In search of a lost child

November 20, 2007 | By | Reply More

A woman covers her child`s face as well as hers to keep away from looking at the putrefying bodies washed ashore.Southkhali, Bagerhat: Hundreds of men, women and children, their lives shattered by cyclone Sidr, queued for desperately needed relief in Southkhali in Bagerhat Tuesday.

After a long wait with little drinking water, the villagers, many bereaved and all in a state of shock, eventually received either biscuits or other dry food from relief workers.

Aleya Begum, who lost her daughter to the cyclone, received a packet of biscuits bearing the image of a small child. “My three-year-old Kushum looked just like that baby. Bring me back my Kushum. I don’t need any food,” she wailed.

Aleya is still searching for her child, while her fisherman husband, Harun, has yet to return from the Bay. “Every time news of a dead body comes in I run to the spot,” said Aleya, whose story is echoed throughout the region surrounding Bagerhat town.

With the power grid and telephone lines disrupted, accurate figures for the death toll are yet to be made clear. Mir Jayesi Ashrafi James, the owner of a fishery in Rajapur village, said: “I was visiting the village on the night of the cyclone.”

“On hearing the weather forecast I immediately ran to Rajapur and told everyone to get to safety. But most of them did not listen.”

James quoted one of them as saying: “We live in the coastal area, we live with storms and tidal surges.”

“Maybe they thought the forecasts would be proved wrong,” James said.


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Category: Climate Change

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