Photo location: Hatiya, Bangladesh
My children ask me all the time why we have to move from one island to another. I have no answer. I also ask Allah the same question every day. My home has been taken by the river six times. A few days ago, we moved to this island and made our seventh home. On this remote island my husband can go only fish. Last night my five hungry children were freezing in the cold. To fight the chilly wind we embraced each other and their father kept reciting the Quran. If my husband can catch a fish, we can survive another day.
We fear the future and fight for today. As we are poor we don’t know what we will eat the next day. We had some land from where we used to get some paddy every year. But this year it is now in the middle of the river. We have no hope for paddy or rice this year.. Only for the grace of Allah we don’t have the problem of drinking water. For many days we have been only drinking water from the river to survive.
The river took everything from us; now we have nothing left. How can I make you understand how we are living our unbearable lives every day? I was so fond of my village from my childhood once, but this cursed land and cruel river is killing me and my family every day. I don’t want to live on this land anymore; not for a single day. But I have nowhere to go; I have not a single penny to move from this cursed land. On this island only two families live with us and they are also surviving like we are surviving; fighting all odds.
There is not a single person to help me. I wanted a loan from one of my brothers who lives outside of this town who came to visit us last year. But he refused to help; saying he is also having a lot of problems and he didn’t believe that I could refund his loan! He asked “how you will refund my money?” I could not answer his question!
No one believes in poor people, not even the brother from the same mother.
I feel hopeless as hell nowadays. I have never gone anywhere away from this land and don’t know what I could do to survive with my whole family. I am in the middle of nowhere and finding no way to get out of this problem.
When my children get sick sometimes, except for crying and asking help from God, I can’t do anything for them. I don’t know how many days we can live here like this? How many days we can live hungry and fight this hostile nature and weather. I don’t know how our miserable days will end or if it will ever end or not!
Link to ‘Stories from Bangladesh’.