Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Story of a mother, two sons, and a broken heart

Update : 27 Apr 2013, 07:25 AM

Forty-five-year old Rupa Begum stood at the site for hours, looking for her two sons who worked in one of the ready-made garment factories that the fated Rana Plaza housed.

Virtually unschooled, Rupa Begum, who is a local resident of Savar, could not even state the name of the factory that her two sons worked in.

All she could say was that they worked in Rana Plaza, the eight-storey building in Savar that collapsed on Wednesday morning leaving more than three hundred dead, nearly two and a half thousand injured and hundreds still missing.

The mother of two stood beside the ambulance, parked near the entrance of the lane that lead to the site of collapse, in anticipation that the rescuers would carry down one of her sons any moment.

Suddenly, there was a loud outcry, indicating that another body was found alive.

Rupa becomes hopeful as the rescuers head towards the ambulance.

“Allah, let it be a man,” she prays, eyes filled with tears.

But her hopes were, once again dashed as she saw a woman, Naogaon’s Tahmina, being carried down, alive, by the rescuers.

She loses interest very quickly. All she wants to see is a man being carried down alive and that he be one of her sons.

The mother’s eyes lit up as she notices another body being carried down toward the ambulance – this time it is a man.

“Oh Allah, let it be my son,” she prays again, her eyes still moist.

But her heart sinks as she notices a man with a moustache on the stretcher. None of her sons sports a moustache.

She wipes her eyes and catches a rescuer by the sleeve and howls: “I will have nothing to complain about if I get just one of my sons back alive.”

“I will leave their photos with you. Please, baba (my son), call me if you see anyone of them,” she requests the rescuers.

Rupa Begum told this reporter that her sons entered the factory at 8am on that fateful day [Wednesday], almost exactly when the building came down.

“I have not found their cell phones on since the collapse. But my heart says they are still alive,” the mother said, inquiring in anticipation “What do you think?” as if her sons’ staying alive entirely depended on this reporter’s answer.

Rupa Begum said she prowled the hospitals and clinics for any trace of them, but her efforts were in vain.

The desperate mother said she even paid some of the hospital staff to call her if her either of her sons were found.  

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