Article published in Fönstret
May 15, 2017
By Sushmita Preetha
Bangladesh. Renu Begum started working in a sweatshop in Dhaka as a twelve year old, and barely remembers what her life looked like before then. She is a widow and the sole provider for her children, so she works as much as she can but on her meagre salary it is difficult to make ends meet. She has to work overtime every day.
The working days are long. Renu knows she sews clothes for many different brands but cannot read the labels. However, she can read the price tags and is amazed by how the clothes can be so expensive when her salary is so low?
Article published in Fönstret, 15 May 2017. Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.fonstret.se/Artikelarkivet/Reportage/Hon-syr-dina-klader/
Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
12 September 2016
By Sushmita Preetha
Dhaka, Bangladesh. Painting is 14-year old Umayer Itmam’s passion, and if he was free to choose he would study art or architecture, but he’s obeying his mother’s wish for him to become a doctor like her. She makes sure he doesn’t “waste” his time but follows a strict study schedule.
-I have to follow a strict routine. I have a one hour break for lunch and a shower. Then I have a two hour break in the afternoon and one hour for dinner. Apart from that I have to study the whole time, says Ummayer.
But despite the dominating role his mother plays in his daily life Ummayer does not seem to resent her.
-She wants what’s best for me and I love her for it, he says. My dad is more relaxed.
16-year old Rabeya Akther lives in a different part of Dhaka. Hers and Ummayer’s lives are not that far apart geographically speaking, but it is when it comes to economical conditions. Rabeya has always helped her mother with the daily chores. Her mother works as a housekeeper for other families and is often late home from work.
-I have to contribute with what I can at home. My parents work so hard in order to give me and my brother the best possible options and for us to go to school. When my mother comes home after having done the house work for four families I don’t like seeing her doing even more work, says Rabeya who is in the 10th grade at school.
Article published in Svenska Dagbladet 12/9, 2016. Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/pressad-hemifran-att-lyckas-i-livet/om/idagsidan