By: Lipy Mary Rodrigues, World Vision Bangladesh Communications
A narrow walkway runs towards the Hindu Para after surrounding an aged pond. The grubby water of the pond indicated what the environment of that community would be. I entered in the locality, then the road became too narrow for two men to walk side by side, as the mud houses were pushing in from both sides. After walking for few minutes I came to a small yard.
I found a little boy sitting silently under the veranda. He was barefoot, with a running nose and almost naked. His face told me that he could no longer bear the agony of hunger. He seemed more mature than his actual age five, as childish movement had disappeared from his activities because of poverty.
I met Gautam Chandra at his house for the first time just two years ago. He is the son of Joyanti Bala and Vombol Chandra, and his sister’s name is Janota.
Previously, the parents could not even think of sending Gautam to school. They did not feel the need for education. They thought it was some kind of luxury, as they did not even have the capacity to provide two meals per day to their children.
“We are too poor to send him school,” Gautam’s mother said. “If we get aid from World Vision he would be educated.”
This same Gautam Chandrao is now going to school after being sponsored by World Vision, in the Birol Area Development Programme.
The house where they lived before was not worthy to provide safety or comfort. The roof was made of rotten straw, and the mud walls were in danger of falling down at any moment. The home was vulnerable to the whims of the weather; rainwater washed away their bed, in winter it could not protect them from the bitter cold, and in the summer they were burnt by the brutal sunbeams.
“What can I do, what I earn cannot even manage three times meal for my family,” Vombol said at the time. “I can't even save a TK [about 1 US cent] in a month. How can I think of renovate my house.”
But now Gautam can sleep sound. Sweet dreams now knock at his door while sleeps. World Vision assisted the family to repair the house, providing corrugated iron sheets for the roof.
Little Gautam can smile now; he loves to go school and play with friends. He loves to draw pictures.
I hope, like Gautam, all children of his community will have sweet dreams. And we all are committed to work together to make these dreams true.