• Monday, Mar 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:18 am

When a public toilet serves as home

  • Published at 02:30 pm January 24th, 2021
Toilet_Shahdat
File photo of Shahadat and his wife Nargis Begum UNB

Shahadat was a chiffonnier until Boalmari Mayor Mozaffar Hossain offered him a job

For Shahadat and his wife Nargis Begum, a public toilet in the Tinpatti area of Boalmari Bazar has long been home.

Shahadat relocated to Boalmari, along with his sister, after losing both his parents at an early age. At the time, he was just six years old.

"My mother died soon after my birth. At the age of six, I lost my father. With no one to take care of us in our native Pachuria area of Magura district's Mohammadpur upazila, I decided to move on. Along with my sister, I came to Boalmari," he says.

Shahadat was a chiffonnier until Boalmari Mayor Mozaffar Hossain offered him a job. "Thanks to the Mayor, I am now employed with the civic body as a daily wage city cleaner. I get Tk 180 for a day's work," he says.

His wife works as a domestic help. "I work in a couple of houses as a maid. Sometimes my employers give me food. On other days, I cook food for me and my husband outside the toilet as it stinks inside," Nargis says.

Both are now pinning hopes on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ambitious Ashrayan-2 project that aims at eliminating homelessness in Bangladesh

Hasina virtually distributed pucca houses to some 66,189 landless and homeless families under the project as a gift from her government in Mujib Borsho, marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Nation, on Saturday.

"But to be frank, we don't know if the government is going to give us a house," Nargis says.

However, Boalmari upazila Nirbahi Officer Jhotan Chanda says that the couple is likely to get a free pucca house under the Ashrayan-2 project. 

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