Burma Times Correspondent: June 27, 2015
As the sun sets on the western horizon, Khaleda Begum returns from another gruelling day. Begum is a beggar in one of the poorest part of the world. In Jadimura of Bangladesh, people have few resources to spend for themselves, they can hardly afford to spare for others. The well off are almost without exception involved in drug trafficking and not known for their kindness. In fact, Begum worries for her safety and her daughter about to enter teenage years.
A year ago, her husband Nazir Ahmed went on a desperate journey to escape extreme poverty and build a life for their children. “We thought if he manages to find work in Malaysia, the bad days would be over. We would do anything for a new life,” says Begum. The family was earlier ejected from Burma during the 2012 riots.
Her husband managed to reach Thailand and they had already saved the 180,000 Bangladesh Taka needed for the ransom. But the trafficker sold Nazir to another criminal ring. The new trafficker demanded 180,000 Taka more. That was not possible for Begum.
For a month, every two or three days, the trafficker called Begum and made her listen to the cries of her husband as he was tortured. Then the calls stopped altogether.
Now Begum is without hope, barely able to survive with her daughter and two sons. Her dreams of a good life in Malaysia has been brutally crushed. As she returns home in the fading evening light, she dreams of her old life with her husband when even in the hardest times, there was hope.