Saturday, May 31, 2014

Life in Pashupatinath Oldhome

   Traditional system of taking care of old people within the family is slowly breaking down, partly as a result of rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes which have widened the gap between young and old. Older people are increasingly isolated, often living alone, in poverty and in poor health. Even those who live with their families find that they receive little care, support or respect. Due to these increasing aged people, Nepal has been developed several old aged homes in recent years to rehabilitate the elderly people for their welfare. 

  The Pashupatinath Bridhashram (old home) is the largest old home in Katmandu run by the government so it's budget is limited; it is congested, short-staffed and shows signs of mismanagement. There are 320  residents and 190 of them are women. For some it is a depressing scene to see people at the end of life, away from family, living or rather dying in the Briddhasram. But for many, this is a place where they seek refuge from an ever speeding life and feel satisfied enough simply helping and sharing talk with the older citizens.
Kathmandu, September 2010

Gabura : The Tiger Widow Village

Gabura : The Tiger Widow Village (ongoing project)
Photo Essay by : Ashish Peter Gomes

Nearly half a million people in Bangladesh depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihood. Thousands of men and women go into the Sundarbans forest in Southern Bangladesh every day to gather honey, collect firewood, or catch fish, crabs and putting themselves at great risk for a tiger attack. In almost every village there is a woman or man, commonly the women are referred to as a “Bagh Bidhoba” that is "Tiger Widow", whose spouse has been a victim of a tiger attack. Gabura is one of the village where most of the tiger widows are found. Some people say tiger widow village.

It is thought that around 80 people are killed every year by the tigers on the Bangladeshi side of the Sundarbans forests and the number is quite high in Satkhira Range of Sundarban.  The men usually re-marry within a few months, but the women do not. As most women are wed when they are still children (usually between the age of 9-14) they have virtually no skills outside the home, and end up living a life of poverty, barely able to support their children. The Sundarban forest officials have documented more than 1,000 women who have lost their husbands in tiger attacks. Now a day there are few multinational donor firms running their projects to reduce poverty and forest going tendency. 

Mosammat Kulsum (28) lost her husband on Tiger attack. Her husband Abdul Samad Killed in 2009 and he was 35 years then. She has three daughters and lives with her mother’s Family.
Shaheda Banu (60) lost her husband on Tiger attack. Her husband Bashir Khan Killed in 2005 and she has 2 daughter.
Saleha Khatun (42) lost her husband on Tiger attack. Her husband Shahadat Sheikh Killed in 2008 and he was 35 years then
Rahima Khatun (60) went to Sundarbaan Forest to collect Crab with her husband and both were attacked by tiger. Her husband died on spot.
Halima 55 years, Her husband Mohammed Ali gazi killed in the year 2006. She has 6 children

Hosneara (23) her husband Habibur Rahman (28) was killed by Tiger in the year 2009.  She has two sons. Elder Son is 6 and younger is 4 years old.

Maya Khatun, Her Husband Rashid Gazi killed 4 yrs ago (2008), She has 3 sons.

Kad Banu (42), Her husband Wahed Gazi killed  by tigers 8 yrs ago. She has 6 children.

Tara Bibi (67), mother of Abdul Mazid Gazi, Gazi killed 15 yrs ago by tiger. Tara also lost her husband by Tiger attack.

Sagiron Begum (60), Her husband Md. Mohiuddin Gazi killed 35 yrs ago by tiger attack, She has 6 children.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Found My New Dadi (Grandma)

During my Pashupatinath Old home Visit i got one lady (75) was very disturbed on our activity like walking around and taking photos. Once i was taking photos and try to talk with her he was so annoyed that she was just shouting go away. i didn't listen her words. after sometimes she asked me from where i was. I said Bangladesh. She said to give her photos when I'll come again and not the small print she wanted large print. i said then i've to take more good photos of you and i let her see some pix from my camera. she said "achssa hai" that is very good.

I was tring to make a good relation with that old lady and talking continuously. after sometime one Sister Maria Pushpam, MC Came and asking me about me and my place. i was talking to her in the mean time she was also talking with sister. Once the old lady said that she had a son like me and died in early age. Sister told her "He is Christian and one of her aunt is sister like us" Me and sister was talking and sister noticed me that The Lady is From Very conservative Hindu Brahmmon Family. She does not mix with each other like she cooked his food,she listen radio in her own room even she stay in her room alone. Sister was wondered how i came to close this old lady.

After sometimes she give me one packet of biscuit i said i ate my breakfast few moments ago. she was insisting me and sister said please take this otherwise they feels bad. anyway i took the biscuit and ate some from that packet with the old lady. sister went to her work and then i asked her name. She said Chuni Devi.

after having lunch i was sitting top of the Temple and taking rest. She saw me and called me and asked "Beta kuch khaiya?" (Son Did u ate something?) i said yes then she asking is it true or not. i said yes then she requested me to eat some rice from his pot. i said.i had my lunch and i'll take lunch or another day. Then i just realized when i was read in school then sometime my Mom was not in home then my grandma gave me food for eat and sit beside me till i finished my food. it rolled out a tears from my eyes.

