands. There is no one who can be so much caring like my little girl. But she was alone, was living inside her own world. Then one day she apparently became lonely when my son died in a boat incident. Everyone blamed her for his death. She started wearing white saree and I could not look at her condition anymore. Torture of wife and daughters exceed all limits. Neither her family visited her for those ten years. One day, our village doctor came to me; he was a young man, who came from a foreign village. After long period of hesitation he said he wanted to marry Tuni. I stood up in anger, and asked him to leave. No widow ever get married in my small island, how could I agree to break societies standard. I could not sleep for whole night, and then next day I declared I will arrange for Tuni’s re-marriage. Every day I faced people’s questions and humiliation, but I was strict to my decision, because I saw a spark in my daughter’s eyes. The night before marriage, all reputed people came to me and asked to withdraw the marriage. When I declined, everyone told me that they will abandon or evict my family forever, I accepted with laughter. With them, my wife and daughters also left the house and left me alone. I asked Tuni to sleep deeply as she had to start a new life the next day. She assured me that she will solve all my worries. Next morning I found her blue body in the ground and a poison bottle next to her. Tuni left the world with all her sufferings.  I tried to hold her hand just like the day when she fell into the ground. That day Tuni was crying but after her death I clearly saw a slight smile on her face like she was saying me, there is no pain anymore, Abba. 

– Ansar Ali


I did not get time to mourn for my wife’s death. I could not cry by remembering her memory that very moment.  Life didn’t allow me to do all that. My wife had left our daughter to me in her form. When midwife handed me my daughter she was a premature baby, maybe she was just two kg. I had never take any child in my lap, but when I held her first time, I could not drop her off in the bed, I closely kept her with my heart. People used to say, new born searches for their mother’s smell or wants to hear the sound of mother’s heartbeat. But my daughter was fully aware of mine.

When she started crying for milk, I was unable to buy anything. I kept going from door to door to the village women who can generously breastfeed my baby. After seeing my tears no one said no to me. But at night it was hard. She cried for milk and I could not provide her anything. I did not sleep for one hour at night throughout her one month age. When she went to sleep, I used to check her breathing with my finger and checked frequently if she is alive or not, sometime in fear I held her in my chest, as I did not want her to leave me.

When villagers tell me I should give her cow milk at night, I could not buy bottle for her. I had no money. I collected an empty medicine bottle and borrowed a nipple and then fixed both together. With that bottle I feed her cow milk every night. When only mothers queue to vaccinate their child, I was the only father who queued with daughter. By thus I do not know how twenty years had passed. Now my daughter is a teacher in the primary school. She did not want me to work in the field anymore, she is taking care of our expenses, and all the time she wonders why I work in the field. I do not want to share that, I am saving for her. What will happen to her when I will die? I wanted her to get married, to start a life with someone she loves. But she is reckless; she said if someone accepted me with her then only she will get married. I do not want to explain her it is not possible in the world we are living. I want her to be loved by someone unconditionally, I want her to get such love which is more powerful than the love I have given her. This is my last wish to God.

– Joyed Ali (50)


I found out my daughter had an affair with a boy for five years. She never spoke about it as she is always afraid of me. Apart of it I assumed my children always hate me for the job I am doing since my childhood. I asked her to bring the boy and his family in our house. I decorated the house like a new bride and brought the best food for them. I have been saving for my daughter’s marriage for twenty years. That day my daughter was happiest than ever. When they started conversation they brought out a note of demand. They wanted all material things a family needs, I was calculating and nodded in agreement with every word they said. After all it’s about happiness of my daughter. The last point was they do not want me to introduce in front of their relatives and I should never go to visit my daughter. The moment they said it my daughter screamed in anger and by surprising all she slapped the boy. She angrily said, ‘My father can do the thing that no one can do. Not everyone can clean others mess. I am proud of what he does and if you do not leave my house in a minute I will beat you all.’ She broke the marriage proposal and ended her five years relationship in a second. From that day I know how fortunate and happy person I am.’ – Sweeper Monu lal


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 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: 

Many Miles Many Smiles

Today is Our Holiday

Eid Love


The Geometry of Love

With you
I feel like, I am wearing perfume in the middle of the desert.
With you
I am like, a nomad having a nameless home.

Ten Love stories shared from the series Heroes of Life; these are real love life experiences of the people portrayed here.

Featured first on my Facebook page:  GMB Akash


‘I got married at the age of twelve. My husband was twice my age. I cried the whole night by sitting on my wedding bed. He was embarrassed. He shyly said he would allow me to do whatever I wanted to do. He kept his promise. He brought me dolls to play with. But my in-laws did not like my freedom. They asked him to send me back to my parents. When their torture became intolerable, by holding my hands he left his parent’s house. Here, we built our heaven fifty years ago. I played with dolls and then with my five children. By fishing he earned a living for us. Every corner of our hut was built by him. I used to sit beside him, singing songs and he continued to repair our broken bamboo walls. One night he left me alone, he died in his sleep with a slight smile on his face. Our house was his existence for me. I used to touch the fence,the wall and could feel him there. During Aila, the flood washed away my hut. Now there is no sign of my home. Still I come here to find a sign of my existence, try to find him in my lost home’ – Saira Begum


