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: http://www.gmbakashworkshop.com

If you are interested to join this exclusive program send an email to know detail at: akashphoto@gmail.com

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.

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

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

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/gmbakash

Website: http://www.gmb-akash.com/home

Photography Workshop: http://www.gmbakashworkshop.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gmbakash/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gmbakash/

Blog: https://gmbakash.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GmbAkash

Dark Alleys

“These disorders — schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, depression, addiction — they not only steal our time to live, they change who we are. In the time period of working with drug addict, I encounter tremendous shiver in thought of helplessness that how they are silently dying in these dark alleys and there is no dark Knight to hold them straight only we are here to celebrate the funeral of these fallen stars”_GMB Akash

Drug addiction is a major social evil in Bangladesh, affecting thousands of young people and their families. There are thousands of addicted people in Bangladesh and most of them are young, between the ages of 18 and 30 from all walks of life. Drug addiction in young Bangladeshis is mainly seen because of reasons like depression. People try to remove depression using drugs as a tool. And this is how they become addicts.

Drug users are taking drugs by sharing same needle with each other. Injecting drug users have few places to turn, and they are one of the groups most at risk of contracting and spreading HIV. Heroin is mostly smoked within aluminum foil or cigarette paper, but in Bangladesh this is injected. Injections through infected needles can cause diseases of the liver, brain, heart, lungs and spinal cord. Estimates of the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh range from 2,500 to 15,000 most of them are affected while taking drugs. A Heroin addict may need about Taka 500 worth of the drug a day. They neglect the needs of the family, and those are non-earning may sell off family assets. They also go out on the streets for mugging and dacoit.

“Rickshaw driver Mohammad Bashir has been addicted to heroin for most of the last 13 years. His habit cost him his job and put an enormous strain on his family. Like most addicts, he often uses shared needles. Police has caught him in the spot, members of his addict team has managed to fly. But police caught him, while he is continually requesting police to leave him in the word of his promise that he will not inject him any more with drugs”

Drug addiction is increasing among the street children who live without a family, love and care. Bangladeshi youth are ‘huffing’ shoe glue, a drug locally called ‘Dandi’, which is seriously harmful to mental and physical health. Up to 17 percent of street children in capital Dhaka are addicted to drugs. Children as young as 10 years old are also experimenting with alcohol, phensidyl, Heroin, Baba, Ganja, pethedrine, and other forms of available drugs. For managing the money for drags these children spends all their earnings on drugs. Some time they beg whole day in the street and end of the day spends everything on drugs.

“Bitter experiences are there too. I visit all danger territory where these addicted people living senselessly. Few of them try to beat me sometime, few of them tied me with their arms and cried and cried, few of them burst out in depression and few of them wants to end their sufferings. But this is cycle of unbearable torment which has no end. In a world with chaos and hunger, everything becomes a guerrilla struggle. It becomes almost impossible to save lives or grow dreams sometime. But yet these lives deserve our affection, attention and sympathy. No medicine is as effective as love to them. “– GMB Akash

GMB Akash

Photojournalist and Profile Photographer at Panos Pictures, London

Founder of GMB Akash Institute of Photography, Dhaka

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/gmbakash

Website: http://www.gmb-akash.com/home

Photography Workshop: http://www.gmbakashworkshop.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gmbakash/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gmbakash/

Blog: https://gmbakash.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GmbAkash

Being Human

Be the reason someone smiles, someone feels loved and believes in the goodness of humanity. Life is a beautiful journey between a Human Being and Being Human. Let’s take at least one step each day to cover the distance.

Sharing ten real life stories of humanity

Featured first on my Facebook page: GMB Akash


I had never seen any love or care for us in anyone’s eyes. When I work people give me a feeling that I came out from Hell.  We cannot sit anywhere to have a cup of tea. People look at us like they look at dirt. There were days when I hid my tears after being insulted by strangers for no reason.  I was sure there was no love left in this world for the poor.

Ten years ago, I was working beside a children’s school. My job was to clean the drain and repair the site. We blocked the road and it was taking a few days so the children had to walk to their school. I attentively did my work every day without noticing anyone who could again insult my job. One day a little girl arrived, smiling widely at me and said, ‘Why are you so dirty?’ Before I could say anything, her father dragged her away by saying, she should never talk to strangers. I felt horrible; imagined he must be telling her daughter how disgusting workers like me were. And then for a week, she came to me every time with same question, why was I so dirty. I never got a chance to speak as her father was always there to drag her away. I could not sleep those nights by thinking about a beautiful reply, ‘why I am dirty’. The poor cannot be clean all the time; we are born in dirt, raise in dirt and die in dirt and no one cares when a dirty thing left the world. I could not say any of this to her. I wanted to quickly finish the job and never wanted to see the girl ever again.

On the last day when we were finishing the work, it was Ramadan afternoon. I was very tired and down. The school was closed and the baby girl did not arrive. I felt relieved, packed everything and was about to leave when suddenly I saw the little girl coming to me by running. She could not breathe properly when she arrived. I was waiting to hear the same question, but she did not say anything and just smiled. Then I asked her where her father is. She showed me a car parked far from us. I waited to hear the same thing. And then she opened her mouth, ‘Uncle, do you like the color red?’ By bringing a packet from behind her she put it in my hand. Her father honked the horn and she quickly said, ‘I cannot clean drain, but I can help you to be clean. This shirt is for you, Uncle.’ I could not say a word and she rushed when her father repetitively honked. The girl left me in tears. She proved to me, humans still care for humans. I do not know where she is now; what she might be doing. I pray to God every day, wherever that little angle is, may God clean all the dirt from her life.

–  Shohrab


I am very thankful to Allah. I have a home to sleep in, food to eat, children to love. There are homeless people who are living near this train station who suffer from the cold at night; beg for food in afternoon; have no one to look after them. When I see them I stop complaining to Allah about the little problems I have. Though I live in this vulnerable house, eat rice and lentils for lunch or dinner and suffer from illness, I am grateful to The Almighty for all the blessings he has given me.

But I have never done anything for anyone. Poverty made me unable to do something for the people who are less fortunate than me. This thought gives me pain all the time.  I often think, what I will take with me when I will die.

Also, I do not know, if I can manage to live another winter or not. People of my age badly suffered this time. No one notices us. When you are old and poor, you suffer silently because there will be no one to hear your pain, no one will come to you to give you warmth. In this crucial season, some of us gather together beside a fire every morning; all of us are waiting for our deaths because every winter one of us is dying. Last year, Safura died from pneumonia. We do not know who will leave us this year.

Life is not easy for me. I have never had any new cloth, but that is okay, there are many people of my age who even do not expect what I have. A few days ago for the first time in my life, I received a winter Shawl. I was not able to open and wear it for days. I keep looking at it and when I decided to wear it, I saw Mariyum, my ninety-year-old neighbor, who does not even have a proper saree. I gifted my shawl to her. I badly want her to survive this winter. If my shawl can keep her warm for some time than it will be the best reward of my life. And what about me? I can manage with this old shawl….and when I feel too cold I do prayers; you can believe it or not, when I pray I feel warm. – Morsheda Begum


Every Friday for almost seven years along my grandma, I continue to go places and I ask people, ‘Do you know me?’ Some days I felt tired and asked her to return. But she always held me, kissed my forehead and asked me to ask the same question to more people. Most of the days we only have green chili to eatwith rice. My grandma is a beggar; she has severe knee pain. She made a wooden stroller for herself and sometimes I push her all the way while begging.  She continually told me I need to find my parents. I feel horrible when she tells me one day she will find my parents and then she will give me back to them. But she has no idea how much I enjoy her cuddling and I know no one other than her. But she is always reminding me that I have a family somewhere.

I was lost at the age of three. My grandma found me on the roadside, crying alone in the middle of strangers. No one was able to tell her who was I and except her everyone left me alone on the road. She took me to the local mosque and waited there with me for a week. I had no memory of these things. I am familiar with only the mosque where she forces me to go every Friday along with her. My grandma nicely kept my cloths which I was wearing when I was lost. I continue to walk miles with her and asking people if they know me.

She sent me to school but I hated the place where everyone asked me about my lost parents and how I feel being raised by a beggar. There was a question in the book, ‘What does your father do?’ And I answered ‘I do not know’. My teacher punished me for writing that. Then I never went back to school again. I started working for my grandma, because I do not want her to beg with her knee pain. I do not like when people yelled at her by asking us to leave. While one day my grandma was feeding me I asked her if she can live without me. Then she started crying and replied she has no one in this world without me. After that I stopped asking the question, ‘Do you know me?’ I do not want anyone to know me, my grandmother is my everything and I only want her to know me well. – Abdullah



I cannot sleep at night because of the pain in my knees. I have to carry 1000 bricks every day and then I get 100 taka. I cannot rest at night because at this moment I am suffering from cold and fever. But I have to work for myself and Munia. My husband brought his second wife Munia when my son was one year old. You will not understand how it feels to see your husband living in the same room with another woman. I hated her so much! Ten years ago in a bus accident my husband died and Munia lost her legs. Now for all these years I am taking care of Munia; whatever I earn I spend for both of us. Relatives tell me many times to throw Munia from my home but I can’t. Like me she has no one to go to. My only son never comes to see me. I know very well how it feels to be abandoned – Lijiya (50)


When I arrived from my village I was seven years old. To get one piece of bread I turned into a dog. Whenever I looked into the sky I felt my world was moving very fast, everything was buzzing all around me. I looked into the dustbin; saw how people were throwing food with filth. I wanted to run and snatch the leftover food from their hands; I imagined how good it would feel to have all that food. I wanted to say, ‘do not throw it away’, ‘please give it to me’. But people were stranger to me; they looked at me like the way they looked at a stray dog. I was hungry for two days and two nights. I drank very little water. Whenever I sipped water I felt I would vomit. Water tasted bitter and I was day dreaming for some food. Then I went to the contractor and told him I could transport five hundred bricks; he just had to give me some food. He looked at me and said, I was of no use for him, because he could count the bones on my body. Then what he saw in me I do not know. He gave me the first chance. That day when I had food I felt nothing in this world has meaning without food. My contractor asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up. I touched my plate and said, ‘When I will grow old, I will share my food’. It’s been twenty years every day I am feeding two hungry children: one in the afternoon, and another during dinner. I have no idea from where these hungry children came to me. They also know they are only welcome for one time. After having food they will be asked to write down the name of Pagla Hasan. Many times I smiled to myself after realizing they do not often recognize that I am the Hasan. They only know there is a Hasan who feeds hungry children. I thank God every time when I touch my food. There is no greater pain than hunger. When these children eat beside me I see myself in them. I feel so content when they burp and smile after having a peaceful meal. People of this world have no idea how valuable two grains of rice is for a hungry stomach.

