Those who can't go home for Eid | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 15, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, June 15, 2018

Those who can't go home for Eid

When people are leaving Dhaka city in droves to be with their loved ones during the Eid holidays, Mohammad Samad, whose family home is in Kamalganj upazila, Moulvibazar, cannot.

It is his profession that is holding him back from going home and keeping him apart from his family. A year has passed since he last held his three-year-old daughter in his arms.

“My daughter is growing up fast. My wife sends me her photos. That's the only way I get updates on her,” said Samad.

Samad, a security guard, works at an officers' quarter in Eskaton Garden, Dhaka. This year, his professional duties are keeping him in the city. However, he will not be paid extra for his services during Eid.

Photo: Prabir Das

“It is just part of my job. We have to ensure the safety of the residents,” said Samad who works over 12 hours a day; he works on weekends too.

Before coming to the city, he worked as a caretaker of a house for 10 years in his home district. He left the job and joined the security company in Dhaka for better opportunities and wages.

He would be able to go home after Eid, when his colleagues will return for duty. All he can do now is wait for the holidays to be over.

Like Samad, there are many -- from different professions -- who are not going home for Eid.

One such character is Shahnoor Alam, a rickshaw-puller who has been working in Dhaka for the last three months. For him, it's not professional obligations that are keeping him in the city.

His mother is affected by paralysis and the medical costs forced him to come to the city from Rangpur. He has already spent nearly Tk 1 lakh for her mother's treatment.

“I can't go back until I have managed enough money for my mother's treatment. Hence I have to work during Eid too,” said Shahnoor, who can often be found in Dhaka's Moghbazar and Rampura.  

“I don't know whether I can afford to buy new clothes for my daughters and wife this year,” added Shahnoor.       

For some people, going home for Eid means added stress and hassles. Razia Sultana, who has been working as a domestic help in Mohammadpur, is not going back to her village in Patuakhali.      

“I don't have enough money to buy gifts for my relatives. So I decided to stay back this Eid. I'll go home for Qurbani Eid,” said Razia.

Shaheen Khan, a security guard working in Paribagh area, is not going to his village for Eid because, “bus tickets cost more during Eid. A ticket that costs Tk 350 on a regular day becomes Tk 800 during festivals,” alleged Shaheen whose village is in Bagerhat district.

However, there are people who are eagerly waiting to go home right after Eid whether they have enough money or not.

Zahirul Islam came to Dhaka from Barisal this year after failing in SSC exams. He found a job at a fast food restaurant in Dhanmondi.  

He has to work on Eid day and serve young customers out on the town.

“I regret being a long way from home and I miss my parents,” said Zahirul, who plans to sit for SSC exams again after going back.

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