‘She was four years older than me. She was black but more beautiful than a fairy. However, I had never paid attention to her face because her heart was so overwhelmingly beautiful to cherish. I have never seen someone caring like her in my life. If any woman of the village got sick she had to be there. In our village women hardly went to the hospital. Besides being a midwife, she used to always stay with all pregnant women. But in our conservative village, most of the people talked badly about her. No one was ready to marry her. I had fallen for this crazy girl from my childhood. One day I found the courage to tell it to my mother. Surprisingly, my mother fought with everyone to make Hasna her daughter-in-law. We knew that no one would attend our wedding but to our surprise the day we got married more than 100 women from different villages came to wish us well. I never knew she had provided education to all these women also. My wife died three years ago. We have no children. For me, her love was enough. After her death, I donated our only piece of land for establishing a girl’s school. I know she must be smiling from heaven.’ – Rohmot Miah



‘I was thirteen when we got married. I had never seen him before our marriage. When we first met, we were sitting like strangers, who had no idea what actually we could talk about. We hadn’t spoken a word even on our wedding day. I had never thought the man sitting beside me would slowly become the most important reason behind my life. There were days when my in-laws pushed him, asking him to remarry as I could not conceive after five years of our marriage. One day out of frustration, I packed all my belongings and wanted to silently go away from his life. That day, he cried to me, begged me not to leave him. That was the first day of my life when I first realized how lucky I am. It’s been sixty years that we have been with each other. We have always been just by ourselves. There are days when he cannot manage to bring anything from the bazaar, poverty has been always a part of our life. Both of us often fall sick. We are seeing each other grow old and slowly moving towards death. But we never felt alone, never felt our life was incomplete and in need of a child. During the rainy season, he goes fishing and I wait for him to come back. Sometimes, he tells me how much he is afraid of leaving me alone while he has to go fishing at night. Even today, we have no food in our home. And I have no idea when he can bring something for us. But right now, we are enjoying this winter sun, talking with each other about our old days. We know well, very soon one or both of us will die, and there will be no one to cry for us.’ – Saleha Begum




I move from places to places. From villages to villages. Everyone calls me beggar Kulsum. You can call me too. No one knows from where I have come from. I never tell anyone who am I. I had a mansion, surrounded by three ponds and four gardens. It was always hard to fall in sleep because the smell of the flowers was so strong at night. Often times I felt heaven is my home. And there was always my supportive husband. Every morning I prepared uncountable cakes for him and he never let me to wear same saree more than a few times. I never allowed my maids to clean our in-houses; they were responsible for only outhouse. I had passed forty seven years of our marriage life by making cakes, watering trees and wakening up at nights alone when he left for business in far places. I got married when I was ten; my husband was the only friend I had. I had passed my married life by making cakes and wondering at our beautiful gardens. My husband never let me feel alone in our child less life. I remained happy in his light. One day I went to see one of my sick maids, there I accidently met a woman who was wearing the same wedding bangle I had. Eventually by my maid I found out that my husband kept his second marriage secret from me for twenty years. There he had two daughters and a son. I spent my nights by looking at his face and realized how much he had loved me. May be every day he thought to leave me, may be in every festival he wanted to spend his time with his new family, maybe he felt guilt when I put my right hand every night on his chest. ..Because he had loved me and I was his only friend too. I wanted him to be happy without regret. I also wanted a happy memory of my very loving husband with our all ponds and gardens…I convinced one of my loyal maid to spread the news that I accidentally fell in river and swept away. She did it by the exchange of all my gold ornaments. You are talking to dead Umme Kulsum. She died twenty years ago. No one cried for her, neither I. Sometimes people ask me what they will do when I will die and what my last wish is. I said it to no one before you. If ever he arrives by searching me tell him I missed our home, gardens and him every single second of my life. But I wanted him to be free from my love. His happiness is what I wanted if required by my life. And I do not regret what I had done. Sometimes in love you have to leave.

– Umme Kulsum



‘I loved Surma before I knew how it felt to be in love. Her black skin was as beautiful as diamonds; even more beautiful was the depth of her black eyes. My uncle arranged our marriage suddenly while her village doctor father was on his death bed. Her father touched my hands and said, ‘Surma’s mother died when she was born. I was never able to give her the love she needed. I have failed as a father. Promise me, you will never fail as her husband.’ I promised him.

It was raining heavily, I was riding in my boat while my newlywed wife was sitting in the center of my boat with her world. There were her three kittens, one dog, five chickens and a goat. When we arrived at our house, my mother came out to perform some rituals to receive us. After looking at Surma and her belongings she fainted. With hesitation, on our wedding night when I asked her to send back all her animals she attacked me and with her hands she was beating on my chest like I was a drum. Before I understood anything my twelve year-old wife ran away into the jungle; all her animals fled with her. I spent my wedding night searching for my wife and her animals.

When we got married I had nothing, Surma changed every corner of my rundown hut. She was able to repair everything except my mother’s heart. One day I came from work and found her tied up with rope along with her cats, dogs and goats. I rushed to release everyone; she stopped me and said, ‘It’s my punishment. Do not disrespect amma and do not ask her any questions.’ I looked at my mother and she looked away. I was sure, Surma would be able to melt my mother’s heart. But it was too late. After ten years we had no children. One night Surma took my hand over her head and asked me to remarry. I could not control myself and slapped her. She attacked me and again disappeared into the jungle. I went to my mother and told her no one can force me to remarry while I still have life.

