The sun was shining a bit too bright that afternoon. A crowd including men, women and children were all at work, defying the blistering rays of the sun and the scorching heat.
Some workers hopped on a small dingy that was anchored by the Jadukata river at Laurer Gor area near the Indian border in Tahirpur upazila in Sunamganj. They are on their way to fetch the stones and sand that has been excavated from the riverbeds.
As soon as they left, another boat loaded with stones and sand anchored at the riverbank. Workers rushed to it with cane baskets and started unloading. They will pick a basketful of dust and dump it at the sandhill a few metres away.
Children, mainly boys, were playing. They splashed water on each other and their laughter could be heard from a distance. Some women and girls were sitting nearby, lazily watching them while munching on the food they brought as lunch.
This is life for them, far away from the maddening crowd, from the bustling cities of big towers, the fourth industrial revolution, digitalisation and modernisation in every sector, these people are still living the life which their ancestors lived – for generations.
No matter how much they struggle, the shackles of poverty never let them break free. After toiling for 8 to 10 hours a day, these people do not earn enough to make ends meet.
These people earn a day wage which ranges from Tk100-150 for children, Tk150-200 for women and Tk200-250 for men.
The economy is dependent on stone and sand excavation and only a few people are involved with fishing for a living, but yet they smile, every time they dive in the mighty Jadukata river to bring out stones and sand.