“I do not know where to begin. I’ve never been good at telling my own story. I came to Dhaka from Pabna in 2004. In the last thirteen years of my life, I’ve seen many ups and downs. My family is not very well off. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to call us very poor. Upon my arrival in Dhaka, I took shelter at my uncle’s house. He’s the one who guided me to this line of work. I started working as a helper. Initially, my salary was only 700 Taka. I continued that work for about five years. Then I moved to the print section as an operator and worked there for three years. It’s been almost eight years now, I have been working as a color master here. Now I earn around 17000 – 18000 Taka altogether. I’ve come a long way in this line of work. This profession has changed a lot in my life.
Before coming to Dhaka, I had no idea about the urban lifestyle. Here, I became familiar with an advanced and developed lifestyle. I really wanted to pursue my education, you know? But unfortunately, circumstances did not allow me. I understand the value of education. That’s why I am paying for my younger brother’s education irrespective of the struggle so that he can have a better life ahead. There is nothing more in my life really … When I first came to Dhaka, I did not go back home for about three years, because I was angry with my parents. I had a hard time accepting that I did not have the opportunity to study. Thus, my efforts for brother’s education. He’s studying in class nine now. He will do a lot better in life with his educated and it will take him places! I did not get the same opportunity. This garment factory is my life now. We find our own way to enjoy here. Occasionally, we go for picnics. Life is moving on. I’m not doing so bad!”
– An employee at a small garment factory.