It was our ten-year anniversary of marriage. Again a monsoon. That day Surma was very calm and quiet. By looking at her smiling face, I reassured her, I will be only with her for the rest of my life and I could adopt all her animals as the father. She smiled through her deep black eyes. In the evening when I returned she was lying dead in my yard. Villagers had brought her from the river where they found her floating.

Sixty years has been passed. I am still alone, living with only my memories and animals. When my mother was dying she asked for my forgiveness. I couldn’t do it. My love will never forgive them: not my mother, not my Surma. I am still the man who sees those deep black eyes every night. Sometimes I go into the jungle and search for Surma, I want to bring her back to my life again. But she has gone far away; without knowing how much I loved her.’ – Abdul goni


‘My wife has a habit of snoring during her sleep. At night, only she sleeps. I stay awake and listen to her music. When she falls asleep she starts her tempo taxi. It goes up and down and then up again. This room is very humid and we do not have any fan. The window we have is the only source of ventilation. At night, I keep the window and the door wide open for some time so that air can enter into our room. The problem is, when Arju falls asleep, our neighbor starts yelling. She will shout and tell me, ‘Stop the earthquake or we will kick you both out of this slum.’ On this issue, I have had enough fighting with all our neighbors. Oftentimes I looked at her, wanted to wake her up but when I saw her sleeping so peacefully after a long working day, I just could not do it. At the end, I shut the door tightly and also the only window. I can sleep in humidity, with loud music, but I could never stop my tempo and ruin her peaceful sleep.’ – Textile worker Arju’s husband Liton



Sometimes I go to visit my ex-wife. I really do not have anyone else to go to. She does not allow me to stay more than a few minutes. Everyone says she is a very bad woman but I know how her circumstances were. I cannot blame her so easily. I was not able to buy her a saree for years. She had starved days after days with me. I heard her crying every night. We lost our only child because I didn’t have money for the treatment….

Now maybe she is happy. ..When I last visited her, she gave me sweets to eat. Now she keeps sweets in her new room since I visited her. Maybe she does not forget how much I love sweets… Life would have been so very different if I could have fed us and saved our child…

I can never hate her for leaving me or for choosing to be a prostitute. I was never able to curse her. For everyone she is a whore but for me she is still my Moina.’

– Komesh Mia (45)



‘I have not gone to work for two days. I have to stay with my wife. We do not have any mobile phone; what if she needs something? We live on an island; people have prejudices against going to the hospital. The boatman did not agree to take us at night when my wife was vomiting so much. Everyone including my parents tried to stop me from taking her to the hospital. But I could not sit silently when she was suffering that much. I navigated the boat at night alone and after facing great difficulty I admitted her into the hospital. This place was full of patients. The nurses told me to wait till they arranged a bed. But my wife was feeling very afraid; that’s why I was telling her one joke after another. I wanted to make her smile; when she smiles everything seems okay.’ – Tayeb Miah


I am a very sensitive guy and my wife is a spy. So, we fight more than we eat. Ask what I told her during a fight seven years ago, she will tell you in detail. Ask how she insulted me last night I cannot tell you a word. We have been married for seven years. I never spend a day without my family. Even when she cooks I sit beside her with our children. Yesterday all of us were very happy because we planned to go to watch a circus which was taking place near us. Then suddenly she told me how much she likes the new girl who had started working a few days ago. I said yes, that she is a very innocent girl. She asked, ‘really’? I nodded. And then we had a terrible fight. She stopped talking to me. I asked her a thousand times what I had done. She called over my daughter and asked her to tell me that I did nothing. After going to work she was ignoring me and started working on a different side. I cannot take it. I hate this spying but I cannot live without her nonsense.’

– Morshed & Moriyum



‘I saw her first at a village fair. She was eating sweets. I fell in love instantly. I fell in love when I was seventeen. My father was a farmer, so am I. She was the only girl from the respectable Mia Bari. I could not say anything to her as she belongs to a rich family. But I continued to follow her everywhere secretly and silently. In three years I did not say a word to her. Then a very good marriage proposal came for her and I knew that I had to watch her royal marriage helplessly. On the night of her engagement I cried my heart out sitting in my boat on the riverside near my house. Suddenly I saw someone running towards the boat and before I understood anything, she started rowing the boat. Even in my dreams, I never imagined something like that could happen in my life. The first thing she said to me was, ‘Stupid, you are very stupid.’ It’s been forty years she is calling me stupid every day. I am very happy to be stupid.’ – Makbul Mia ( 60)


A drop of your love got mixed in my cup

I could drink the bitters of life.




‘Many Miles Many Smiles’

You are loved! ❤

That is the note every child received. In five straight days I had reached more than 500 impoverished Bangladeshi children and gifted one goodie bag each that consisted of an item of new clothes, a pair of slippers and chocolate. Then together we headed for the group lunch. The children grinned from ear to ear, laughed and screamed in joy and burst out in happiness. All this happened due to a ‘three day campaign in my Facebook fan page’. I would like to thank every friend who has donated HAPPINESS to these children. Thanks for sharing your world with these children. During five days from morning to noon I had unforgettable moments with street children, child labourers and unprivileged rural children. My friends, in this video I am sharing a glimpse of that joyous experience which which many of you have created along me. I am welcoming you to have a look at what have you brought to these children!

