20 imagesThe portrait of a group of people who believe they act like a God to perform for the Hindu community people in Koira, Bangladesh on the occasion of the Bengali New Year festival. The performance is a very enchanting folk festival of the Southern Belt of Bangladesh and West Bengal. The believers of the Hindu religion celebrate this on the last day of Chaitra (Chaitra Songkranti). People believe that the festival will bring prosperity by eliminating the sorrow and sufferings of the previous year. The traditional performance is celebrated mainly in rural areas. A group of Hindu community men and women take a Brata' or the time-bound ritual, have to go through a month-long fasting from sunrise to sunset, live strictly on fruits & perform daily worship to get blessings from the lord. The festival not only reflects blind faith but also the eagerness to accept penance on the road to achieve salvation.
14 imagesBangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries affected by climate change and the aftermath is only worsening. Climate change and variability have already had a major impact on livelihoods around riverine areas and in arid and semi-arid regions in Bangladesh. The country is already suffering increasing impacts of temperature rise, drastic variable rainfall, extreme weather events and sea-level rise. The number of climate refugees in the country is therefore growing. Losing everything they had in their villages, these people are moving into cities like Dhaka in search of a better life. The already overcrowded capital is taking a heavy toll on its amenity, serving additional mouths every day. For climate refugees, mostly deprived of minimum academic education, it is difficult to get instant work in the city. Majority of them end up being day labourers. But such work can seriously damage one's health. Rita is a young Bangladeshi girl who works as a coal unloader at a Dhaka port. Ten years ago, she moved to Dhaka with her five-member family after river erosion grasped their homestead in southern Bhola district. Her mother initially started working as a day labourer while Rita tried to continue study. But to support the family, she eventually turned into a day labourer as well within a few years following her mother's footsteps. They started working in the coal unloading business. Unaware of the fatal, dark and chronic sides of the carbon bearing work, the mother-daughter barely knew what would happen to them in the long run. Coal workers are at risk of developing a lung disease called "Pneumoconiosis" due to continuous exposure to the airborne, respirable dust. Exposures more than five years may increase risks of lung cancer that would end up in early deaths. But reality is that the climate refugees don't have the luxury to choose. They live one day at a time only to survive.