October 10, 2013
For many days one picture is coming again and again in my mind! First saw the picture several years back. Didn’t know the photographer’s name so searched on google. I just wrote “famous pictures” and the link came up! Didn’t have to write “of child and vulture”. The photographer was Kevin Carter. It was taken in 1993 in Sudan during the famine. A very young skeleton-like, immovable child and a vulture sitting and watching nearby! After I saw that picture I was mad! Can’t ever forget it!
Like the unforgettable pictures of 1971 in Bangladesh, the utterly inhuman tortured dead bodies, bodies of raped women, bodies of tortured but living humans! Pictures of tortured, killed Jews in the World War II! Like many more pictures of many times of this civilization! Every day the pictures are increasing! When will it end, the pictures of famine, war, killing, crime, torture?! Today I just glanced a picture on Facebook! Burned skeleton! Garments worker burnt in the factory! How many more?!
Another picture is driving me crazy! A hungry, food deprived, wounded ten years old girl Aduri! The vulture in the famous picture of Kevin Carter came as a part of nature, even though it is unbearable! The vulture may have thought the child was already dead or waiting to die! The same way Aduri’s employer thought about her! Who is more cruel and worst! The vulture or the employer! Aduri was a housemaid. In nature vultures are decreasing which is not good for the balance of echo system. Nature needs vulture but not the way of the picture. But the vulture-like employers are increasing! The system of keeping housemaid is still common in Bangladesh like some other countries. Slavery isn’t anywhere in this world officially. But in some or many places it exists at different level, different dimensions! In many countries where housemaid conception is still present, they are treated as slaves in many places! In Bangladesh generally hours aren’t count, basic salary system isn’t there in most of the places. In Dhaka some changes are noticeable these days, yet long way to go. Other parts of the country hasn’t changed that much. (Not talking about exceptional cases)
From very early age children learn to look at housemaids as low-level human beings! They learn it from adults. They show it by their behavior. In many houses physical abuse go on with verbal abuse. As if it’s normal! Never comes in mind that, they come to work for just alms to live and people also can’t live without their help!
Many people say that to understand love for birth country people should stay in foreign countries for long times. I add, to learn to respect to all human beings regardless of their jobs, to learn to value every job, each Bangladeshi (middle class and higher class) should stay in foreign countries for a while. Have to do everything from cleaning bathroom to cooking. All things, outside and inside of the house. Have to raise children just by parents. There are challenges in Bangladesh and also in other countries. But they may differ by nature. No reason to compare. But people in Bangladesh need to learn things. How many more years the employers of many Aduri will act like vultures!?