– Hasan


Billu was injured when I found him beside the train track. He was walking with pain and looking at me for help. I am from a very poor family. Even sometimes, my housemaid mother has to beg for rice so that she can equally feed her three daughters. Taking a cat as a pet does not suit beggars. I looked away and tried to cross the road by ignoring him. When I looked back I saw him looking at me with despair. Then helplessly I went back and embraced him.

We, three sisters hid him from my mother’s eyes for three days. Then one morning, we woke up when amma was screaming in anger. Billu tried to sleep in her cozy blanket and when she screamed in surprise he peed on it. My mother briskly took him and headed for the rail line; three of us begged her not to throw Billu away but she listened to no one. The whole day none of us ate anything….with great surprise Billu returned to us secretly at night by himself. The next morning, my mother took him to a far away place. And informed us the cat could never be able to find us again. But the genius came back again. And again my mother furiously took him with her and left him in a place that we never heard of before. That night we were wide awake to welcome him at home but he did not come back.

The next day, we did not take any food or water, including my mother. During the evening she rushed to search for Billu, by skipping her work. My mother found Billu injured in the same place she had left him. Local people informed her some boys had beaten up him for fun. My mother spent her one month salary on Billu and because of our care he is now fat and naughty.  I asked amma, why she allowed him to be with us. She said, our father left us in an abandoned place and fled because he never wanted daughters. She could never do the same even with an animal. Billu is now our naughty brother, who eats most of our food and sleeps only with my mother. – Rojina



I am a care taker of a mosque. It was my mother’s wish that I should spend my life in the path of Allah. I accepted it after her death. I studied in the village Maktab and took the responsibility of taking care of the mosque I am serving now. I have met different kinds of people the last twenty years. Some are very pious, some are not, some tell lies all the time, some always speak the truth, some help the poor from their heart, some just want to show off. But I met someone whose story I will never forgot. He used to always arrive at the mosque first in the morning. I have never seen him talk to anyone ever. He was not even from our area. Every day after prayers when everyone left the mosque he stayed there and spent hours there by crying alone. Many days I had goosebumps and wondered what made this man so sorrowful. Eventually I learnt that he is a very rich man who lives far away from our place. He established a mosque, a madrassa, a school and an old persons’ home. He has everything that a man can only dream of. After knowing all this I became more interested in knowing the reason of his arrival in this particular mosque and what made him cry so much. One day when he was distributing clothes and food among beggars and the poor, with all my courage I questioned him. He was looking at me for some time and then surprisingly, he said he will answer me the next morning. I could not even sleep that night. That morning when everyone left, he came and sat with me. Then I got to know what I did not even imagine in my worst dreams. The man was left outside this mosque when he was five to seven days old. When his father (who eventually adopted him) came for his Fazaar Prayer he saw a dog trying to open the tie of a folded cloth and started to push towards him. He went there and opened the cloth where he found the baby boy fighting with death and not responding. Without finishing his prayer he took the baby to a doctor while the Imam helped him all the way. The man who had no child adopted him afterward, and tried hard to find the baby boy’s actual parents. But there was no trace of his identity. They raised him perfectly; he is following Islam with all his heart. But since the day he knew about this truth, he was no longer able to rest in peace. He wanted to know from where he had come, who were his parents, why someone wanted to kill him and threw him in the road. He was wrapped by a mustard coloured cloth which implies that he might not even be a Muslim by birth. When he was talking to me about this I lost the words on how to console him but I tried with my heart. I told him, ‘You are the best human being I have ever met. Know that Allah knows everything and whatever happened to you, there must be a reason for that. You should not spend a single day with this thought of sadness which is insulting your current parents’ love and Allah’s love for you. If you believe in their love, you will not hurt your heart anymore. Please do not come to this place ever again; it will not let you forget your past.’ He did not answer me and left. Since that day, he never came here again, I do not know if I did right or wrong, but I felt being human should be our first identity, and all I wanted was to ease his pain as another human.

– Jainal Abedin (36)


The time I needed my family’s support, they left me alone. I was vulnerable and heartbroken. At that time Potu’s mother gave me shelter. Despite our religious differences, differences of my cast and creed, she treated me as a family member. No one ever talked to me nicely but Potu’s mother was the one who showered me love and respect. I celebrated Eid with her and she gifted me new clothes in my puja. I know how difficult it was for her to take me into their house after facing economic and social problems. But she often said Allah is the one to judge, not the people. She passed away while giving birth to Potu. For me he is my blood grandson. I taught him everything his mother should teach him if she would be alive. Every morning I wake him up for his prayers. I will give him the love that I learned from his amazing mother. Now he is my world.

– Al-Amin’s (Potu) grandma       


No one has any concern. Even if somebody dies, even if the whole world gets destroyed, no one really cares! What kind of times are we are all living in? Human are no longer human! Now people do not think of anything else but themselves.  After one hour of continuous efforts, I alone brought the fire under control. To bring water I had to cross the bridge and fell so many times, but no one came to help to stop the fire. ‘The fire will not harm my house even if the whole area is destroyed.’ That was the attitude of all viewers.  By neglecting our requests, factories, tanneries throw wastage here daily; they do not even care for school-going children. Today may be someone’s cigarette created this fire and it might destroy the whole area. Even my neighbor stopped me from coming here, lightly advised, ‘why endanger your own life for others’? What’s wrong with us? I am very tired; I am very depressed, I feel ashamed as a human being to see how hundreds of people find entertainment by watching me from far, without helping a bit’

– Sumon (27)


‘I lost many things in my life and by standing at the end of my life, now I can tell you how I gained everything back that I had lost. My husband died when during flood, a tree had fallen on him. I was standing just ten feet away from him in water. That night, I was seven months pregnant. After losing my husband, my house and everything I had, I felt like committing suicide. But I became a mother after waiting for twelve years for a child. I had to survive for my child, so I came to the city to search for work. After so many struggles I gave birth to my son. The midwife told me, my son had problems and asked me to be prepared for his death. When he died after seven days, I had no one beside me and had no money. Even if you die you need money but no one came forward to help me. Only some orphan-street children gave me money, so I could do his last work. After I buried him when I returned to my hut, I didn’t cry. From that day, I no longer look behind at what I had lost. Since that day, for thirty years, I have feed one orphan each day from my food. I lost my child but I kept giving the portion of his love to every miserable child I met on my way.


For the last five years, I have been suffering from tuberculosis and heart problems. Now all those orphan children grew up and are taking care of me. I lost one child but now I have hundred’ – Maa Asha

‘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.

Many Miles Many Smiles (2)

Many Miles Many Smiles (6)

Many Miles Many Smiles (7)

Many Miles Many Smiles (18)

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.

Many Miles Many Smiles (5)

Many Miles Many Smiles (8)

Many Miles Many Smiles (9)

Many Miles Many Smiles (10).jpg

Many Miles Many Smiles (1)

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.

Many Miles Many Smiles (12)

Many Miles Many Smiles (13)

Many Miles Many Smiles (14)

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!’

Many Miles Many Smiles (3)

Many Miles Many Smiles (4)

Many Miles Many Smiles (20)

Many Miles Many Smiles (21)

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.

Many Miles Many Smiles (19)

Many Miles Many Smiles (17)

Many Miles Many Smiles (16).jpg

Many Miles Many Smiles (15)

Many Miles Many Smiles (22)

Smoke and Ashes

Rozina counts every day for six months running. Her family starts working long before the sun rises even when her small kids are remaining in the deepest sleep. She feels bad about calling them for work but like every day she cruelly has to do it. Everyone comes to have breakfast when the rice is still in the process of cooking. She rapidly waves her hand and lets the fire rise. During this time she quietly thinks about their time in the village that is far far away from this isolated brick field. She recalls her abandoned home and acutely feels a need to see the village sooner. But her urge quickly vanishes when she also remembers those days of starvation. Jalil sleeps in the bed that is made by gathering brick after brick. Rozina tried to hide those bricks by a flowery bed cover. Razina and Jalil have been married for ten years. Along with their five-year daughter and six year old son her family comes to work in this brick filed for six months in every year. 