Click in this Link to watch the video: Video of Many Miles Many Smiles

‘Is this mine?’ Salauddin uttered with surprise. ‘Are these all for us?’ with the same surprise, Ratan, Sojib and Yusuf asked. I nodded with a smile and before I could answer, Sojib run up and called out every child’s name they are living with. To my surprise within half an hour about a hundred of children encircled me with a thousand questions. I handed every child one goodie bag that consisted of a new pair of slippers, new clothes item and chocolate. Their sparkling eyes, bright smiles and warm words made the evening unforgettable. Among them a few were not smiling and seemed confused. I patted them on their backs and asked what happened and then questioned them if they weren’t happy with the new things. With hesitation they asked me if I could provide them with some food to eat as they had not eaten anything since yesterday. That moment I decided besides giving them one goodie bag I will also treat them in a good restaurant and make their day fulfilled. When I declared they can have their lunch in a restaurant their happiness exceeded its limit.

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There are hundreds of boys and girls who work as child labourers with their parents who work in the brick fields. While Munni was wearing her new given dress, she shared with me, ‘I hadn’t gotten any dress or shoes for last Eid. Today is my Eid day.’ While wearing their clothes and slippers they continued to laugh, showing their new things to each other and continued to giggle as they saw me waving and leaving them.

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The hardest part was to buy different clothes and slippers for different age groups. I would like to give special thanks to my students and companions Tutul, Disary and Proshanto for their generous time and effort. By this post I would like to thank each of you who have helped me with time, labour and generosity for this mission.

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The scenarios in the factories weren’t different. The child labourer formed a queue voluntarily and continued to surprise me by their gratefulness. I could not imagine a small goodie bag could give so much happiness. When they opened their gifts each of them smiled instantly. Even in the rural village where  our ‘First Light School’ has its junior students, those who belong to extremely poor families burst out in joy while receiving their gifts. All of them gathered, lined up and shouted ‘Thank you!’

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My friends, see what we have done together with a small three day campaign. Your generosity filled hundreds of innocent souls with the greatest gift of ‘Happiness’. Thank you! Thank you for showing them that there are people in the world who have a heart to love and give.

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‘Orange Generation’

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I grew up seeing my ancestors’ orange beards or hair. It is so common in our culture that I was hardly curious to know why older Muslim people colour their hair, beards or moustaches. With time I learned and found out that it was very natural to know  about the importance of henna in Muslim Culture.


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But for the first time I realized and wanted to know about the real motivation of different individual Muslim men and women for dyeing their grey hair. The first time I started asking the question was when many of my foreigner friends asked me about it frequently during their visits in Bangladesh. Then I started noticing that this colour is making this older generation different. So I started asking the Muslim older generation why they colour their grey beards or hair and what is it that they are so fond of?

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This series consists of portraits of men and women in Bangladesh who have dyed their hair or their beard using the orange-red colour produced by the flowering Henna plant. They shared with me why they use this henna in particular. It’s very common in Bangladesh to see one older person in five old people with orange hair (male or female), and men with orange beards or orange moustaches.

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During Ramadan dying hair or beards is a very common practice as Henna dying comes from religious beliefs too. It has been believed that the Prophet Muhammad (SM) dyed his beard and hair as well. Some men and women who have returned from the Haaj, the Islamic pilgrimage also practice Henna dying. Not only in Bangladesh, but many Muslims across all continents apply Henna dye and coat their hair to get this bright coloured look.

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For those who did not reference religion as playing a role in their decision to color their hair, they consider it admirable to do so. They believe, Henna covers their head and body and makes them look good in their old age. Therefore, for some other elderly people, especially women, Henna is mostly used as a cosmetic thing for their grey hair.  A lot of men also see a red beard as preferable to a grey or white beards.  Besides this reason many older persons usually follow this practice for cultural or traditional reasons, as they saw that older generations always prefer henna dying.

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Why did you use Henna dye?

Answers of question:

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‘I am not old. We all eat polluted food and that causes hair loss and greying is faster. Henna helped to hide my grey hair. Grey means old’ – Mohamaad Sagir

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‘It’s our Sunnat. Our Prophet Muhammad used it’ – Gias Uddin

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‘Henna helps to clam down my head and body. I dye my hair every month.’ – Abdul Majid

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‘I use henna dye because I love to do it. What else!’- Yusuf Haulader

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‘I love color more than grey. It’s my fashion. Ha ha ha’ – Mohammad Oli


‘It distinguishes Muslim. It is our culture’ – Obaidullah


‘Who likes grey hair? I want to be young. Ha ha ha’ – Kashem

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‘Most of my friends do henna dying. For the last two years I am doing it also’ – Gias Uddin


‘Since I have come from the Haaj I started applying Henna to my hair. It has religious value’- Abdul Samad

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‘Not only have I, but my wife has dyed her hair to hide the grey. Both of us want to remain young. Ha ha ha’ – Abdul Kader

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‘It’s our tradition, our Muslim tradition’ – Amina

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‘My grandfather did it, my father did it and now I am doing it. All older Muslim people love to practice this generation after generation.’ – Mohammad Alam


‘Realm of Illusion’

‘My camera is a vessel to reach to my dream. I started documenting suffering and find beauty in ugliness, happiness in despair, dreams in suffocation. I am just a poor storyteller who has nothing but a suitcase full of tales’ – GMB AKASH


Love is my religion; unity is my faith/


If you taste the love, you are already rich/


I am on a journey to seek the remedy of Life /


When I take off the mask from my soul, I find the beauty of living/




May everyone who loves God honor the path of everyone else. May all the sacred scriptures be universally cherished as the treasures of all mankind /