In my very last day in Kathmandu i went to visit Old Home and of course my new Grandma. i was walking arround and once i went to se my new grandma. she called me to her room which is really isolated from any other people of old home. when i heard that i was really wondered. She was insisting me to sit in her room and i gave her photos taken in earlier day. When she watching photos she was talking about her daughter who lives in Pokhara,Nepal. She prepared Tea for me and as usual gave me 3 packets of biscuit. i had tea with her and when i told her that " I am going back to my home tomorrow." i can't remember anything but i saw a drop of tears in her eyes.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Life in Pashupatinath Briddhashram (Old People's Home)

Once i saw one of Bangladeshi Photogrpaher's photo on Pashupatinath Briddhashram where i found a caption was like "Nepal is a country where poverty is a great problem, day by day here population increasing rapidly and it becoming another problem. Lots of old people have to live with their family but because of poverty sometimes they keep the old people outside the home" and i read another Caption was like that " Pashupatinath Briddhasharam is a Government Subsidized old home so the old people don't get good food and treatment because of corruption of administration" but i stayed thee for long time and i realized that if any old people died there the reason should be OVER FEEDING because lots of people come and feed the old people and lots of donor who patronizing this old home. i talked to few people they said the are better here rather than their family. All are stranger but thee Strangers made their new family here. They start their day with prayer (Bhajaan Song) then take breakfast and go to their room or chat with each others. sometimes they work to clean the premises and some are help to cook. The most important observation was the employee/stuffs are not act as employee. they worked here like Volunteer. Most of the official stuffs are walking around always to look after these people, talk to them, cook for them. There is Medical Team where are Doctor and Nurse.

The Old Home authority allows people from outside those who are like to work as volunteer. There I Found Some Volunteer from Spain,USA,England,Germany,Austria and a Nepalese volunteer with Mothers of Charity Sisters. They work for those who are really unable to do for themselves. There was Sistar Maria Pushpam from India who take care of myself very cordially.

There i found some faces like Chuni Devi (she called me Son), Chetan Maya, Barman Thapa. Dumi Bahadur, and so more...they most jolly person is Giri Prashad everyone call him Giri bhai, a official NAme Chinta Moni i talked with him in kitchen when he was cooking food though hi is an official. it was really a good time to know and feel something very unusual in Pashupatinath Briddhashram (Old People's Home)

My Realization in Nepal and it is the turning point of my Photographic Career as i Beleive

It was my very first visit to Nepal. I had a plan to go there with my beloved and that will after my marriage. Probal Rashid-My inspiration in photography was shouted u r becoming ROBOT by working for BBC World Service Trust. i invented it's true we r detaching each other because of heavy work pressure. So i decided I'll go somewhere outside Bangladesh for couple of days. in 2009 we planned to visit India but that was not possible then because of some problem. So We planned for go to Kathmandu and Pokhara.

September 10, 2010 Friday we confirmed our air ticket. It was Probal Bhai's First visit outside of Bangladesh and Second time plane ride experience. i was also very first time tourist for Nepal. anyway we reached Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu in 10th September,2010 at 6:55. Managing Director of our guest house Mr. Manjit Thapa was very helpful when he knew we r photographer then he started to give us brief lecture on Nepal's Sight seeing he told us to visit Pashupatinath Temple on the occasion of TEEJ Festival. We are very lucky that Teej Festival was on 11th September 2010. we went there and walked whole day long in Pashupatinath Temple and neighborhood. Really it's a colorful festival where Nepalese Hindu Women are dancing whole day with fasting for better health and wealth of their husband. the used to wear Red dresses mostly Shari with golden Combination of ornaments. We enjoyed lot.

Probal always trying to do Documentary photowork rather than pass good time and relax and sometime i've to follow him (though he is very good with me when i shouted not to take photos and taking rest). We watched 2 of our elder photographers work during our study in Photographic School on Pashupatinath Old Home. I'm always less interested to take Photographs than chat with people and in Nepal my advantage was I'm quite fluent in Hindi by watching Hindi Movies. We went at Pashupatinath Briddhashram and started to observing people and i found they ar so cordial and say "NAMASTE" very simply. We started to taking Photographs most of the old people are ready to give a pose to take photographs and some are hiding themself. basically i avoide those people are not interested to come in front of camera but normally I go to very close to them and try to talk with them and as usual i did that there. i took lots of picture and came back to my Guest house.

in my second day i went there and can't take any photographs because i was realizing then before being a good photographer I've to be a good human being as well as good son of my parents. I realized that by watching some of Volunteer and Mothers of Charity Sister's work i was standing in a corner and wiping my tears. i was really feeling bad which i never felt earlier. one of MC Sister Maria Pushpam Come to me and Asked why i was standing like statue am i all right or not. i told my realization to sister and she replied -"u have not to be sister or father to serve people you can help them from your own positions and profession."

i came back to guest house and watched my photographs which i took whole day.....then I decided I'll pass my whole time with these old people rather than to go Pokhara.

Monday, November 24, 2008

MY Photos Which I Like Most

As i believe these r my better shoots.......!

MY Publications

Some of My Publication Published different time in different medea....!