Five years old Sadia is working in the brick field for first time. Along her, seven members of the family are serving in the brick field to repay their loan. Sadia’s job is to dry 5000 bricks every day. For such seven days work she weekly gets 250 taka ($3). Sadia who once used to be naughty now hardly talk. She only smiles when after working she finishes collecting coal for her family.

akash (2)

akash (6)The houses that have been built by brick field owners are home to 100 brick field workers’ families. Just like Rozina they are living in hope of returning to their village one day. No one decorates their house. If a family buys any new item it goes into a box and it remain there until they get a final call to go back to their real home in the village. Rozina’s red bangles, her daughter’s new shoes, boy’ toy; everything goes into the trunk. She also keeps some precious things of her mother-in-law who dies last year from tuberculosis. Everyone says her mother-in-law died because she worked in the brick filed. Rozina does not believe it. Once the whole family strived for three days and no one died that time. Death is written by fate. This brick field is a way for them to survive; a way to feed themselves and their children.

akash (3)

akash (10)

akash (11)

akash (5)

The sound of songs awakens the brick field locality. The brick field workers start working. They are used to listening to songs from their mobile phones. The rhythm of the songs motivates them to work. Rahmat Miah has been working in brick field for seventeen years. The day he started understanding life he found himself in the brick field. During childhood he used to help his father for transferring bricks or lining the piles. Till today he does not do any work other than working in brick field. After carrying 5000 bricks he can manage to earn 200 taka for doing the bazaar shopping for his family. Sometimes he could save a little amount after cutting all costs. But his body does not help him much. Every month he has to take leave for 4-5 days because of illness then he has to spend out of that precious savings for food or medicine.

akash (8)

akash (9)

akash (13)

akash (12)

Men, women and children everyone remains busy in the brick field. Sometimes when the sun goes up in the overhead a few older men or women fall to the ground. Then they get an hour break. They have to carry or shift or line up 5000-10000 bricks every day. However they loudly chat in a half an hour break. They smoke and talk about the economy and the politics. Women generally rest in silence and sometimes go to their quarters to do quick house chores. Children work continuously. It seems that working is some kind of important game. Small Minara who is just four years old collects coal from the brick field. Why does she collect coal? After a long silence she replies boldly, ‘This is my job’.

akash (7)

akash (20)

akash (23)

akash (15)

During the one hour lunch break they eat a lot. Three plates of rice and lentil is their daily lunch menu. Men who are living with their families eat with them; those who came alone to the brick field eat in groups of men. A few go to take a quick nap. This is a kind of moment when they will not speak or hear a single word. All are tired, very very tired. Life goes on; work starts again after break.

akash (28)

akash (16)

akash (29)

akash (14)

akash (26)

Smoke and ashes blow everywhere. Workers’ bodies turn black in smoke and ashes and their feet turn black like coal. Still they continue to work in a dreamless brick field. In the middle of this Rozina dreams to go back to her village. Rahmat tries hard to save a few pennies, the children continue to collect coal. Very Far from the town the workers of the brick field continue to work to build our urban world.

akash (27)

akash (22)

akash (24)

‘Chain of Love’

Life was never easy for Jarina Begum. During childhood she lost her parents in the Kamplapur railway station. She had no memory of her childhood. Lonely Jarina’s struggle never takes a break. After living here and there at the age of twelve, people from her locality gave her a marriage with Ismail. She knew nothing about family life though she started to dream. A few years went well. This was the best time of her life. But when her only son died at the age of twelve her family was shattered. Her husband got involved in drugs. Her happiness lost in darkness. She again gets back her hope during her second pregnancy. ‘Mali’ arrives as an angel in her life. She started dreaming about having a normal life again. But fate was not on Jarina’s side. She discovered when Mali was two years old that she is mentally disabled. Also when Mali was two Jarina’s husband died from taking  excess drugs. Till today ‘Disabled Mali’ is the reason to live Jarina’s Life.

Chain of affection (1)

Chain of affection (12)

Chain of affection (9)

Now Jarina is only Mali’s maa. Mali behaves like a child at the age of thirteen. She has very slow mental growth. Jarina has to connect her to a chain so that she cannot flee alone while her mother went to work. She was lost twice while Jarina went to work. The tragedy of Jarina losing her own parents is like a nightmare for her. She does not want to lose Mali again. After finding her, she found a way to keep Mali at their place. She chained her with a long chain. She goes to work in the morning and works madly while feeling the tension of Mali. She collects paper from the road. She carefully crosses the road everyday as she knows if she died there is no one for Mali. With cloudy eyes Jarina said, ‘I put a chain on her leg and put a stone in my heart’. While she was saying this, Mali untied her pajama bottoms and squatted to do her toilet. Jarina swiftly wnt there and covered her daughter with a cloth. Mali is Jarina’s world.

Chain of affection (5)

Chain of affection (7)

Chain of affection (3)

Jarina dreams one day Mali will be okay. Sometimes she gets upset thinking, if Mali could be like other girls, she could help her with earning a living; she could understand how hard it is to work feverishly. But Mali understands nothing. She can only feel the touch of love, the smile of affection. When Jarina ties her hair Mali gives kisses on her mother’s cheeks. When Jarina is feeding her, Mali takes some rice and puts in her mother’s mouth. They have nothing; no home, and no furniture and no utensils with which to cook. This mother and daughter have only love that is sheltering them so far.

Chain of affection (10)

Chain of affection (11)

Chain of affection (6)


As street people, Jarina and Mali have nothing. They only possess a few household materials that Jarina ties up and hides in a neighbor’s place because Mali cannot take care of anything while her mother goes to work. The neighbors of Jarina help her when she goes to work. They look out for Jarina if someone comes to disturb disabled Mali. The neighbor Kalpona said, ‘There is no one for this mother and daughter. They are living for each other. We see no one like Jarina who is doing this much for Mali. We pray for their happiness.’

Chain of affection (14)

Chain of affection (13)

Chain of affection (8)

Jarina Begum has now only one dream in life: to educate Mali in order to give her a normal life and to see her as an able person. Jarina pointed at the pen and drawing paper of Mali and said, ‘If there is any heartfelt person who could admit her to a school for the disabled then I can I die in peace’. While embracing Mali, Jarina lastly said, ‘Pray for us so that we, the mother and daughter, can die together. Why is life so painful?’

Chain of affection (2)

Chain of affection (4)

Chain of affection (15)

Chain of affection (16)

‘Feet tell stories’

Brick field (15)

Brick field (16)

Brick field labouer’s feet tell their tales. Thousands of men, women and children continue tolling in the open brick fields. Their muddy clothes, smudged coal colored skins and bare feet tell the tale about how everyday they are fighting to live a life. I continue to search their stories of struggle about how their hope transform into despair. Once a labourer stopped me to take his portrait and asked me to take an image of his feet and said, ‘Show our feet. It’s enough to explain what we are up to.’

Brick field (1)

Brick field (2)

Under the baking hot tropical sun, Moriyum (7 years old) continues to collect coals in the most perilous conditions even though everyone goes to lunch. Just after shifting 1000 bricks to dry in the sun, Moriyum’s brother Mohsin (9 years old) also goes to lunch. But Moriyum continued to collect coal for her family.

Brick field (18)Brick field (19)

Working children are a common sight at the brickworks as they regularly employ entire families – who oftentimes make their homes on site. Education is a luxury for Bangladesh’s rural poor with children often earning their keep as soon as they can walk. Ranging in age from young children to grandparents, they work long hours to mix out millions of bricks to fuel construction boom that shows no signs of abating. The high chimneys of brick fields are snot only pouring grey smoke into the air but also blowing it into labourer’s lungs. All of the brick fields are located along rivers. Millions of bricks are burned here. Almost all bricks are made using a 150-year-old technology. Soil is mixed with water, formed into bricks using wooden forms, then left to dry in the sun before being burned in traditional kilns. The process is done almost entirely by hand.

Brick field (3)Brick field (4)Brick field (5)

Kohinoor who was balancing the heavy loads atop her head said, ‘We work like slaves. And we die like slaves.’ Kohinoor’s mother-in-law died last year while working in the brick filed. Another woman who has worked a decade in the field was badly suffering from tuberculosis and headaches. Kohinoor added, ‘We know we will die by working here, but we have no option.’

Brick field (6)

Brick field (7)

Brick field (8)

Brick-making provides a better income than agriculture or other jobs available in rural Bangladesh, but it is dangerous and often devastating to workers’ health. Accidents are common and workers have no protective gear except save for what they are able to cobble together themselves. 

Brick field (9)Brick field (10)

By balancing the heavy loads atop their heads, workers must carry the raw mud to the brick making area are where skilled artisans shape it using brick moulds filled by hand. However, the millions of workers who make the bricks face harsh and uncertain conditions. Brick field labourer Makbul said, ‘Everything tastes like mud. I taste mud in my mouth, tongue, throat everywhere.’ By showing the feet of Makbul’s friend, Jasim said, ‘We are brick human. We have feet like coal.’

Brick field (11)Brick field (13)

Like Makbul and Jashim, hundreds of men come with their families during the brick session in the brick fields. They made their temporary shelter near the brick field in the place given by the brick field owner. The mud house’s bed is made by brick after brick and then putting plastic over the bricks where they rest and sleep. They took loan from the brick field owner which and continue to pay it back by giving labour with full family. Small children of each family works to dry thousands of brick every day. For drying 1000-5000 bricks a child gets 25-50 taka daily. That also goes into the pocket of father for buying food for the family. The Father and mother of each family go to work before sun rise. They carry 12-16 bricks each weighting 2.5kg. For a twelve-hour workday during which an average worker carries about five thousand bricks, he earns Tk. 80 after his expenses are paid. This means toiling 12 hours a day for a daily wage of 120 taka (USD 1.70) for men and 100 taka (USD 1.40) for women.

Brick field (14)Brick field (17)

Still they hope for a better life and perhaps dream of happiness. During his break, after lighting a cigarette Motahar said, ‘My wife often asks me to take her to the cinema. We have no money left after basic shopping at the bazaar and paying loans. But she managed to save and bought an old phone for me. Now while I work, I listen to songs.’

