The Endless Journey

Published by The News Today on 5th October, 2016 (Link Above)

By Barrister Miti Sanjana Palash, a 27 year old came to Dhaka in the hope of building a better future and to keep the dream of his family alive. He left behind his parents, two brothers and a sister at his small village as he could not find any work to make a living there. Like thousands of other workers, he is labouring in a mega city. He shares a small room with three other co-workers. The room where he lives is 12ft by 12ft with six beds and accommodates six people. Lying at the corner of that room, he sometimes thinks about his friends and misses his friends with whom he used to play in the open green fields and swam in the crystal clear river of his village. He toils long hours to support his family. The 27-year-old earns 8000 taka in a month and sends 5000 taka to his family every month so that his siblings can go to school and his family can live happily. He was surviving on what little savings remained to pay for his rent and food. Through it all Palash grew up to be a good natured, even tempered young man. He always has smile on his face that is radiant, warm and kind. He sacrifices his own happiness to build the dream of his family and gladly accepted the way things are. Still he is optimistic and has a clear vision of his future. Every year Eid brings enormous happiness to his family as during Eid he gets the longest holiday of the year. He buys new cloths for his family members. This little extra bonus brings smile on his face. He loves to spend happy times full of laughter with family and friends. On 12 September, 2016, before the sun rose over the horizon, he started his journey to his village to celebrate Eid with his loving family. In reality he had no idea how much this journey would cost. The entire family and his friends were eagerly waiting for his arrival. His mother made sure to cook all his favorite foods. His father bought a new outfit for Palash. His younger sister made a hand-fan with the leaves of their palm-tree. The brothers and friends waited to play football with him. His arrival was delayed by few hours. The sun was about to set. Clouds were rimmed with golden hue. When the sun was going down his lifeless body reached home. He died a tragic death in a serious road crash taken place only 10 km away from his home. When people around the country were preparing to celebrate Eid, Polash’s lifeless body arrived into his dream home. His mother was half-crazy with grief. She looked fragile like an aged piece of porcelain. His father lost his bearings for several days after the tragic demise of his loving son. It was devastating to go through the viewings of his body. There was a steady stream of people coming to bid farewell to Palash. His dear friends broke down when they saw Palash’s lifeless body. Deadly traffic accidents usually occur in our country during the long Eid holidays, when hundreds of thousands of people take to the road for holiday to visit family. This year only during Eid-ul-Azha holidays at least 265 people were killed and 1,153 were injured in 210 road, railways and waterways accidents according to a report compiled by Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh. Most of the road accidents had occurred mainly due to reckless driving, speeding for earning extra money, lack of training, faulty roads, unsafe lane changes, improper turns, tailgating, allowing extra passengers, plying of unfit vehicles etc. There are road traffic laws like The Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1983 and other laws which are sufficient to safeguard the passenger’s safety. Bangladesh Road Transport Authority has drafted the “Road Transport Act, 2016” which may show some light and the citizens perhaps can sense a spark of hope for less traffic accidents. But, despite all these attempts, this breakthrough would be fruitless unless implemented properly. Once the consciousness and necessity are understood and we start to realize about our obligation towards the value of life of a citizen, the rate of accidental death can be reduced. Like Palash, many innocent lives have been killed like insects as reckless driving has become a child’s play. Everyone has to realize that every single life is important. Palash had never been this far from his home in all his life and now he is far away from his loved ones and all alone. In Bengali, ‘Palash’ is the name of a bright red flower, which is known as the flame of the forest. Palash’s lifeless body was lying in the blood-swept courtyard and it looked like a blooming red flower. When people around the country were celebrating Eid with joy, silence was all about in the early morning mist as each person of the Palash’s family was bidding their sad farewell to their loving child. The journey that he started for his home had taken him to an endless destination.