Waiting for mother


Morsheda Begum gazing the site of Rana Plaza disaster cordoned off by barbwire fences. She lost her daughter-in-law there and her five-year-old grandson throws a tantrum if they do not visit the site to look for his mother regularly.

As five-year-old Kamrul opens his eyes in the morning, he begins nagging his father and grandmother to take him to the site of the Rana Plaza collapse, where he hopes to see his mother.
Since the nine-storey building crumbled on April 24, Kamrul has been told that his mother Kamona Begum, who worked as a sewing operator at a garment factory on the fourth floor, is there at the site and will be found soon.
“She used to bring him [Kamrul] something every day on her way back home,” Kamrul’s grandmother Morsheda Begum, 55, says, gazing at the place surrounded by a barbed wire fence.
On the day of the incident, Morsheda, a cleaner, was working on the third floor. She was lucky to be rescued within hours of the collapse with minor injuries to her feet and chest. But the family did not find Kamona, not even her remains.
“Kamrul believes his mother can still be found here and throws a tantrum if I don’t take him to this place,” says Morsheda.
She and her son Mohammad Imran have looked for her everywhere, and now the hope of even getting the body is gone, she sighs.
Imran is dazed and lost and no longer goes out with his rickshaw, she said, describing how the collapse had plunged the family into uncertainty.
Since Kamona’s body was not found, they could not claim any compensation given for dead victims. Morsheda got a month’s salary, most of which was spent to pay the current month’s dues. Besides, having a child to look after and with her right ankle hurting, she cannot work any longer.
Though people, who are recuperating at hospitals, are getting some monetary help from organisations and individuals, Morsheda received nothing. She went home empty-handed two days after she had been admitted to Savar Combined Military Hospital.
Morsheda had to be there in the hospital for a few more days but taking care of Kamrul was more important and so she got herself released.
Recently, her chest pain has returned and because of that when she speaks she takes brief pauses in between.
“We got nothing — neither body nor salary nor compensation,” Morsheda says, turning towards home with Kamrul, who is still looking over his shoulder at the place where his mother disappeared along with the building.

Source: The Daily Star