Brick field (20)

(Brick fields are not only causing suffering for labourer but for the environment also. Bangladesh is hit harder than almost any other country in the world by climate change despite emitting very little greenhouse gases. But still the emissions from the brick kilns hurt the environment. Brick kilns are the leading cause of air pollution in the country. There are about 5000 brick kilns in Bangladesh, which are largely responsible for air pollution. Dust from the brick-making sites spreads in the wind to nearby towns and villages clogging the lungs of young and old and generates health problems that the country is ill-equipped to handle. The chimneys continue to poison labourer lives and as well as letting the environment to suffer in silence)


“Factories of Death”

garments (5)

garments (1)

“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


garments (11)

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.

garments (16)

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.

garments (2)

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.

garments (12)

garments (13)

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!

garments (3)

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.

garments (9)

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.

garments (8)

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.

garments (15)

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.

garments (6)

garments (7)


“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

garments (14)

‘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”.

Rana plaza (1)

Rana plaza (11)

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

Rana plaza (6)

Rana plaza (8)

Rana plaza (4)

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.

Rana plaza (5)

Rana plaza (13)

Rana plaza (12)

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.

Rana plaza (3)

Rana plaza (9)

“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

Rana plaza (10)

Rana plaza (14)


‘Life for Rent’

Night is the meaning of life here. Don’t dare to feel I am talking about moonlit night. It’s about a place where fluorescent bulbs hesitate to light up the great darkness.  You have to go step by step by listening giggles and following Hindi songs. Cheap aroma or local fragrance continually defeated to hide smells of stinks. At this place, dreams never can lose its paths even by mistakes. But it certainly can turn into the ideal background for a horror blockbuster by following nearly naked heroine’s poster or staring into a photographs where a lady wearing red lipstick with her innocent eyes hanging over fungus wall.

life for rent (3)

life for rent (1)

Four storied building’s busy staircases are lively by steps of clients. Girls for converting themselves as women putting all make up from her dearest make up box and keeps doubling lighten up their cheeks with cheap blusher. For killing hunger each moment they have drunk tears and fighting with each other to get same client for a night. Excess make up, vulgar cloths and even by showing off most of the female fascinated body parts these girls can not satisfied their MADAMs.

life for rent (13)

life for rent (26)

life for rent (2)

In the race by standing full day beside the door dressed like this they have to show their madam their extra talent for hunting a client. While few of them get tired of being waiting and being rejected, lastly they may get one/two clients at the last moment of their very tiring publicity. Then the bargaining starts. It’s the bargaining of beauty, the outer shell. Minimum 100 Tk – to maximum 500 Tk depends on the job’s creativity and longevity.  Either a client comes for an hour, for a night or for several nights they never bother to enter into the corridor of these beautiful doll’s heart. They rather treated her as a toy of entertainment.

life for rent (19)

life for rent (20)

life for rent (11)

As like being used for years after years these girls started feeling themselves as product. Product of modern day slavery. In the middle of these professionals there is also few girls common who uselessly try to hide their body with their small cloths, who will not look at any one’s eyes either for sorrow or for shame. These girls are new to the place, they been bought by madam one or two days ago. Betrayal boyfriend, step parents or their closest one play with their innocence and sold them in the castle for Tk 4000- 20000. Before realizing what had happened in her life her innocent soul has been captured by brothel’s reality. In between them there are girls who has been gang raped and our civilized society refused to accept her, so she finds her MADAM as mother and releasing all bitters of her life by the profession of sex worker.

life for rent (23)

life for rent (22)

life for rent (25)

Fighting over getting men at night does not change relationship between themselves on the day. An unknown bonding for each other has tied them up and takes care of them in dear need. That’s why, when a girl out of frustration cut her full hand with blade just to torture herself, her roommate wipe it off and put medicine on it. A six feet by six feet room is world for 3-4 girls, so when customer leave they decorate the bed with flowery bed sheet or place artificial flower for adding beauty of it. Knowing a home never will come in their life still they care for their small room as like their house.

life for rent (5)

life for rent (16)

life for rent (8)

By remaining in the strict guidance of Guards for several years these birds stop weaving their wings and thus they forgot how to fly. After earning 100 Tk per client 3-4 years passed thus but loans and buying money of madam does not meet up as these fates less girls can’t even calculate. If their luck is good enough few of them get little better madam who let them free after three to four years to do their business independently.


life for rent (18)

life for rent (17)

life for rent (24)

The story does not change here. Again after doing free business the girl do same mistake by giving heart to a client. Then one day come when the trusted man flew with her all money, gold and faith. All the tiny battles she had within inside that do nothing but shape her emotions, make her able to drink her tears of blood. Stories of a brothel have many shapes. Many girls do not miss their Fazar prayer; many girls learn to recite Quran. Many girls penned their parents and send money monthly putting fake address in the envelope. Many girls forced to take a drug designed to fatten cattle for market name Oradexon.


The Bitterest Pill - A new danger for child sex workers in Bangl

Their day passes by. One day visibly wrinkles can no longer hide by their heavy make up, then they started losing clients, then one night come when they had no one, and they become nanny of younger sex worker. Finally after death their bodies can be buried in a cemetery, though still in a separate one. But better than having their remains floating in the river covered by a sheet which previously practiced as ritual. Their existence remains in their tank which preserve full of their life memories, which lastly kept by their dear one if someone still have time to recall a sex worker.

IMG_3819 (2)

life for rent (8)

“Its been 12 years I am familiar to them. Not only as a photographer but also as a brother. In the photograph, I am seating with my one of the sister from Tangail brothel. Whenever I go there, she runs towards me by calling “Akash Bhai”, she brings sweet, tea and speaks and talked lot about her dreams. These girls are weak for affection as I once treated her as sister now she granted me as her brother. No one knows the story of those faceless girls who are sold by their boyfriend, husband or parents. This is one way journey to brothel a place that is everything to them. By documenting on them I would like to spread their story of pains which are only locked into their own madam’s castle. I can also recall about one girl from those uncountable faces. Unsurprisingly – and despite her name – Asha isn’t very hopeful for her own future. ‘I don’t think I’ll ever get married or have children,’ she says. ‘No one will marry me. If they did they’d only keep me for two or three days, and then they’d sell me back.’ She is more streetwise than some of the other girls here, many of whom share a tragic dream that one day a knight in shining Armour will arrive, to carry them off; then they will marry him, have his babies and love him forever. I wish there would be a knight in shining Armour will surly arrive, to carry them off from this living hell! I wish and I really wish!” – GMB Akash


Inescapable Jungle

“Every day living in the terror of death is enough to sabotage ones life. Behind the beautiful jungle there are stories which has mentally paralyzed 3,000 ‘tiger widows lives’ in the universe of Sundarbans. People living surrounded by the jungle are living in the fence of fear. Fear of losing their own life or their family in any day or night. Sons after losing their parents, grandparents in tiger attack has again walked in the same path to feed rest of the family, knowing their life may end any day, any moment by a second’s ignorance. Their bravery of fighting with a small knife with the ferocious tiger is heroic only if they can fight and win, if not the flesh of the hero will dry and might disappear in salty water of the sea. From there no one can get anything than the blooded cloths. The story of surviving hunts them every moment in their life. As the beautiful jungle is the reason of their life and reason of their death too. They and their breathe belong to the mighty inescapable jungle” – GMB Akash

Marium Begum’s Husband Abdul Hamid went for fishing in Hatdabra canal in the Sundarban along with two fellow fishermen after Azaan. While they were fishing a tiger swooped on him and dragged him into the deep forest while his fellow fishermen escaped unhurt. Later, forest guards recovered the bruised body from the deep forest.  Marium is just one of about 3,000 “tiger widows” in the Sundarbans.

Killer Tiger (15)

Marium is bearing the wound of losing her husband. She describe the day with a painful tune , “The day remains nightmare for me. Noisy birds were circling my hut. There were bad omens everywhere. And my heart was beating in rush. I told him not to go but there was no food to eat so he has to leave and never come again” – Marium

Killer Tiger (10)

75 year old Momresh Sekh lost his left eye to an attack by a tiger in 1969. He was accompanied by his uncle who hit the tiger with the branch of a tree. A jagged scar runs from his head to the back of his skull. Lumps of flesh were torn from his chest and thigh. He is blind in his left eye.

Killer Tiger (11)

Forty-five-year-old Emem Ali poses with his daughter. In 2008, Emem was the target of a tiger attack. Grabbed by the arm, he was dragged into the forest, but abandoned by the predator at last. Found and brought to safety by a companion, he lives to tell the tale. Now he is living by selling fish in the local market. He is hoping to get a shop for surviving.

Killer Tiger (4)

tiger (14)

It was a small life saving knife as this only tool saved Shofiqul Islam’s (42) life from the men eater tiger which was snatching him to the jungle. Hurts kept marks in his body though honey collector Shofiqul lived form hand to mouth for four months by avoiding the path of jungle. But after four months of his attack while again he was entering into the jungle, he said ‘Either I have to earn my food or I will become food for the prey.’

Killer Tiger (13)

This shirt bears the horrific memory but it is an icon for Shofiqul (42) too. The shirt reminds him the roars of the attacking tiger, its unbearable snatch to his backbone and his spirit to fight back to it with nothing but a small knife.

Shofiqul said “You no longer have to go deep into the forest to be attacked. They wait at the banks. I have never seen that before. We believe that even to use the word tiger risks summoning one”

The Sundarbans is made up of hundreds of islands of mangrove forests and mudflats. This is one of the most beautiful but most dangerous places in the world, a place of tigers and crocodiles and dangerous seas and canals. The region is home to approximately 500 Bengal tigers, one of the largest single populations of tigers in one area. These tigers are well-known for the substantial number of people they kill; estimates range from 50-250 people per year. Because of rising sea levels and shrinking forest, humans and tigers are fighting for space. The farmers are forced into the forest to hunt for honey, fish, or collect crabs, putting them at risk for a tiger attack.  Poverty forces people into the forest, into the tigers’ natural habitat. And the animals are hungry, with hunting and newly introduced diseases steadily reducing the populations of wild boars, deer and monkeys in the Sundarbans. Hindus and Muslims alike believe that only the Goddess Bon Bibi can offer protection from the big cats. There are several statues of the forest goddess scattered throughout the jungle.