I continue to search for myself /


The beauty of life is hidden in the HOPE and in the possibilities of life itself/


Every person has a story and an end/


To taste life prepare to taste thousands of deaths /


Living a simple life is hardest because the whole world continues to show you greed in the name of happiness



If you seek to know the truth of universe, you’ll have the power of the whole universe with you



For living life once I cut off the wings of my soul, now for tasting life I cut out my greed. That’s how my journey starts/


You live in the world and my world lives in me/


My race begins of deriving the internal peace /


You have done everything to feed your body, what have you done to feed your soul



You can get life if you can get rid of fear/


I can only take a look at my own soul and follow its map /


“Sometimes I feel – I am wearing perfume in the middle of the desert” – GMB Akash

Women of Worth

“Sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors, and fights battles that nobody knows about. This blog post is dedicated to honour women who are living at the edge of the society and continue their fighting to earn food and dignity, who merely ever come in the world’s limelight; even the society they are living have never appreciated their bravery. I have met with many of them, discovered closely how women have worked for the greater good and brought about change in their families and society. This is a way to tribute to a mother, sister, wife, daughter, friend and the many roles she plays in life. These personalities have made me understand that nothing can kill the spirit of a woman and that makes her incredibly beautiful” – GMB Akash

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Many women have broken away from tradition, knowing fully it leads a tough road to walk/

Women at work (2)Be fearless/

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A woman cannot be free until she is financially free/

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Each time a woman stand up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women/

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In diversity there is beauty and there is strength/

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Success isn’t measured by your wins, it’s the size of the challenges you overcame/

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Living life on the edge with dream/

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The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself and shine amongst those who never believed she could/

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Dreams don’t work unless you do/

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You have to do what is right for yourself; nobody else is walking in your shoes/

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Be an encourager/

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When a woman wants she can become an unstoppable force/

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Nothing can dim the light that shines from within/

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 Don’t let anyone stop you from your goals, dreams and true happiness/

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Yesterday is nothing more than a lesson. Today is who you are/

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Be yourself. Life is what you make of it/

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There’s nothing damnable about being a strong woman. The world needs strong women/

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Don’t let anyone to dull your sparkle/

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Never ask the question, can I do it? Just go with ‘I will do it’. Your determination will always take you a long way to your dream, so hold on to it/

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She is the best when you believe in herself/

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 You are the force of nature/

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Follow your heart to be the best that you can be/

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Courage may be the most important of all virtues, because without it one cannot proactive any other virtue with consistence/

Women today are now coming into their own. They are their own heroes. The power to change their lives lies within them. However well accomplished a woman may be she takes on guilt and responsibility far more easily than a man does. She is conditioned to believe that everyone and everything is her responsibility. Sometimes, she forgets that she has a responsibility towards herself. Accept and love yourself because there is just one YOU!


‘Voyage to Varanasi’

I left everything behind. The unbearable noise of some angry young men, the screams of an unknown crowd as well the very loud train station fans and their monotonous melody, all were behind me! I was running at such speed that if my friend didn’t hold on to  my bag tightly while pulling it, I might have fallen on the floor along with the porter who was magically carrying six-seven bags! However we safely arrived at the train departure platform. Once again I promised myself never to photograph just before a journey as every time I forget the schedule and have to rush like I did that day.

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Between hundreds of trains I was searching my Vibhuti Express. The destination is Varanasi. I pushed my head forward and suddenly some small fingers held my hand. We were both scared! The small child mistakenly holds my hand. We laughed together! We all were searching the desired Vibhuti Express. I felt a great thirst to take picture in this super busy station with its very very interesting compositions that were calling me. But then reaching the Vibhuti Express was more important than any composition. It is a known truth that when you are anticipating something with all your heart it will never come easy! The train is three hours late!

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My friend closed his eyes and was resting a bit. I was resting my eyes by watching people. To see people up close and from a distance is my old habit/hobby. I was praying that the train might arrive earlier so that I could explore Varanasi in the early morning. I was afraid that I was going to lose the morning light. In front of me everyone was rushing recklessly. They were scared to miss….scared to lose…scared not to reach. But finally when they were seated in the train, they were all looking behind again and again. All of us love to go ahead, but we also feel happy to see behind us. To know how far we have come! The nagging old man sitting beside me laughed for the first time; yes, the much desired ‘Vibhuti Express’ finally arrived!

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We departed the station at 8 P.M and were supposed to reach Varanasi by next morning 8:00 A.M. But the excessively slow train took 22 hours and we reached our destination at 6:00 P.M in the next evening. I knew I had lost the light but still there was some hope to catch a bit of it. I jumped out as soon as the train stopped. But there is something called luck and it had decided that I am going to have a slow day. The puller of the rickshaw that we took was driving round and round, and just as slow as our train had been. It took 45 minutes to reach a distance that normally takes 15 minutes. I was so sad when I opened my hotel room’s door. I went directly to the window and after opening it I slowly whispered, ‘I can wait my entire lifetime to take images of such colour, such an old place, with such mystery that no words can properly describe it!’

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Next to my window four eyes were curiously looking at me. A monkey couple was wondering about me so as I was of them. They were hand in hand. I smiled and try to offer friendship but they were confused and then they were holding hands even tighter. The night was falling and I was writing beside the window. Suddenly I saw the couple looking at me through the window glass, so close that I could touch them. Our friendship was established. Before I went to bed it started raining. While closing the window I saw, under magical light that the monkey couple were sleeping while embracing each other! I stood for some moments. The world’s most fortunate people are those who get their loved one by their side. And the most unfortunate are those who never get the chance to feel the warmth of love!

