Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rally Bagan poor community

by: Franziska Landesberger

On 9th of September 2008 I visited Rally Bagan poor community for the first time. The area is located next to the busy main road of Narayanganj but hidden behind walls and houses. To enter this poor community one has to make it through huge bamboo, which is sold to build houses out of. Many of the pathways within Rally Bagan are even narrower than in the last visited community and several alleys have only partly footpaths and because of late monsoonal rainfalls during the last days it was very muddy. In contrast to Rail gate 1 a lot of smoke was hanging in the air because many women were cooking in doorways or even in open spaces between houses. After walking along a labyrinth like net of pathways I found a lively, very colorful marketplace with numerous shops and several people trading with vegetables and fruits. But this appearingly crowded and bright place should not hide the fact that Rally Bagan is a very poor, densely populated community. And especially with a lot of garbage lying around and even human excrements found next to a tube well diseases could spread easily. Within this community SHORUVI and PROTTOY two NGOs along with World Vision have built up pre-primary schools and children can reach primary education centers within walking distance, but while making my way through Rally Bagan I was surrounded by hordes of children all the time. Sadly but true, there is even a school formed for children who work in the morning. And to make sure that her students can attend her classes Ms. Labina teaches only in the afternoon. She also lives in Rally Bagan and told me that she has had to send her
eldest son to work because of serious financial problems a few weeks before he could have done his final examination. He works now in the garment business but could not finish his education so far. This sad story might be the reason for her, once working as an actress in traditional Bangladeshi plays, to teach children who have to work in the morning to support their families.

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