We are saddened by the premature death of Sohel Rana, the 25-year-old firefighter who saved many lives at the risk of losing his own during the Banani FR Tower fire on March 28. Sohel was critically injured during the rescue operation when he, along with his colleagues, was trying to take those trapped in the blaze to safety using a hydraulic ladder. At one point, he got stuck in the ladder after which the ladder folded injuring him severely; his stomach was punctured and one of his legs broken. Although he was taken to Singapore for better treatment, his injuries were so severe that after fighting for his life for 11 days, he eventually succumbed to his injuries.
A true hero, Sohel's life struggle began when he was a child. He worked on other people's land and did all kinds of laborious jobs to support his family during his school days. And when he got a job as a fireman in 2015, he used to send the lion's share of his salary to his family and was bearing the educational expenses of his three younger brothers.
We rarely come across people like Sohel Rana who prioritise their jobs and responsibilities towards society over anything else. And not only Sohel Rana but the entire team of the fire service made us proud during the devastating FR Tower fire. We have not forgotten Kaikobad, the man who died during the Rana Plaza disaster while trying to rescue a victim from under the rubble. But our responsibility towards these men should not simply end with us recognising them as heroes. To truly honour them, we should take the responsibility of their families. Now that Sohel Rana is no more, the government should make sure that his family does not have to go through economic hardship and his younger brothers can continue with their studies. That would be the most fitting way to honour Sohel Rana.