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I wake up at 3 A.M and I was in the Galis and the Ghats of Varanasi by 4 A.M. There I was – in Varanasi, the place that magnetically attracts me all the time. I started taking images enthusiastically. Varanasi – the land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. This is the most blindingly colourful, unrelentingly chaotic and magnificently compelling places on earth.


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I felt brilliantly alive there. Its sights, sounds, and colors brought me immediately into a different place; absorbing me into its endlessly fascinating spectacle of ritual activity. It is situated along the west bank of the holy Ganga River in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is considered as the holiest place amongst the Hindus. It always seems a magical place to me. The spiritual Ghats (steps down into the river) and the alluring Galis (a maze of narrow alleyways) are my main enticements.

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Because of the rainy season the stairs of Ghats were under water. Ghat’s are the series of steps leading down to a holy river. In Varanasi, you will find around 100 Ghats. Each of the Ghats has different name, history and importance. It is quite interesting to walk along the Ghats especially in winter. But during this visit I spend time discovering Galis. Extremely narrow; the play of lights and shadows inside a Gali is very interesting. But I was very alert while I was entering inside unknown Galis and I suggest not going alone.


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Since Varanasi is one of the holiest destinations for Hindus, it is very common to find various rituals going on throughout the year in this place. But my fascination was the people and their portraits. Streets of Varanasi are full of many enticing stories. I shot the whole day. Still I did not find enough time to click at as many subjects as I wanted to.

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On the last day of my visit it was raining in the morning. I went out in the rain by just covering my camera with plastic and my head with a handkerchief. I was going to leave this city which is considered to be over 3,000 years old. The majestic light was shining behind the clouds. I saw astonishingly how gracefully the morning light removes all the dirt from the sky. While watching this I wished all the sorrows and suffering of the world would end like this with the light of humanity! To be able to discover such light I could  come back here a thousand times and I would not mind another 22 hour voyage to return to magnetic Varanasi!

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‘My Genie’

It was too boring when Maa used to stare at me while I was eating. I repeatedly taunted her, ‘Why are you staring Maa?’ While putting her portion of fish on my plate she always ignored my question and said, ‘I know you are still hungry’. I showed anger to her but I know no mother cares about her child’s anger. Late at night the lock of the back door used to open instantly to the sound of my my silent footsteps. When Abba burst out in anger and the hell with my bloody photography, Maa for the first time miraculously raised her low voice and faithfully said, ‘Photos are good. Have you seen any one else to do such work in the area?!’ Our small area was the world to her and I was the hero. Maa was the only fascinated listener of my fairy photo-world-tour tales.

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To me she always seemed ‘simplest’ than the word ‘simple’. At mid-night when I felt suffocated in sleeplessness my mother appeared at my bed side with hot milk in her favorite silver glass. I never felt surprised or ever questioned her how she knew I was wake in the middle of the night. Returning home from a heavy rain and getting hot lemon tea at my table was very normal. Or tasting Maa’s peculiar juices in the crazy summer never bagged her any special credit. But I know from my heart that she is my ‘Mother Genie’. She broke the mud coin bank that she secured with each paisa she had and that day said, ‘Go, get your photo prints’.

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Suddenly one day I realized there was no one… no one no more to be concerned about the sweat on my forehead. My Genie left me suddenly without telling me a good bye. If I would have known I have to now walk a long road without her, I would have told  her a lot of untold stories. I sure would have told her, the photography that I love more than my life is as important to me as her; I love her more than that photography. Maa is no more. That’s why I keep searching Maa everywhere.

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A sister in a brothel used to send letters to her mother with fake address by putting small words, ‘Maa Goo your Pakhi’. Like me she also knows mothers never give up. They will wait until their children arrive. Exactly like the mothers of the Old Age Home who are crossing through their 80 s and still praying for their children from nuclear families that they may live in happiness.

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For bringing light into the face of their children of early ages these mothers went down in the garbage, worked in dusky brick fields, showered in cold sweats as mothers do. Their tired bodies never take rest even after returning homes. They did the shopping on the way to their home and cooked rice and Daal. By lining up their four to six children they checked carefully if all of them are well or not. A few mothers, even after being beaten by the fathers everyday kept their children in their lap and dreamt of an impractical reality for them.


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Children well known the God has gifted special power to their mothers. That power comes out in love, patience, sacrifice. But what do Mothers gets? Can’t we do something for the mother who never wants anything for themselves? The mother who is giving a new life to us everyday can’t we warm her with our affection?

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Why still today mothers get humiliated at the corner of the house? On the floor of the Old Age Home? Or in the dirtiest hospital bed from negligence?


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‘An Unrest Soul : On Street Photography’

‘It was midnight, a night about 12 years ago. Year was 2002. It was six years after that I started photography. Without photography nothing was precious to me. I used to save each and every penny of mine to travel and to do photography from 1996. It was a mysterious, tiring night and I did not know what exactly happened to me. I was restless and I decided to destroy my past. I wanted to start a new start with my photography. I could not like my work anymore. I set fire in all negatives that hold images of mine. I destroy each and every image that I had. Maa run as mad and stood still at my window but did not say a word. She knows I love photography more than my life and when it was burning in front of my mother she was looking at me with deep sympathy. I ignored everything. Wept silently. I felt alone and I know this will be the beginning to search a new me. 18 years I am trying to depict images that I see through my soul with the same thirst that one day I could fulfill my inner emptiness’

– GMB Akash

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The place I like that I love to go very often. There are places where I went more than 100 times. Every time every place is different than my last visit. I would love to discover stories of my frames. Time changes face of place, people and in fact me. The same place that has been visited thousand times gift exclusive images with different layers.