Killer Tiger (2)

Killer Tiger (3)

45 year old Shaidul has stitches put into his chin in Shemnagar Hospital. He was badly injured by a tiger while he was out fishing. He said , “I thought it was a large dog. I pushed it away and heard a splash within the time its hits me”

Killer Tiger (14)

45 year old Abu Taleb lies motionless outside his home. He was attacked by a tiger whilst fishing and has now lost the use of his arm and leg. He is unable to walk without the help of his wife. He spent seven days on the floor of Satkhira Hospital with severe injuries to his head, back and neck. After a year of bed rest he has still not recovered from his injuries and his wife has been forced to become a day labourer and beg house to house.

tiger (8)

In 1995, the attack was on his first day out fishing. He was sleeping in the boat when the tiger attacked. Though he survived it, the damage to his face was such that no one from his village would come near him. His parents forced a girl to marry him. At the initial days of his marital life, he would not allow his wife to look at him.

Killer Tiger (9)

tiger (6)

Beside men tiger attacked many women of the village too. Faizun is showing her scars which are permanent mark in her head. Tigers are coming closer to villages in search of food. They smartly attacking villagers and standing near the bank. Faizun was collecting woods from near her home beside the bank of the river, while tiger attack she thought it is a big dog while realizing she remember nothing. She believes forest’s goddess saved her. Somehow she manages to escape and after the attack, she fled to her hut and collapsed.

Killer Tiger (16)

Killer Tiger (7)

42 year old Atiar Rahman was attacked by a tiger whilst out fishing. He lost his sight in his right eye, the ability to hear, as well as severe injuries to his back, neck and face. He spent six months in hospital at the cost of 9,000 Taka (80 GBP) and is now completely bed-ridden. His wife works to support their large family by working as a day labourer. She earns 50 Taka (0.4 GBP) a day.

Killer Tiger (1)

Because of rising sea levels and shrinking forest, humans and tigers are fighting for space. The farmers are forced into the forest to hunt for honey, fish, or collect crabs, putting them at risk for a tiger attack. 

Killer Tiger (17)

The boat is the small vehicle which is use to go for fishing in the deep forest of sundarban. And often while they stay at the boat in night tiger attack fisherman and they have to fight back.

“Inside the Sundarban there is ‘silence’ everywhere, a fear runs in veins with the fragrance of incense, standing in the village of frequently visited by Man Eater Tigers, listening villagers rhythmic chanting and prayers and feeling the urge to get back to safety all these made it helpless for urban, educated, technologically advanced people. This jungle is only understandable for the people who are made from it, the people live by jungle can’t leave the place even knowing how risky to live within. Thus they will face the hungry tiger habitually either to live or to die.”

– GMB Akash

Killer Tiger (12)


“Survivors” Part I

blog (01)

blog (3)

blog (5)

“It seems like a lost world, where standing in a quivering dark, where there is nothing but darkness, a place where you stand alone and shiver in fear. I experienced the same. Children who are inhaling pains within themselves every second make me feel small, their sweating smile flashes their innocent identity, touches of their dirt-oily little fingers interpret their presence in my life, their spoken or unspoken life stories makes me unrest. Since then, I am upholding them inside of me. A simple and small photograph’s emotions might inconceivable to you if still now you do not know any of such children who straggle each day to make a living from nothing. Till the day, I know I had to do and I have to do my bit, may be it could be major, may be it could be minor but that was the day, I open the door of my heart and take them in. I vow to fulfill their lost smile by refilling it in their innocent lips. The creation I am crafting in 10 years never give me such feeling , but then first I felt the tender of giving birth of the creation by dedicating it to the angles of hell, at least my first endeavor to bring them up from the darkest hell.   I celebrate my rebirth by expanding my arms, placing as more children as I can and thus my voyage begins.”- GMB AKASH

blog (21)

IMG_4359 (3)

I cannot remain mute about the oppression that divides human beings — which is one of the reasons I commenced photography and it’s been 14 years I am doing.  And it is my duty as a photographer and artist to point with my pictures at every aspect of existence in the society and world I live in, to show what can be shown, to go deep into every milieu and also into every aspect of poverty, deprivation and hardship that I encounter – because the only sin for a photographer is to turn his head and look away. After 14 years, acquiring tons of awards and gaining access to all major media frankly I experience NO CHANGE in the life of people I photographed.

Despite knowing a photographer duty only tilted for showing and investigating reality but this simple rule does not bring peace to my heart. Once an 8-year old balloon maker told me, “I took some damaged balloons for my little sister; I have no time to play. I have only time to support my parents,” I realized at that point I should turn my lens on lives like them.



I decided to dedicate whatever fund I left after make a living of mine to give to these ‘Survivors’. First I decide, I will gift them opportunity which will come from my personal earnings, portion of print sells or selling portion from my book ‘Survivors’. In the industry I am a straggler yet my pursuits provoke me to make my first experiment before I publish my book ‘Survivors’. I started searching faces inside the book and outside the book, which I photographed and found in vulnerable situation. One year I compromise my time, my photography, my assignment and my daily life to search these faces, I started living with them, understanding them and keep finding what I can do to make them able to earn a better life together. My idea is, working with them within the circumstances, gifting them the opportunity which will come as advantage in their life, advocate them as an assistant, monitoring their changes in life in one word to do everything that I will do to change my fate if I were them. Searching a face which I shoot 10 years ago is not an easy job, a face can be invisible in a crowd but I am fortunate to find many of them and building trust on me. 10 successful families consisting of ave 60 members make my dream come true. I ensure their life better, much better than they were living. & this gives me faith to publish my book ‘Survivors’ which is and will be the source of finance and gifting business/opportunity/education/chance to these ‘Survivors’ whom I photographed past 10 years. It was the day when I finally face my eyes to these children and touches their hand knowing I can at least rescue few of them from their daily hell. I become one of them, I become their hope, I become their asset and thus I started valuing myself and understand the significance and purpose of my rebirth.


survivors (7)-15

It was just one year ago when I again found out Munna, whom I photographed at 2006. ‘Integrity with innocence’ this is the concrete of Munna’s character portrayal. Five years ago I first met Munna. Five years have passed fates of Munna & his father brings no change in their lives. At 2011, only difference was, with his five years experience Munna was getting 1600 taka ($1=72taka) per month. Moreover 12 years old Munna was running his younger sister education with his extra income of Friday overtime.

blog (17)

blog (13)

Munna’s father Alamgir was a cobber. Their family is consisting of five members who receive continuous negligence from their community as he works as cobber. Munna & his sister ashamed to say that his father is cobber and his little income cannot give education to his younger daughter Shathi and hunger forced Alamgir to send his little son to the factory which produces rickshaw particles. Alamgir elder daughter has to get married at early age because of poverty. They managed to eat hand to mouth, but without depending on Munna’s income their foods cannot be assured. Munna’s younger sister appeared to her class one final exam by borrowing pencils from neighbors, she had nothing without will for education. Munna works in a factory which produces intolerable noise during work. His 9am-7pm works ruined his childhood. His overtime income never allowed him to play. In fact he lost his interest for playing. A shy, unspoken boy whose whole body was covered with dust and permanent scratch on skins dull his brightness in an extent that he seems belong to the darken factory.  During working with him in his work time, I never saw his smile. He had no ambition, no dream and surprisingly had nothing to share with anyone.

blog (16)

blog (12)

I aim to help Munna & his family. & my journey with them begins.

After seating several sessions with Munna’s family, we come to a decision that Munna’s father is the person who can be the financial in-charge of the full family and setting him in a business that he is capable to do will be helpful for the full family. After our market survey, by understanding the business chains he decided and I agreed with him to let him do business of cucumber. My logic is not to give money at their hand. I went with him and prepare everything; in short I assist him in every way to do the business. After one month of successful business Alamgir take out Munna from the factory. Their family started having three times food and able to provide rent of the house in proper time. He manages to make his capital triple in three months.

blog (11)

blog (10)

Munna’s younger sister running her school and did top in result. She will be in class four next year. Munna’s only one dream is to support his sister in education and fulfilling his family’s loans which are liabilities of their bad time. Still he wants to support his father by at least doing something. Within two months Alamgir tried to admit Munna at school but Munna told him in his spare time he will go to night school to get same age students like him and at day time he wants to do something he likes. As well Alamgir was afraid as they are living in slum and children who have nothing to do mostly get mixed with people who supplies drugs/engage in bad works. Again after seating with them, Munna expressed to me he wants to do popcorn business and he wants to establish himself independently. I realized I cannot take out him from the situation; I have to assist them to get a better life in their present situation. So I agreed with him and go to see first what will be his changes in life if he sells popcorn near his home at sadarghat.

blog (6)

blog (9)

Now every day, Munna willingly wake up early morning after brushing his teeth he seats with his sister to learn from her. Then he goes to ghat and buys popcorn from vendor later he sells popcorn till afternoon in ghat and finishing his work at 1pm he came at home. Now within months his appearance has changes a lot, his face, hands, and legs, fingers scars are recovering and mostly vanishes. The best thing is that now he laughs, he is making friends in evening field, he is proud that he is doing his own selling and helping his family beside education. Munna who lost most of his childhood in blocked, dull factory now loves to spend time with people by selling popcorn. He becomes vocal and ambitious. He keeps savings from his selling profit of popcorn. Munna’s sister Sathi dreams to become doctor. With the income of Munna’s father and Munna they are happily dreaming for their future.

blog (15)

blog (7)

