WHERE HAVE ALL THE COLOURS GONE?

October 17, 2008
By
Lost dreams.

Lost dreams.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Collage of unimaginable shades of musty yellow, hues of grey, black and sallow brown. A lone low watt electric bulb makes a tiny halo of illumination that hardly reaches the floor. At regular intervals constant whirring and deafening clanging ring throughout the place. At first glance one would not be able to distinguish the various objects from the humans. Was there truly any sign of life here? Where? On a closer inspection one would perceive tiny movements, an escaped sign, a sudden shimmer and that was all the sign of life one would get in the confined space of the congested room. Everything seems to have merged here— the walls, the machines and the young human beings. Who were these living elements? And where was this indiscernible confinement?

This was no medieval underground dungeon or mine where humans meet untimely deaths. This was a 21st Century urban factory many of whose employees are under 15 years of age. Mostly ‘bread earners’ of their families these children categorized as ‘child labourers’ are part of the 246 million child workers worldwide (6.6 million in Bangladesh) who are exploited physically, mentally, morally and deprived of education and natural development (ILO/2006).

Banished to an existence in the fathomless maze of a monochromatic world of grime, filth, hardships and excruciatingly hazardous labour their shackled childhood only leads to unrecognized early deaths, diseases and lost dreams.

Mother and son, permanent workers of a flour mill in the old part of the capital.

Mother and son, permanent workers of a flour mill in the old part of the capital.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Working among tannery wastes and chemicals these boys are easy prey to early deaths and diseases. Normally such child labourers earn less than 50 pence a day.

Working among tannery wastes and chemicals these boys are easy prey to early deaths and diseases. Normally such child labourers earn less than 50 pence a day.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Children work as porters at the citys Kamlapur Railway Station. The weight they carry is usually double of their bodys weight.

Children work as porters at the city's Kamlapur Railway Station. The weight they carry is usually double of their body's weight.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Urban construction industry usually depends on the labours of children who work as brick crushers.

Urban construction industry usually depends on the labours of children who work as brick crushers.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Murads shackled and mutilated feet. How this has really hampered his development as a child!

Murad's shackled and mutilated feet. How this has really hampered his development as a child!Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Shackled childhood: with no chance of a normal childhood, 9 years old Murad works on a handloom in the citys Benarasi Palli.

Shackled childhood: with no chance of a normal childhood, 9 years old Murad works on a handloom in the city's Benarasi Palli.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

There are hundreds of aluminium factories in the major cities all over Bangladesh and most of the labours are none other than children who earn nearly $8-12 per month.

There are hundreds of aluminium factories in the major cities all over Bangladesh and most of the labours are none other than children who earn nearly $8-12 per month.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Even though child labour is prohibited in mainstream garment factories subsidiary industries like ball press manufacturers (suppliers of buttons, collars, cuffs and other accessories) use child labourers.

Even though child labour is prohibited in mainstream garment factories subsidiary industries like ball press manufacturers (suppliers of buttons, collars, cuffs and other accessories) use child labourers.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Many children work under extreme heat in iron foundries where propellers and machineries are made. The suffocating fumes and heat nearly choke these young workers.

Many children work under extreme heat in iron foundries where propellers and machineries are made. The suffocating fumes and heat nearly choke these young workers.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Most working children do not have places to stay at night. Some NGOs have made temporary shelters for street children.

Most working children do not have places to stay at night. Some NGOs have made temporary shelters for street children.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Many children in urban areas work without safety measures in the hazardous conditions of wielding factories.

Many children in urban areas work without safety measures in the hazardous conditions of wielding factories.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Selling drinking water on the streets is a form of temporary profession common among urban street children.

Selling drinking water on the streets is a form of temporary profession common among urban street children.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

In spite of constant physical threats children are often found working as brick crushers to meet the demands of the ever-growing construction industry of the country.

In spite of constant physical threats children are often found working as brick crushers to meet the demands of the ever-growing construction industry of the country.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Children who work in the citys many counterfeit dry cell battery factories put in long hours at the end of which they come out covered totally in soot and grime.

Children who work in the city's many counterfeit dry cell battery factories put in long hours at the end of which they come out covered totally in soot and grime.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Factory owners prefer using cheap and controllable child labour in their counterfeit dry cell battery factories in Sadarghat, an old part of the city.

Factory owners prefer using cheap and controllable child labour in their counterfeit dry cell battery factories in Sadarghat, an old part of the city.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Children in aluminium factories work along with adults and are often victims of physical abuse.

Free diving in the polluted River Buriganga. Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

A child labour at a local night school organized by a NGO.

A child labour at a local night school organized by a NGO.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Lost dreams.

Lost dreams.Photo: Azizur Rahim Peu, DrikNEWS.

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*