For the last six days, I have been reporting from Rangamati on the aftermath of the landslides.
The district saw 118 of its people perish in the disaster.
I have visited the affected areas and saw at close quarters the ravaged homes, roads, shops and government establishments. I have tried to focus on all the aspects involving the affected people and their sufferings.
Now I am writing this piece to share my personal feelings that I had to keep aside while reporting.
On the fateful morning of June 13, the people of Rangamati woke to scenes of apocalypse. Many lost their near and dear ones. There are families that have been completely destroyed. Many families have only one or two members alive.
Homes built with hard earned money and once filled with pure happiness have been razed to the ground or have become unliveable. Money, gold ornaments, mobile phones, books, certificates and land documents have gone under the soil.
Many of those now staying at shelters or with relatives are too scared to go to their damaged houses where they saw their loved ones die right before their eyes.
The devastation and then continuous downpours raising fear of fresh mudslides forced around 3,000 people to move to the shelter centres where they are physically safe for now.
But where they will go from shelters is not clear yet. Will they again start living on the hill slopes amid the risk of landslides? Will they be rehabilitated to safer places? The authorities have to think, decide and act fast.
In the 19 shelters, people are passing days in tears, grief and pain and thinking about the uncertainties that lie ahead. They only get cooked rice twice a day and some medicines provided by the administration.
They have no additional clothes and nothing to sleep on. No arrangements are there for them to bathe or use toilet properly.
Then there are children, women, injured and elderly persons who need additional attention.
Meanwhile, Eid is approaching.
Many of us will buy new dresses and have feasts and fun with our family members. But what will this Eid bring for the landslide victims whose main concerns would be getting safe places, three-time meals, clothes, healthcare, etc?
Many of the homeless wanted to know from me what they would do, where they would go and how they would survive. I had no answer.
Words are never enough to describe what I saw in Rangamati. All I can say is that it is no less than a humanitarian disaster.
And I can urge you all to stand by them with whatever you have.
Perhaps, we can make small contributions; we can set aside something from our Eid budgets or from Zakat money.
We have limitations and our help would not be enough to ease their pain and loss. But it is quite sure that trying to do something for the cause of humanity is way better than just sitting back and blaming others or making complaints.