Every evening Munna plays cricket with friends. Within Nine months Munna is recovering his forgotten happiness. His few hours works, playtime, quality family time and private education changes his life visibly. A family who hardly once managed one time food now can ensure nutritious foods for their children. A pessimistic Munna is now very much optimistic about his life and future. His family is earning happiness by putting out of their mind about their past bad days. I dream to get hundreds of Munna in my journey and to refill their lost smile. I am happy that at least there are many munnas with me and I am able to make them a part of my life. I will share these stories of my life with you one by one. It’s my belief that if a single hand comes to hold a child miracle in their life can happen.

blog (8)

blog (14)

“I am a story teller, nothing but I steal emotions, this link me to those lives which wrapped me in sentiment. I am a simple human being; I do mistake and learn from it. But I like to do experiment and I hate to be defeated. I try and keep trying until I achieve. I will keep contributing magic in lives I face with my camera. I will do my part, I will do my bit. A quote from Helen Keller inspires my journey.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

If your heart is moved to do something do not make it complex, plan it, do it & do it right now. Stop dreaming in expectation of Superman. Within you there is a vast chance of opportunity spread your wings & bring humanity.” – GMB AKASH

blog (20)

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

textile (1)

textile (11)textile (9)

Tazreen Fashions, located in a rural area of Ashulia occupies a nine-storied building. The ground floor, which stored the factory’s raw materials, had the only entrance to the factory, with three staircases leading to other floors. The fire at the eight-story building of the apparel factory started on the first floor, quickly cutting off all three exits from the building. Survivors stated that at least one exit was locked while no emergency exits existed in the building whatsoever. Some workers tried to escape the fire by jumping out of the windows of upper floors – many of them died. Others choked to death in the thick smoke of burning fabrics. Many of the bodies the firefighters found in the ruins were burnt beyond recognition. Later it was estimated that more than 1,000 people could have been inside the building when the fire started. But survivors claims more. Even it takes more than two hours for fire fighters to arrive at the factory. Firefighters trying to reach the blaze were slowed because the narrow road leading to the factory made it difficult to get to the site and there was no source of water nearby. It took firefighters over 17 hours to douse the blaze at the factory, after it started on Saturday evening November 24. The fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd, lead to the death of reportedly 111 workers, but witnesses and survivors alleged that the real number dead is possibly much higher.

textile (7)

textile (10)

textile (19)

textile (6)

textile (12)

Raziv is one of the Survivors of the tragic incident; he worked at fourth floor along 300 other workers that evening.  He said, “I smelt smoke and ran downstairs at third floor and found that the place was already full with black fumes and I cannot breathe properly. With the sound of crying women the electricity went off within 5 minutes and most of the female workers had no mobile phone atleast to see though the phone light. I accompanied by my three friends & went at the small room of the third floor where I was atleast 200 woman were standing & crying helplessly. With another worker, I broke the window of the room and give the place to female workers to go out but most of them was so afraid and cannot do anything. I cannot be selfish to fly alone and helped them to jump through. But as soon as the fire was increasing I run to the biggest exhaust fan of the floor, many women workers seated at prayer and many started losing sense. Only by hand, I broke out the fan but cannot jump. The fire was so scary that I lost my power, I called and cried to my brother, he just said ‘Jump!Jump! Then I jumped to the roof of a shed next to the factory and found myself injured at the ground! I survived but I had no money for my treatment and no one asked me to help, even after five days of the incident I am searching for my coworkers and had not get any money for my treatment. I come to the factory for my four months due wages, no expectation from these rich bosses.” Along Raziv, Few more fire survivors said, that most victims died of suffocation as the blaze started on the ground floor warehouse, trapping the night-shift staff.

textile (20)

In hospitals cases are alike. Injured workers hardly save themselves form fire, some lost their memory, some are in trauma, poor families has nothing to give them better treatment. Amongst huge numbers of injured, few are receiving treatment and rests of the survivors are not fortunate to get treatment except lying at home for money crisis. A survivor Kushi stated that, after jumping from the third floor she broke her legs and cried at least one hour for help but no one was there and eventually she lost her sense.

textile (16)

textile (17)

textile (15)

Inside the living zone of these garments workers are not rosy. Jhilpar Slum is accommodating at least 20000-30000 textile workers and alike this slums garments workers living throughout all industrial hubs with daily straggles. Rooms of 10 feet by 10 feet accommodate minimum four women workers which monthly rent is 3000 tk. One toilet and one kitchen are definite for ten families of the slum. But still after having this trouble, passing through narrow life lines women garments workers are appreciating their lives as an independent being but incident like fire in Tazreen fashions has break out all hidden frustrations of them.

textile (2)

textile (8)

textile (3)
Accompanying workers in the fight for their deserved salaries I also faced problems with police officers. They tried to stop me for taking photos and said many times that I am ruining my country’s reputation. Even in many cases the injured, victim’s families and workers faced continual negligence by police, local authority even after so much pressure from national and international media and having consolation from all over the world they had to fight for their due salaries. End of the day they knows they have to fight for their right after losing their dears ones and even facing fire may be easier than earning rights and justice.

textile (23)

textile (5)

textile (24)

Nilufar lost four members of her family. While she received call from her brother, she heard only shout, ‘Save us!” ‘Help Us’! The phone was on the line for 20 minutes & she helplessly heard the sound of wounded peoples and their mourning. She passed the whole night in front of the factory gate along her two little brothers. While rescuers had lined up all the recovered bodies on the grounds of a nearby school, Nilufar unzipped bag after bag, searching her mother, father, brother and sister-in-law. She said the charred human remains looked like chunks of coal, but no where she found any dead bodies of her lost dear faces. Police wants ID cards of these four members then she replied, “I cannot found their burnt bodies after running three days, where the hell I would find ID cards!’ The tragedy does not end here; they have a long future to bear the wound with them with a tragic memory in mind.

textile (14)

“While leaving the place I heard, a mother exclaims that her son’s blood demand Justice. We all know their sweats, their bloods asking answers. No, we can’t stands at more loss. No Space for Further burials. Each drop of blood, each drop of worker’s sweat asks JUSTICE. Nothing more, nothing less” – GMB Akash

textile (21)

textile (13)

textile (22)


Dark Alleys

“These disorders — schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, depression, addiction — they not only steal our time to live, they change who we are. In the time period of working with drug addict, I encounter tremendous shiver in thought of helplessness that how they are silently dying in these dark alleys and there is no dark Knight to hold them straight only we are here to celebrate the funeral of these fallen stars”

–  GMB Akash

drug users (5)

A drug user is showing his drug pethedrine

drug users (7)


Drug addiction is a major social evil in Bangladesh, affecting thousands of young people and their families. There are thousands of addicted people in Bangladesh and most of them are young, between the ages of 18 and 30 from all walks of life. Drug addiction in young Bangladeshis is mainly seen because of reasons like depression. People try to remove depression using drugs as a tool. And this is how they become addicts.

drug users (8)

drug users (11)

drug users (9)

Drug users are taking drugs by sharing same needle with each other. Injecting drug users have few places to turn, and they are one of the groups most at risk of contracting and spreading HIV. Heroin is mostly smoked within aluminum foil or cigarette paper, but in Bangladesh this is injected. Injections through infected needles can cause diseases of the liver, brain, heart, lungs and spinal cord. Estimates of the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh range from 2,500 to 15,000 most of them are affected while taking drugs. A Heroin addict may need about Taka 500 worth of the drug a day. They neglects the needs of the family, and those are non-earning may sell off family assets. They also go out on the streets for mugging and dacoity.

drug users (10)

drug users (4)drug users (6)

drug users (16)

“Rickshaw driver Mohammad Bashir has been addicted to heroin for most of the last 13 years. His habit cost him his job and put an enormous strain on his family. Like most addicts, he often uses shared needles. Police has caught him in the spot, members of his addict team has managed to fly. But police caught him, while he is continually requesting police to leave him in the word of his promise that he will not inject him any more with drugs”


Drug usuers(11)

Drug usuers(15)

Drug addiction is increasing among the street children who live without a family, love and care. Bangladeshi youth are ‘huffing’ shoe glue, a drug locally called ‘Danti’, which is seriously harmful to mental and physical health. Up to 17 percent of street children in capital Dhaka are addicted to drugs. Children as young as 10 years old are also experimenting with alcohol, phensidyl, Heroin, Baba, Ganja, pethedrine, and other forms of available drugs. For managing the money for drags these children spends all their earnings on drugs. Some time they beg whole day in the street and end of the day spends everything on drugs.

drug users (14)

drug users (3)drug users (17)


drug users (12)

“Bitter experiences are there too. I visit all danger territory where these addicted people living senselessly. Few of them try to beat me sometime, few of them tied me with their arms and cried and cried, few of them burst out in depression and few of them wants to end their sufferings. But this is cycle of unbearable torment which has no end. In a world with chaos and hunger, everything becomes a guerrilla struggle. It becomes almost impossible to save lives or grow dreams sometime. But yet these lives deserve our affection, attention and sympathy. No medicine is as effective as love to them. “– GMB Akash

Drug usuers(5)

drug users (15)

drug users (13)

Life and Death in Pashupati

“Here and there they are seating in the courtyard and on the shrine platform with absorbed in detailed memories of a distant happiness. Or it is a place where elderly people are left by their families to die? Thousands question will haunt you but there is no one to answer you but only your inner realm of emotion. They submits to being fed, here, in a old home, It’s the same every day, every day…..I understand, when you get here you don’t worry about the future. Then, I mesmerize, May God bless and give them solace.” – GMB Akash

elderly home (4)

elderly home (9)

elderly home (19)

Once you enter the premises of the Briddhasram at Pashupathinath you can’t help but feel like you are transcended time back at least half a century or more, to a place where the world moves very slowly.

