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Life Beside Padma

Syed Asir Ha-Mim Brinto | Bangladesh

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This project is about the people living on the bank of Padma river, located in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. 

"These river beaches are our playground," this is how the children were expressing when I asked them about their means of entertainment. Every time I have visited these areas along the banks of the Padma river in Rajshahi, these children have become very enthusiastic about my camera, and have surrounded me to take pictures. And I went to those settlements again and again to see their smiling faces.<>

This settlement on the banks of the river Padma is very long, I have wandered in a certain part of about three kilometers from Talaimari Shaheed Minar to Padma Garden in the last six months. I am publishing some parts of that experience here.<>

These people have been living here for ages. Now they can be called permanent residents, the local administration has recognized them. At first, most of their livelihood was river related. But due to the gradual depletion of the water of Padma, many have set foot in other professions such as factory works, local transportation, agriculture etc. Most of them do not have any legal documents for their land, but they claim that the occupied land is registered in the government records with their names. The fishing community is less interested in education, their children make a living by fishing for generations. However, some NGOs are working to improve the situation. Women keep livestock, from which some income comes. Besides, many people earn money by running tea stall and grocery shops along with their homes.<>

The effects of drugs on adolescents are quite noticeable. The local administration is working to improve the situation. These coastal areas are notorious for looting. Adolescents are involved in various criminal activities to provide money for drugs.<>

Each year floods cause some damage to these residents. However, the local administration claims that they have been able to improve the situation a lot so that most of the houses are not submerged.<>

There is controversy over the boundaries of many parts of this settlement. Which part of the settlement is under the jurisdiction of which police station - this dilemma makes it difficult for these people to get help from the law enforcement agencies from time to time.<>

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