Mother says he sounded different over the phone the previous day
A 27-year-old man, who volunteered at the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, died setting himself on fire in Savar.
Nawshad Hasan Himu, son of Abul Hossain from Barisal’s Nazirpur, poured kerosene and set himself on fire on Wednesday night, on the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy.
The doctors declared him dead, when he was brought to Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital.
Savar Model Police Station Sub-Inspector, Asgar Ali, confirmed the incident to Dhaka Tribune.
He said: “We have sent his body to Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital morgue.”
Nawshad lived alone in a rented house in Birulia, Savar. His neighbours took him to the hospital.
Locals said Nawshad had pet dogs. He even took care of street dogs. He seemed mentally unstable most of the time, they said.
Khandakar Hasibur Rahman Lebu, president of an organization named Rana Plaza Uddhar Kormi (Rana Plaza Rescue Workers), confirmed Himu was indeed part of the volunteer rescue team during the tragedy.
Nawshad’s mother, Afroza Begum, told Dhaka tribune, her son sounded depressed when they spoke on Wednesday night.
She said: “He called me several times yesterday (Wednesday), which was not normal; he also sounded different. Even a few minutes before setting himself on fire, we spoke on the phone.
“Later, I received the news and rushed to the hospital.”
His mother added they have a plot of land in Savar. To build a house there, Nawshad rented at a building next to the land 25 days ago, and started living there alone.
However, she was not sure whether her son’s mental condition deteriorated within that time.
Afroza also said: “During the Rana Plaza disaster, we used to live in Dhaka’s Shyamoli. Nawshwad and I went to the accident scene to donate blood. When he saw that hundreds of people were stuck inside, he joined the rescue effort with others.
“Nawsahad was there till the last day of the rescue mission. After that, he mostly spent his time caring for the accident survivors and also developed a special bond with them. He had regular contact with many accident victims of Rana Plaza.”
The volunteer’s mother continued: “Nashwad used to speak more often about how people were stuck inside the debris of the building and how many of them died there. He used to worry a lot about certain things.
“He was a dog trainer by profession and his income was pretty good.”
Afroza said: “Maybe he was worried about something which affected his mental condition, leading him to commit suicide.”