elderly home (7)

elderly home (6)

Looking at the bed side a damped photo of a grandchild while a grandma smiles and say she didn’t see her last 10 years yet she sleeps with a same photo in her mind. They were like reciting their homelessness to me. I have to capture their souls to keep their image from disappearing out of sight.

elderly home (11)

elderly home (17)

There, you can see all grey haired elderly citizens doing nothing but spending lazy moments for hours in the courtyard and on the shrine platform. Some curious eyes follow you as you walk pass the welfare gate. If any of them is busy praying than other is trying hard to bend and dust off his cloths. A place, all you hear is the steady sound of the wheeled metallic support of an elderly with crippled feet or a faint sound of a broken radio which is playing Nepali song or news.

elderly home (15)

elderly home (16)

(Social Welfare Centre Briddhashram is the only Elderly’s Home operated by His Majesty’s Government in the Kingdom Nepal. At present it is being operated by the name of Social Welfare Centre Elderly’s Home, Pashupati since 1977 A. D. The total sheltering capacity of this Elderly Home is 240 persons. These residents suffer from many illnesses associated with old age; including paralysis, failing eyesight and deterioration of mental faculties)

elderly home (13)

For some it is a depressing scene to see people at the end of life, away from family, living in the Briddhasram. But for many, this is a place where they seek refuge from an ever speeding life and feel satisfied enough simply helping and sharing talk with the older citizens. The residents of the home don’t talk much to each other, which gives you an aura of wilderness where no word is spoken; but they really live for each other closely for rest of their life. This home for the elderly fills one with hope. What gives hope is that although they have lost families and possessions, the residents still care, they care for each other and they retain a deep sense of humanity.

elderly home (5)

elderly home (8)

Many people believe that they must help and protect their parents, when they become old. I personally believe that this is a moral obligation that every child should have towards their parents, whichever the way they choose to do so but they should never let them break apart alone.

elderly home (12)

elderly home (18)

elderly home (2)

“Through my lens I try to listen to their silent voices, in absolute solitude and silence,for I am sure I shall be able to hear about their unbearable wounds in which they stumbled upon alone years after year. So I take out my camera, go inside the place and merged with their pain”

– GMB Akash

elderly home (1)

elderly home (10)

elderly home (14)

Decaying Earth

The overall global environment is declining fast and for Bangladesh it has been doing so more rapidly during the last few decades because of many obvious reasons. But we are still not surprised. We, all of us, pollute our own cities with trashes. So how can we claim owners of these factories, with hardly any education be conscious about the environment, feel the need to protect the environment? We need to count ourselves first to protect our own ecosystem to survive in an earth which will be a gift for our next generation – ONLY IF WE CARE

“Pollution is an immense crisis that is slowly destroying the world that we live in. It is crucial for every individual to do what he or she can to clean up the environment. Whether it is in the home or on a management level, or within us, every person is important and has the ability to make a difference and can help to stop pollution”

– GMB Akash

pollution (1)

pollution (5)

The mighty river Buriganga is now so polluted that all fish have died, and increasing filth and human waste have turned it like a black gel. Even rowing across the river is now difficult for it smells so badly.

pollution (2)

Bangladesh has about 230 small and large rivers, and a large chunk of the country’s 140 million people depend on them for a living and for transportation. But experts say many of them are drying up or are choked because of pollution and encroachment. A World Bank study said four major rivers near Dhaka — the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu — receive 1.5 million cubic metres of waste water every day from 7,000 industrial units in surrounding areas and another 0.5 million cubic meters from other sources. There is no fish or aquatic life in this river apart from zero oxygen survival kind of organisms. Bangladesh enacted a law in 1995 making it compulsory for all industrial units to use effluent treatment plants in a bid to save river waters from pollution, but industry owners often flout the rule.pollution (3)

 pollution (6)

pollution (4)

Dhaka city alone generates about 3500 to 4000 m tons of solid wastes per day. The amount increases with the increase of population every year. The domestic, commercial, street sweeping, combustible and non-combustible wastes include discarded food, grass, plants, paper, cardboard, textiles, plastics, polythene materials, glass, metals, and construction debris.

pollution (13)

pollution (8)

pollution (12)

Industries and factories have been polluting the water bodies in and around Dhaka city for the longest time. There are about 1000 small and large industries in Dhaka city producing a large amount of toxic and hazardous wastes contributing significantly to environmental degradation. The emission of various greenhouse gases such as CO2, CH4, among others from various industries, increases the overall temperature of the earth, resulting in global warming and making the area unsuitable for human habitation, animals and plant species.In the Hazaribag area of Dhaka there are 149 tannery units daily producing about 18,000 litres of liquid wastes and 115 m tons of solid wastes; nearly all of these are dumped in the Buriganga river, and a part is thrown into nearby drains and sewers. These wastes contain sulphuric acid, chromium, ammonium chloride, ammonium sulphate, calcium oxides etc. These may seep into the ground causing ground water pollution. Also, the intense, unpleasant odour affects the health of the people of the surrounding area. tannery wastes have a very serious and negative effect on the ecosystem.

pollution (17)

pollution (19)

pollution (9)

‘It is very easy for every single person to help stop pollution and stop destructing the earth. It can take little effort, but can be something that makes a huge difference. Start by evaluating how you can make small changes. Even the smallest changes in your own life can have a massive impact.’

– GMB Akash

pollution (15)

pollution (21)

pollution (11)

Leftover from History

This is not just a story of poverty and despair. Poverty is not all that holds them back. Every day, they are willfully denied an education, opportunities, a future, and an identity. This is the story of a people whose lot it is to only exist as numbers in ration cards, relief programmes and slum-arson stories. This is the story of the Biharis of Geneva Camp. A community of over 160,000 people who have lived like animals for the last 40 years and will likely live and die as animals in congested ghettoes at makeshift camps and shanties all over Bangladesh. This is the narrative of the Biharis of Geneva Camp.”

– Gmb Akash

A Documentary by Gmb Akash

© GMB Akash/ www.akashimages.com

‘Geneva Camp’ is just one of the 70 camps all over Bangladesh set up immediately after the Liberation War of 1971. In 1971, the Biharis were a torn community. The tragedy of the Bihari community unfolds as far back as 1946 — the year communal riots in Bihar tore irreparable divisions through India — with thousands of Muslims massacred in an organised pogrom that added momentum to the movement for the partition of India. This resulted in a separate homeland for the region’s beleaguered Muslims. Between 1947 and 1952, families by the thousands left their ancestral lands to take refuge in the erstwhile East Pakistan.

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

During the Liberation war in Bangladesh in 1971, the Pakistan army, sensing this divide, recruited some Biharis to fight the rebellious Bengalis. Whether they supported the Pakistan army or not, many Biharis remained neutral in 1971, shy of taking sides with their local brethren. Thus the division widened in those tumultuous years leading to the sub-human “ghettoisation” of the wretched children of a lesser God. After the war in 1971, the International Community for the Red Cross intervened and found out that most Biharis wanted to migrate to the truncated Pakistan. Over half a million registered “Urdu-speaking” Pakistanis found a voice at the high level Simla pact of July 1972 and later an agreement was reached in 1973 between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh on this issue. As per the agreement, the Bengali prisoners were released and sent to Bangladesh. However, not all Urdu-speaking Pakistanis were repatriated to Pakistan. Even today, hundreds of thousands live in Bangladesh in camps as non-citizens.

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

People are calling them in so many names. Bihari’, ‘Maura’, ‘Muhajir’, ‘Non-Bangalee’, ‘Marwari’, ‘Urdu-speaker’, ‘Refugee’, and ‘Stranded Pakistani’. But they only want one identity that is: human.

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

Here, the rituals of life, death, triumph, hope and misery of each family, packed into 8 x 8 little boxes. There are only 270 toilets for a population of 25,000 and the numbers increase daily. The living environment of the camp is very deplorable. It is unhealthy, dirty, damp and unhygienic. This condition exists in other camps throughout the country. The municipalities/city cleaners never enter the camps to clear the garbage. The Bihari camps have almost no educational facilities. Throughout the country, only 275 of the 19,000 children in camps go to school. Only six of the 77 camps have a school. Most of the people make handicrafts or repair cars to make a living. Into the filthy rooms – homes and workshops rolled into one – women and men were busy working on brightly coloured saris. From about 1,600,000, only 60,000 are thought to register in the voting system in 2008, but in reality, those in the camp are denied the right of applying for a national ID card. Without citizenship, they cannot even obtain legal housing, so most live in 66 camps packed with people and livestock scattered across the country, including Geneva Camp.

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

Geneva Camp was built in 1974 by the Red Cross to help assist the new generation of stateless people.  The older generation complains more than the younger ones, who are better integrated and bilingual. Free of the baggage, the younger generations are far more ready to become Bangladeshis: 70% of the people want to stay in Bangladesh, 17% want to go back to Pakistan. Despite recent progress in voter and ID registration, however, 37 years of being unrecognized have left the Biharis living in abject poverty and vulnerable to discrimination.


© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

“Geneva Camp turned out to be a bordered little inferno located next to fairly well-to-do neighborhoods and commercial areas. Human spirit, however, knows how to counter the forces of nature and history. Inside the camp, little Bihars had been recreated with the memories and longings that the migrants are well known for.  Still the government does not know how to handle it. No one does. The government has not picked it up. Civil society has not picked it up. These people have been left to fend for themselves.”

