Mourning Mother <i>With A Mission </i>
Salma Chowdhury still cannot quite explain the bond that she had with her son Ashiq. All she is aware of is the pain of losing her son to cancer. She just wanted to get back Ashiq alive. Once she could ensure that he was there beside her, in that soulful sense of the meaning, everything else would fall into place.
Eventually Salma discovered a way out of this difficult situation when she realised she could offer tremendous benefits to cancer-affected children and their families in the country.
Thus was ASHIC (A Shelter for Helpless Ill Children) born. For her, it was an opportunity to keep Ashiq alive in the memory, indeed in the imagination. Salma was on her way to transforming her personal tragedy into an exercise aimed at promoting the public weal.
ASHIC provides counselling, accommodation and temporary finances for treatment to children waging a battle against cancer.
These photos, taken at a shelter home of the foundation at House 54 on Dhanmondi's Central Road, show the birthday celebrations of one of the children; a volunteer playing with a kid; and a ceremony to honour the donors of ASHIC.
But for Salma, there is yet a steep hill to climb. As she told this photographer, she needs much more assistance to go on with her mission, to carry it forward and so touch the future through touching the lives of the very young and the very innocent.