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I can smell photograph. During walking in a street suddenly a place attract me magnetically. I can smell the right place and can smell my future photograph. I wait until I get the picture I want, the waiting makes it more interesting, my attempts make me more excellent. I wait hours and hours with happiness but no boredom. Because I am sure I will get something every very special. Even I spend one day in one place just to get one shot that will remain precious to me for lifetime.

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I am a nutty traveler. I never hide myself during I am photographing or traveling. I interact with the community whom I go to visit. I give them time to understand me and I take time to understand them. In any place you will find children and dogs first to welcome you. They will follow you and you have to win their hearts. If they accept you then the community will accept you. Documentary/travel/street whatever photography I am doing I always know I have to respect people and their thought. If someone refused me take picture I accept it with respect. I take photography when I feel the person is easy with me and in the time when I got an affirmative signal. After taking picture I show them and heard their comment. Sometime I take print with me to show them, surprise them. Small interactions make you confident as a communicator and a photographer. It is important to be trustable when you are a photographer. A small thanks and a big smile can win many hearts.

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I want to extend my territory as photographer. Roads are like my homes. Sometime people call me ‘Specialized tourist’, sometime ‘Documentary photographer’, sometime ‘Travel photographer’. This photographer me is nobody just a medium to bridge with the people I meet. I create bridge with people’s feelings, with their joys with their sorrows. I merge with their cries, laughs. I walk in the street and collect untold stories of people. Every place has different color, smell, sound. That attraction takes me again again. I am nobody of that place but I feel I left a part of me there with the people I photographed.

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‘I keep searching myself over and over again in all cities, footpaths and in streets, from country to countries. People forget about me, my face and my camera. As because I am not any part of their life. But I never can forget a single person I met in the road. I keep their pictures in my mind in my memory card. And I wish one day or one night again I will meet with any of them and will say how I kept their memories in my heart’ – GMB Akash

To Join in my upcoming street photography workshop in March 2014 please sign in at:

Making Photo Essays of the Street’ With David Bathgate and GMB Akash’

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“Factories of Death”

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“Drinking tears now is a daily menu to the people whose life collapsed with the building Rana plaza. In a stormy day when I arrived at hospital door I pulsed by the melancholy I encounter. No rain was not the reason, it was the pain in ever face which will haunt everybody long. Following continual screaming of a young girl I found her requesting mother to a reluctant nurse. As soon as my camera clicks the doctor arrived swiftly, not sure seeing camera or may be reminding patients call! Looking at hundred wounded bodies and hearing their screams it was hard to stand in the middle. But it is more important to share a bit of their unbelievable suffering in a small form. Thus my camera take place and I share their pain among you all”- GMB Akash


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Khadeza (18) was a kind of girl who laughed more than she talked. Her mother used to beat her for excess laughing. Now everyday her mother asks Khadeza to smile for a while but Khadeza only wipe off. Doctor prescribes her not to do any hard work at least for next six months. She will not be able to do any hard job in future. Her mother is not sure how long it will take to recover. She is one of the survivors of Rana plaza.

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It will take three more months to get physical recovery and six months she will not be allowed to do any hard work. Eighteen years old Shapla was working in textile factory for three years. She was in third floor while rescuer rescued her. Her one hand cut off while she was inside. Living with Several scars in all over her body, she sometime cannot recall her name. Her Husband Mehedul was inside the building for 72 hours but he came out harmless.

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Rebeka (20) been rescued after two nights of the incident. Dead body of her colleague was stumbled on her shoulder for a night. People threw water from the only hole and she sip water from the floor. Doctors cut her one leg and another leg is badly injured. Still she screamed full night in imagining the hospital building is falling on her. Her husband is beside her but helpless. Her mother and grandmother who worked in the same floor are missing and she is unaware of the news.

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Seeing them in the bed of hospital, no one can recognize that these workers – once upon a time used to work 7 am to 12am of the night. Life has treated them bitterest. Pains are unbearable to make anyone understand of it. Stepping out from the hospital I heard a woman telling that these workers will be much benefited. They will get 5 lac tk so this comes good for them. I can not stop myself and turn around, told her, can you cut off your hand if I give you 5 lac? I wonder how heartless some people can be!

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My journey continues so as the rain. When I stepped in the residential area of Rana plaza’s garments workers, I met Isa Mia, a boy who lost his brother in the incident. Her mother was crying in the door and after 20 days of the incident she can not eat anything properly. Isa himself a survivors but not depending much he taken me to meet Marium, the single mother who lost her hand. One after another I meet with all. I have dedicated my fees to them which come from published textile stories in different publication of mine. I encounter the pain. the urge, the pathetic emotions which words can never justify. I want to believe one day will come when these people will see their life in the ray of a sweet dream. & then I realize this is non sense. The reality is they will suffer and this is destiny. But I will run to them again and again, until I can take in some of their tears.