– Gmb Akash

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

© GMB Akash/ www.gmb-akash.com

Invincible Faces

“I am fascinated to some faces, some characters who are incredibly important to me as a photographer or as an admirer. Many of these faces are invisible but their spirits for living life makes them invincible. Journey of portraying these invincible characters starts long ago when I find out there are certain people who are icons of heroism and enthusiasms. Over and over again I go back to them, find them out and by portraying them able to keep a part of these victors with me.” – Gmb Akash

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

Often get inspired by these faces I go to isolated group/people who are ordinary or I can say by having an urge to go to these people is my practice for understanding them. As an individual they are available around us, living life in troubled climate every day. But their willingness to over come difficulties titled them Invincible. My characters are raw, picked from a sticky street or from an isolated brothel or even from a dumped factory. Every face is passing a message of anticipation. I have learned to run my photography equipments; I have studied to learn to take portraits or getting a best environmental portrait. But when I concentrate beyond technical things, these characters become icons to me. I looked into them through the lens and I tried to pick the message of anticipation into the photograph. This is the biggest challenge which has no rules, which can never be taught, which can be only a self taught rule of getting invincible faces into photograph.

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

I emphasize the character. I want to present them vividly.  I go to very close to my characters. Apart everything, I focused them. In spite of taking environmental portrait, often I try to present the environment differently. When the characters become focused, my concerns packed to represent these faces as a representative of their own environment. I would like to make imagine the audience – where these faces are come form, where they live in, what they do. Inviting questions can be way of portraying significant things which we mostly over look.


© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

Most of the time, I have to work in very compact situation. Often I been located, where life is put in a box of measured 8 feet by 8 feet room or in a distressed noisy factory or even in an abandoned colony where I have to pass by three feet narrow road. I need to be patience and keep trying to work in these compact situations. Often I hardly get changes to use lot of lens. I am comfortable with 24mm and besides habituated I believe it is good to work with one kind to work fast and flexibly. For taking portrait I use 70mm. I do not like lot of distraction. My image should be clear and focused.

 © GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

For taking environmental portrait, placement of the character is hard thing. I keep in mind environment should not disturb the character, I am taking in. It has to be supportive to each other. But I prefer to believe in my photos, character is presenting the environment; environment is not presenting the character.

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

 © GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

– I always use natural light. No flush gun and no manipulation. Even in a bad light day I tried to use the available light into the character little differently so that it creates a different mood.

 – Simplicity and be straight is my rule. Be focused, use simple background, experiment with color and get closer to the character.

– However near or far is my character, however intimate or distant the gaze my camera directs, I always keep in mind the elements of composition and the technique that will best help me to communicate what I am trying to say.

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

– I prefer to intimate with the character I am going to portrait. Relation and building trust is important. Many times people refused me to take photos, but I never gave up, I always make them understand what I am doing, telling the effectiveness of the shot. And if I failed I do not force but I never fail to try.

– It is helpful to get environmental portraits by finding out where they spend their time, what the rhythm of their life is like and observing their personality.

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

“I think the art of photography is to observe and document in your own personal way. On my way I found these invincible faces which are inspiring to keep my searches on. These insignificant characters are inspirations to win over all chances of life. Connecting these invincible souls in photograph has no rules. Besides photography, I learnt from them, we need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We should think that we are invincible because we are.”

– Gmb Akash

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash / www.akash-images.com



‘Travel Junction – Part I’

“God is too busy, Can I help you?” stepping into the City of Italy, I first saw this hanging poster in a coffee shop. This is the ever lasting impression on me about the country. People are so charming, lively and enjoying every second of life.  After arrival, by dropping my luggage, I lost myself with a tiny bag and my camera to explore the city which is new to me in every visit. My destinations were Rome and Venice. Where, Rome is a romantic city where couples are passionately showing their feelings of love that couldn’t be contained. The art and culture of the city has been admired worldwide for centuries. From Rome and Venice I took all the images which hit my mind to store these treasures in frame” 

– Gmb Akash

  Welcome in the city of illusions, and the city of yearning. Welcome to Rome, a place with so much art, so much history and so much beauty.

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

I discover Rome, as a silent and shiny heritage. Strolling in Rome means capturing its soul, amongst age-old buildings, splendid monuments and numerous churches that bear witness to an incomparable millenary history that will charms me.  But for me as a photographer, wherever I go I try to see closely only people. So, I move from places to places and captured some human souls into my camera.

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

Walk the cobbled streets between centuries-old ruins, drink too much coffee, browse heritage markets and grand museums, and all together I passed time by eating too much gelato. I stopped by where I saw homeless people, who were tirelessly moving places from places. My heart poured with sadness to feel that in the advent world of Europe some people are still missing the minimum thing from this one of the best cities of the world.

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

Venice is an extraordinarily beautiful city. When I came to Venice, that was a totally free day to revisit sites, shop or just sit in the square enjoying a Strega and watching the people and pigeons. I meet lot of Bangladeshi in Rome and Venice. People are doing different kind of business to survive here. By looking people all around me, my camera was not taking rest but even though I fill I didn’t take enough images. It seems as if at each step I encountered some aspect of the city worth admiring. 

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

While I was taking few minutes break I met an old lady passing time with her dog. She was taking pictures of the dog and talking with her. The old lady and her companion leave a lonely feeling on me.

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

I treasured all these moments with me. I am a passionate traveler. Traveled has availed to understand depth of life. From this travel Junction I put a note in my dairy that: Do not take a single day for granted. Life is precious!


© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com

© GMB Akash /www.akash-images.com


Ships’ Graveyard

“This is an emblematic depiction of the agony of hard labor. For saving themselves from hunger they breathe in asbestos dust and toxic waste. Thus they are risking their lives everyday. On the verge of death they risk their lives in order to endure themselves. They are passing their days on one of the world‘s most unregulated and hazardous industries, leaving a trail of debris, disability and death in its wake. I spend 10 days in the Gaddani ship-breaking yard north of Karachi in 2005.  I witnessed workers dismantling large ships, piece by piece using no protection, in absence of tools, where one wrong move could result in death, but they were continually depending in their bare hands. In a city of dying ships flames with smoke rising, tormented with ship body parts, metal residue, asbestos, and oil spills. Barefooted workers with little access to necessary tools are vanishing ships on the rusty sand of Gaddani and break down these steel giants coming from all the harbours of the world.”

– Gmb Akash

ship breaking (19)

ship breaking (18)

ship breaking (1)

ship breaking (15)

The beach of Gaddani, 50 miles north of Karachi in Pakistan, has become one of the two world biggest cemeteries of super tankers, cargoes and other vessels in the world. Thousands of men, mostly Pashto migrants, toil over the ships. They are seasonal workers, a large number of native and immigrant workers returning to their homeland near the Afghan border at harvest time. The group consists of perhaps from Afghanistan. They pen for their beloved, whom they get to see only during the year ends. For around USD 1.20 a day, thousands of workers labour to dismantle dozens of ships each year at the ship-breaking yard in Gaddani.

ship breaking (2)

ship breaking (9)

ship breaking (13)

Rashed, a labourer at the Gaddani ship-breaking yard has worked for five years dismantling ships. He said: “Had we had any other way of earning bread, we would not have come here.” Workers are always under high risk of accident, though they hardly care to secure themselves. Under hitting rains of sparks, blowtorches split through the thick steel skin of a ship. As they are cut lose, the pieces of metal plummet to the ground with a roar. I saw workers, toiling ceaselessly, as though banished forever to an underworld.

ship breaking (11)

ship breaking (6)

ship breaking (16)

Many workers operate in tight spaces where the air is thin, and in high temperatures caused by hot welding, which is widely used, not to mention that they are constantly exposed to flammable liquids like paints and solvents. The work carried well into the night shipyard in Gaddani, Pakistan. This is the ship graveyard that serves as the final destination for a significant part of the world’s fleet.

ship breaking (3)

“Barefooted workers would take apart, bit by bit, the dying ships with their bare hands, shipyard in Gaddani, Pakistan.  On their shoulders, workers bore great metal plates to their destination. People complain about their crappy lives working in an air conditioned work place, imagine having this as your only option in life.”

– Gmb Akash

ship breaking (7)

ship breaking (5)

ship breaking (17)

“The creator has strangled me with his own hands.”

“It was 1999, when I first realize I need to focus stories on a helpless community. For that feeling, there was a story behind. As a child, I was a frequent visitor at my uncle’s house at Narayangonj, somewhat 25 kilometers north of Dhaka. My uncle had a hermaphrodite locally called as Hijra, whose name was “Khushi”-meaning happiness, but that is what she very much lacked in her life. During these visits I often saw my cousins with their friends taunting and making fun of Khushi, often even worse happened as when they were drunk they forced and made her to strip naked and dance in the tunes of common Hindi film songs. Since Khushi had no place to runaway to and had no means to save her from this humiliation, she gave in to the insults and harassment’s silently. Images of Khushi gyrating and quietly exposing her underdeveloped sex organs left a lasting impression that haunted me ever since.” –

Gmb Akash

Men or women (15)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Men or women (1)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Men or women (2)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

The Hijras live in-groups far away from a regular world. As for them living in normal family becomes an unending series of taunts from the society so the circumstances lead them to leave their regular family. They come to general people but live a life far different and painful in the dark allies, in isolation.

Men or women (4)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Men or women (5)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Men or women (6)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Hijras live in their groups; each one has a leader often called “mother” or “Guru”. Members of a group do not take part in any activities without the permission of “mother”. Even the trimming of hair requires mother’s permission. Failure to get such permission results in a fine ranging from 250 Taka (US$5) to 5000 Taka (US$90).

The norm is, for a Hijra to leave home and join a community of Hijras. This happens mainly because living in the normal heterosexual surroundings becomes is unbearable due to constant taunts, insults as well as neglect. Hence joining other Hijras is normally the most logical thing to do. However, it often happens that the other Hijras will claim any Hijra child on the basis that it is a member of their society and should therefore live with them. Stories of the Hijra community accepting a Hijra baby as a gift, trying to buy it, or even stealing it are not necessarily untrue.

Men or women (8)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Men or women (9)

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com