Around 60 orphaned boys live and study at the Nayatola A U N Model Kamil Madrasa and Darus Salam Orphanage in Dhaka.
Inside the madrasa premises, hundreds of animal hides were being sorted at noon on Eid day. The boys, drenched in the blood of sacrificial animals, were bringing in animal hides. The students say they are required to collect animal hides as donation on the Eid day.
Many boys did not even get a bowl of vermicelli in the morning. On the Eid day, the students become homesick, and they miss the delicious cooking of their mothers.
Mohammad Nurullah Sajib, one of the orphans living and studying at the madrasa, is an accomplished student. 16-year old Sajib’s father had passed away in 2000. The boy had achieved Golden GPA-5 at the PSC, and GPA 4.5 at the JDC exam. He wants to become a national level cricketer.
Sajib misses his mother and 2 siblings, who are living in Mymensingh. It has been 10 years since he was sent to this orphanage. He used to be homesick quite often, but has gradually adjusted to the life here. He plans to visit his family soon.
The boy woke up early on Eid day and attended the Eid prayers at a congregation. He slaughtered several sacrificial animals from around the area, following instructions from his superiors.
There are many boys like Sajib at this orphanage. Abdul Hannan is another student who achieved GPA-4.80 at the PSC exam. Hannan wanted to become a doctor, but his dream shattered following the death of his father.
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Abdul Rahim studies in the 8th grade and wants to become a teacher. His younger brother Abdur Sayim is also a student here. The brothers were dropped off in the orphanage by their uncle, after their father passed away.
“We can be with our families during Eid-ul-Fitr holidays. But, we cannot get holidays during the Eid-ul-Azha, because we have to collect animal hides and meat as donations. We visit our mother after the Eid day, and we spend some quality time with her,” the brothers said.
Most of students in this institution have spent their Eid day collecting hides of sacrificial animals as donation.
Orphanage Office Secretary Maulana Faruq Ahmed Bhuiyaan said: “This is a very important day for us, as we collect raw hide donations to fund the madrasa. We do not have a lot of teachers, so we sent the students out to collect the hides. With the funds, we do our best to provide the students with necessary supplies, such as food, clothing and textbooks. However, some families send their children to orphanages after the death of their fathers, despite having the ability to provide for them.”
He added, “We try to nurture the talent of the students. Many of our former students are working in prestigious positions in both government and non-government sectors.”
The boys love to eat apples and oranges, and have a strong preference for chocolates. But the boys can only afford the luxury through donations to the orphanage.
The boys long to visit their family members, especially when they see fathers and mothers spending time with their children on the Eid day.
Students such as Mohammad Hasibur Rahman, Mohammad Noman, Mohammad Saiful Islam, and Mohammad Abu Musa are spending the Eid without the love of their fathers. Life is full of hardship for them, but the boys are determined to rise above their hardships.