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Playing a pickpocket to stop one

  • Published at 05:11 pm November 9th, 2017
  • Last updated at 05:33 pm November 9th, 2017
Playing a pickpocket to stop one

Sayeed Rimon, a textile engineer by profession, has taken an innovative initiative to raise social awareness through the power of social media.

He poses as the very subject of his photos, and urges the people to change their perspective on different social issues, ranging from unacceptable social behavior to unlawful activities.

However, his unique method of raising social awareness has landed him in hot water more than once.

Rimon had posed in a photo for his Facebook page, portraying himself as a pickpocket stealing a mobile phone from another person. The act was intended to alert people against theft on the streets.

However, a national television channel mistakenly believed the photo to be genuine, and used the image in its report on increasing number of pickpockets in Dhaka last year.

This blunder caused a number of people to identify and treat Rimon as a criminal. The misunderstanding persisted for some time, forcing him to exercise caution while visiting public areas.

The young man was however indomitable and resumed his one man crusade against different social issues across the country, which started nearly five years ago.

Rimon portrays himself as the lead character in his photographs, which usually points out serious social issues negatively affecting the public.

He then shares the photographs to his Facebook page, to bring the issues to people’s attention.

One of Rimon’s photographs depicts him as a member of a doping gang, using a handkerchief to suffocate an unsuspecting commuter, while in another image he is posing as a rickshaw puller.

He has portrayed himself as a hijacker and a drug addict, but at the end of the day, Rimon is a talented performer making a serious effort to bring concerning issues under limelight.

“Every single photo contains a public awareness message. Many of my photographs were used by Bangladesh Police to create billboard in different cities while 50,000 such stickers were given to students to raise social awareness,” Rimon told the Dhaka Tribune.

“Bangladesh Tourist Police also uses my photographs to raise awareness among people via their Facebook page.”

Speaking about his life as a performer, Rimon said: “The journey was not easy. Following the television report blunder, a national daily newspaper portrayed me as an unemployed youth, using a photo of me without my permission.”

He added that people have questioned his identity many times, but he endured because his work is benefitting the people and the society.

Rimon's wife Sadia Memi, who is a teacher, said she is proud to see that the work done by her husband is helping to improve social awareness.

Recently, Narayanganj and Munshiganj police used Rimon's photo in a series of billboards.

Bijoy Basak, superintendent of Barguna police told the Dhaka Tribune that each of the images of Rimon's solo performance carries a special message.

“To raise public awareness on law and order situation, district police have planned to build a billboard in Barguna using Rimon's picture,” said the police official.

According to Bijoy, Barguna police have so far distributed around 1 lakh awareness posters and distributed 70,000 stickers to different schools and mosques as part of campaigns, which are mostly focused on anti-narcotics issues.

The street performer, who has around 500 such photographs in his Facebook page, is supported by his friends and fans. They play various roles in his photos and act as photographers.

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