CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, May 16 (Reuters) – Cyclone Mahasen
buffeted Bangladesh’s low-lying coast on Thursday, bearing down
on the ports of Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar, as tens of thousands
of people huddled in shelters from a storm the United Nations
says threatens 4.1 million people.
Winds of up to 100 kph (60 mph) lashed the coast and whipped
up waves, with an expected 2.1 metres (seven foot) storm surge
and heavy rain likely to cause widespread flooding.
TANGAIL, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Their faces painted heavy with make-up, teenage girls in short, tight blouses and long petticoats loiter in squalid alleys, laughing and gesturing to potential clients who roam Tangail town’s infamous red light area in the early evening.
There is no shortage of men looking for “company” in Kandapara slum, a labyrinth of tiny lanes – lined cheek-by-jowl with corrugated iron shacks – a few hours drive northeast of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.
By Andrew Biraj
“Hashi cannot be sad ever. Sadness is a part of our lives, so we don’t bother with sadness. My parents will not be able to identify me anymore. There is a huge difference between my present appearance and the malnourished look of my childhood. I am healthier than before and fit to serve a lot of customers in a day.”
– Hashi (which means happiness), a seventeen-year-old sex worker at Kandapara brothel in Tangail
It was a quieter evening than in hectic Dhaka. The gentle breeze of spring surrounded the cold atmosphere of the small town of Tangail, a town in the north east of Bangladesh. A small walk through a calm neighborhood took me to a place which looked similar to any of the country’s slums.