Dr Alavi Hossain, an honourary medical officer of Gynaecology Department at Dhaka Medical College, was married nearly three and a half years ago.
But she could not enjoy Eid-ul-Azha with her in-laws back in the village because of her professional commitments and responsibility.
She was at work during the Eid holidays, among a handful of doctors available at the department.
“I had to rush to my office before 8am, when people were gearing up for their Eid prayers. I cannot leave my patients in trouble,” she said, adding, her husband, who is also a physician, supports her a lot in this regard.
She said it was a hectic job for her to return home and prepare food for her husband after the six-hour shift. She also had to take care of all the household chores.
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Dr Alavi Hossain, an honourary medical officer of Gynaecology Department at Dhaka Medical College, working through her Eid holidays Collected
Tired of the day-long hassle both at work and home, Alavi said she was still planning to visit her relatives and friends in Dhaka after office hours, especially in the evening.
Alavi was among hundreds of professionals from some specific fields who could not help but work since early morning on Saturday, the Eid day, for the greater cause of serving others, when the entire nation was marking the occasion with utmost festivity.
During the visit to the Dhaka Medical College hospital, nurses at the emergency ward were seen struggling to cope with flow of patients.
Shahbagh police station's Sub-Inspector Zakaria Mustafa was engrossed in his work.
Leaving his two-year-old at home, he started his 12-hour-long shift at 8am. “When I joined the police I was aware of the importance, risk and responsibility of this job.”
Hailing from Jhenidah, Zakaria said he was accustomed to working at anytime of the day; no matter what.
“Working on Eid day is nothing different from being on duty on a normal day,” he said.
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Shahbagh police station Sub-Inspector Zakaria Mustafa works at anytime of the day, irrespective of holidays Collected
“I was trained keeping such things in mind,” he further said.
The police officer said he opted to be at work during Eid not because he wanted to draw sympathy from his higher authorities, but because he chose to serve the people of the city.
“I would consider myself lucky if I am allowed Eid holidays in future. If so, it will be great for me and my family,” he hoped.
Things seem to be even tougher for traffic policemen, since they spend all day long on roads, putting aside their celebrations and family commitments.
Md Asad, a traffic constable who lives in the capital with his wife and only son, said he prefers working the most.
“Despite my son insisting that I take him to Mirpur Zoo, I had to say no. This is because my duty comes first,” he told this reporter during his 11-hour shift that started at 11am.
However, he was still mulling visiting the zoo, along with his family, next weekend.
Ensuring our right to know
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Md Asasd, a traffic constable, always puts duty first Collected
Other than doctors and police, journalists also serve the people.
Jhumur Bari, a diplomatic reporter-cum-news anchor at Ekattor TV, said she had five bulletins to anchor between 1am and 10pm.
“As I had to rush for office, I could not even exchange Eid greetings with all my closest relatives,” she said.
“This year, I had to stay in Dhaka with my husband because of office duty, leaving behind my parents in Chudanga and in-laws in Chittagong,” added the journalist, who only managed to meet her sister-in-law before her shift started.
She says news presentation is a pretty tough job since you need to be on full alert while on duty. But she still misses her family on such a festive occasions.
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Jhumur Bari, an Ekattor TV anchor, remains dedicated to her job through the Eid festivities Collected
“It is difficult to balance personal needs and workload. But, I have no other choice but to perform my duty,” she said.
Left with no choice
Like the white collar professionals, a number day labourers were also working on Eid day, looking to earn extra in the almost deserted Dhaka during Eid.
Shariful Islam, a rickshaw puller from Rangpur, where he has his mother, wife and three sons, said they could not sacrifice any animal because they did not have the money.
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Shariful Islam, a rickshaw puller from Rangpur, failed to manage the money to travel back home before Eid Collected
“I worked as an assistant to a butcher in the morning and then took my rickshaw out looking for passengers,” he said.
His family members had asked him to visit them back home, but he refused as he failed to manage the money to travel back home before Eid.