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The Agony of a Slum Girl

Sanjida is a 13-year-old bright kid and a dweller of the Chalantika slum area. Her father’s name is Md. Khokhon Chokhidar and her mother’s name is Nurbanu. There are seven members in her family. She has three siblings in her family. Currently, she lives together with her parents, elder brother, sister-in-law, niece and her younger brother. Her elder sister has got married and she lives in her in-law’s house.

7 years back, Sanjida's family came to Dhaka from Bhola district which is located in the southern part of Bangladesh. His family came to Dhaka due to the river erosion as they lost all of their lands into the river. Since then, they had been living in Chalantika slum. This is not a suitable place to live in. They use two rented rooms for themselves where seven people live together. Here in this slum, every eight families use a single common toilet which is hanging on the lake.

Sanjida’s father is a day laborer, elder brother works in a bottle factory and mother works as a housemaid. In their family, her father, elder brother, and mother are the earning persons. Her father Md. Khokhon Chokhidar earns 5000 Tk, brother earns 8000 Tk and her mother earns 4000 Tk per month. Her father can’t work regularly because of his illnesses. So, he can’t provide much from his low income.

In the year of 2015, Sanjida’s mother came to know about Chalantika Slum Children Development Project (CSCDP) of ADRA Bangladesh and soon she admitted her to preschool in CSCDP Centre.

In 2017, when Sanjida was in class two, her father had an accident. He fell from a nine storied building. He got seriously hurt in his knee and chest. Fortunately, he fell on a dune otherwise he might have died of that accident. That time, they suffered financially a lot. They were unable to maintain their family expense and treatment expenses of her father. Afterward, they decided to go back to their village again. In March 2017, they went back to their village in Bhola. They had only a little piece of land in their village, they had built a small house on that land. That time her elder brother and sister got married.

When they were in the village, they needed to come to Dhaka at times for the sake of her father’s treatment. So, in November 2017, they again decided to move to Dhaka. Her mother communicated with ADRA staffs. That time there was no space in CSCDP Center so, project staffs recommended to contact next year in January. As Sanjida was a very attentive and brilliant student and considering the situation of her family CSCDP staffs decided to enroll her again to the project. In 2018, she admitted in class three. Last two years she had been studying here and now she is in Grade Four.

“I want to study medical science and explore medical fields to help underprivileged people like me and to those who require medical help,” Sanjida said confidently about his life goal.

Sanjida and her family are very grateful to ADRA Bangladesh CSCDP project for making their life a better one and obtaining the opportunity to make a better future.

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