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After losing her right hand Textile worker Marium (27) lost in despair. Single mother Marium never spends two tk for buying a hair band as she knows her two children’s future is in her hands. Disable Marium shouts at night afraid of feeling dead bodies of workers friends are circling her. She spent one night and two days in the 6th floor of the collapsed building while her right hand injured under pillar. She started her job four years ago in that time she received 1200 tk monthly, now she lastly get 4500 tk monthly wage in New Wave star Ltd. a factory which was in 6th floor of Rana plaza. She lost her stability to think about her future. Still after near one month of the incident she did not receive any compensation from anyone instead of her last month salary.

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Blue is Aleya’s favorite color. In the morning she wore her new blue dress and told her young sister if she die who will wear the dress! Aleya’s (18) family was fully dependent on her income. She wants to educate her younger sister and alert her mother not to send her in textile factory. Heart patient father and kidney problem of mother forces Aleya to start work in her early age. Her mother asks her to married off soon but she reluctantly said straggle of her life will never come to an end. There was no money at home and she told her mother instead of dying in hunger it’s better to work in a cracked factory. She was sure God has given them enough sorrow and nothing will happen to her. Her believe proved wrong. Her family cannot even find her dead body parts after 17 days of searching everywhere. Neither have they received her salary nor compensation.

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A room call home is never a place of relaxation for textile workers. Often a room shared by 5/6 workers offer them the untidy floor to sleep. Their salary won’t make them able to go in a better place still after 5-6 years of their job straggles.

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“Even after losing one leg in the terrible incident the worker is begging for a sewing machine. She said, “Still I have two hands. & my children are hungry”. Alike her thousands workers keeps their dreams alive in their heart and goes to work on time. In spite of everything they are straggling happily to get a dream future knowing dream is a dream. But they never imagine nightmares will replace their dream and they obviously fall in concrete mattress. Incidents of Tazrin/ Rana plaza might wake up them from their dream. But still they say, hunger is ugly than death”

– GMB Akash

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‘Low-priced Slaves’

Nargis fainted three times while she could not find her mother in the derbies of nine storied building. It’s been a day and a night she is frantically checking around hospital, in each corner of destructed building and hundreds smashed dead bodies. But where is Nargis mother’s existence? Hundreds of weeping mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife and children were like mad for searching their beloved faces. The population who are the backbone of the family, of the country their bones cracked under wretched concrete. Knowing still hundreds people are breathing inside the dreadful collapsed building helpless thousands mass people came out with their humanity. Rescuing living being or carrying out dead bodies but nothing evaporates tears of people who experienced such frightening circumstances. The deadly trap eat out lives of thousands workers who never might thought of loosing life as prey of capitalism greed. Many workers leave their breathe waiting to hear a call of rescuer. Many female worker’s hand or leg trapped under stone while they are still alive and asking rescuer to cut their hand and take off. What to do and how to do? The traumatized nation has no word in mind to speak. Sharif after finding cracked half body parts of his 21 years younger brother screamed “My brother never do any harm to any body. Why Allah punishes him, why? Because we are poor, we are useless to Allah, we are useless to riches, and because we are bloody workers”.

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Some 3,500 people were in the Rana Plaza building in Savar, some 30km (20 miles) outside Dhaka, when it collapsed suddenly on Wednesday morning 24th April. The first three floors of the building, located in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, contained around 300 shops. At least four garment factories — New Wave Bottoms, Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tack and Ethar Textile — occupied higher levels, employing around 3,500 people. Building showed cracks on Tuesday, but all garments workers forced to go to work on Wednesday threatening to cut off salaries. & the devastating accident happened

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Local hospitals were overwhelmed with the arrival of more than 2,000 injured Textile workers. Victims were still calling for help from among the piles of shattered concrete slabs, according to rescue workers and volunteers, as hope began to fade for hundreds still trapped.  And the death toll had reached 400. After putting the conclusion that no more workers can be alive rescuer workers are now using heavy equipment to clear the site and officials expect the number of casualties to rise as hundreds of people remain missing.

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Around 4 million people are employed in Bangladesh’s 4,500 textile factories. The industry generates 80% of the country’s $24 billion annual exports — making Bangladesh the world’s second largest clothing exporter after China — yet wages remain as low as $37 per month for workers spending 15-hour shifts in sweatshop conditions.

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“What to describe and what to write! All I could see were dead bodies all surround me. A silent anger, unbearable pain and helplessness had frozen my finger to click. Besets dead bodies and their each drop of blood asking me to tape their vulnerable death memoir to show the people around the world, how painfully they left the world. And I can not rest until I can spread their pains of deaths. Shouts slaughtered under concrete. How many times we will remain mute and hollow out graves! Why world’s most innocent souls has to be always trapped as vulnerable victims! Their souls will never rest in peace until we know how dreadfully they died without telling their last wish”

– GMB Akash

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Ashes of Souls

“A silent burial ground, where may be the ashes of wounded souls are still encircling. Broken pieces of brunt smashed tiles with countless busted glasses can tell the tale how staircases could not save hundreds of scorched living beings. Imagining myself at the place of these unfortunate garments workers who burnt alive, I felt vulnerable. Shoes, bangles or an unfinished ironed cloth in the stand or the half eaten evening tiffin are standing witness, how workers died helplessly. Pieces of glass bangles all over the floor, as mostly female workers had faced the tragedy, were witness of a violent disaster those no one of them even seen in nightmares. & thus by facing fire they lost their existence in burning blaze” – GMB Akash