BANGLADESH (2008-09): SURVIVERS
All Bangladeshis are survivors, but then there are those who live along the railway tracks, who pay the local mafia for a site to put up their shack. I went down there with my students and talked with these residents to get their stories. The over-riding theme was that they had migrated from their villages to find work. Most men ended up as rickshaw pullers, and many young girls found sewing jobs in the garment factories. The makeshift fruit markets set up right on top of the tracks had to be picked up and moved whenever they heard a train whistle, every 20 minutes. Thousands of people were scurrying around, in between washing their clothes and cooking dinner and lugging water from the well. Amidst it all, it seemed that they were able stand the conditions because of the cooperation of the community.