Lady luck smiles on them
Almost every day she can be found lying with her physically handicapped son in front of Awami League office at Gulistan.
She ties her son's legs to hers with a chain so that she doesn't lose her six-year-old son. While talking to her this reporter came to know about her name. Her name is Helena (40). She is a beggar. The Daily Observer published a photograph of the woman and her child on Tuesday, which drew the attention of the authorities and they took some measures to redress their plight.
As now-a-days she cannot beg anymore for her sickness her only physically challenged boy has become a means of her begging.
"I cannot work anymore as I used to do earlier as a domestic help. I cannot hold my head at straight position after a rod from a under-construction building fell on my head," she said. She said she was unable to move herself and it was out of question to save her disabled son. This is why she tied her son to her legs and begs at the same time.
Helena's husband Md Abul (50) is a day labourer. Of the two other children elder son Rafique (11) is a drug addict. Her only consolation is her little daughter Rahima who is only two and a half years old.
Talking to this correspondent Md Abul, Helena's husband said they were migrated from Barishal's Ujirpur village after their homestead was swallowed by river. "Apa ( sister) we had everything - a house, cows, pond full of fishes, trees - everything. But two cyclonic storms - Sidr and Aila - left us flat-broke followed by river erosion that took away whatever was left after the storms. Now we are floating in Dhaka city like hyacinth," she said as tears welled up in her eyes.
This is not just a single story of Helena and her family there are many more people like them who are being forced to migrate to Dhaka city and other parts of the country due to impact of climate change.
A recent Unicef study, published on April 5, found that climate change threatens the lives of 19 million Bangladeshi children.
The report said climate change is a key factor in pushing poorer Bangladeshis to abandon their homes and communities to try and rebuild their lives elsewhere.
Many head to Dhaka and other major cities, where children risk being pushed into dangerous forms of labour and into early marriages.
In this situation where not only Helana's physically challenged son is experiencing such a tormenting life but his elder brother is also caught in a vicious cycle of drug abuse. Her youngest daughter is awaiting a bleak future too.
Md Abul Kalam, an acquaintance of Helana's family, said he had known this family over the last ten years.
Helena used to work in several houses as a domestic help and her husband as a day labourer but things underwent a big change after she met an accident, he said.
"The family has just been shattered before our eyes. We have seen their elder son getting addicted to drugs. We tried to dissuade him but it was too late," he added.
Many experts expressed their concern over this migration. They think due to climate change family bond is under threat with the onslaught of natural disaster. Those families in an unknown environment get engaged in criminal acts.