preloader
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Hell for Leather

Bangladesh's leather industry is worth over $ 1 billion a year and around 20,000 people are employed in the hundreds of tanneries operating along the banks of the Buriganga River in the southwest of Dhaka, the capital. Yet while this industry provides a livelihood for tens of thousands of workers and their families, the working conditions and chemicals used in the tanning process can have devastating effects on the health of the workers and a complete lack of safety and environmental regulations has caused severe pollution of surrounding waterways. Add to this the widespread use of child labour in Bangladesh's tanneries and the whole industry became yet another dangerous and dubious sector of the national economy alongside more infamous sectors like the garment indust

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Plight of Rohingya Refugees

About 30,000 Rohingya refugees officially live in Bangladeshi camps today. Unofficially, there are more are 200,000 unregistered Rohingya there. The registered are provided with aid and support by The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Bangladesh government. Unregistered refugees receive nothing. The number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh has increased since violence in neighbouring Arakan state in Myanmar erupted between Muslim Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in June 2012, which caused some of the 140,000 internally displaced to attempt to flee across the border

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Info Ladies

Only 5 million of Bangladesh’s 152 million citizens have regular Internet access. Three-quarters live in rural villages. The Info ladies, a group of about 50 women in their early 20s, travel through the countryside equipped with a laptop computer, a tablet, a Smartphone, a digital camera, and a glucometer ministering to the technologically impoverished. As they bike from village to village in matching uniforms (the pink and blue seen here has recently given way to lavender), they help villagers with a range of digital tasks, such as taking blood-sugar readings and looking up information on crops. Their most requested activity is setting up Skype (MSFT) calls to male relatives, many of whom have left to take jobs in the Middle East.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Life and Death in Pashupati

Here and there they are seating in the courtyard and on the shrine platform with absorbed in detailed memories of a distant happiness. Or it is a place where elderly people are left by their families to die? Thousands question will haunt you but there is no one to answer you but only your inner realm of emotion. They submits to being fed, here, in a old home, It’s the same every day, every day…..I understand, when you get here you don’t worry about the future. Then, I mesmerize, May God bless and give them solace. Nepal

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Burning ghats

The most confronting ghat, Manikarnika (also known simply as the burning ghat) is the place where the majority of dead bodies are cremated in Varanasi. Hindus believe it will liberate them from the cycle of death and rebirth. Indeed, you'll openly come face to face with death at Manikarnika Ghat. Piles of firewood line the shore and the fires continually burn with the stream of dead bodies, each wrapped in cloth and carried through the lanes on makeshift stretchers by the doms (a caste of untouchables that handles the corpses and supervises the burning ghat).

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Water World

Along the Jamuna River, one of the three main waterways that flow south through Bangladesh, regular flooding and heavy rains have led to levels of erosion along the riverbanks that even concerted efforts by the government to reinforce them with concrete blocks are unable to stop. With every wet season and flood water inundation, the river's course changes, creating sandbanks (or chars) in the middle of the stream. These in turn further divert and widen the river which can stretch as wide as eight to 12 kilometres during the rainy season. Farm land and communities precariously hanging on to their smallholdings along the riverbanks can be swept away within hours following heavy rains.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

India's farmer suicides

More than 270,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves since 1995.About every 30 minutes in India, a farmer commits suicide. Since 1995, the first year the government began keeping detailed records, about 300,000 farmers have taken their lives. The 2011 census found that the suicide rate for farmers was 47% higher than the national average

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

A hope to see

Cataract and trachoma have emerged as prominent among eye diseases in Nepal and India. Cataract is the main cause of blindness in Nepal and India. In many parts of the country, lack of awareness and ignorance about any eye disease is still widespread where people take it as a curse of god or sin of previous birth, and very often, they turn to local spiritual healers for cure in such a situation instead of getting timely medical treatment in the hospital. 36,000 new cases every year are being added to the number while over three hundred thousand people are found to have suffered from eye diseases of one or the other sort. Ninety percent of eye patients in Nepal live in rural areas where people still do not go to hospital for treatment on time whenever something goes wrong with their eyes. As most of the people in rural areas are farmers by profession, they are quite exposed to the risk of getting their eyes pierced or hurt any time.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Inescapable Jungle

The Sundarbans is made up of hundreds of islands of mangrove forests and mudflats. This is one of the most beautiful but most dangerous places in the world, a place of tigers and crocodiles and dangerous seas and canals. The region is home to approximately 500 Bengal tigers, one of the largest single populations of tigers in one area. These tigers are well-known for the substantial number of people they kill; estimates range from 50-250 people per year. Because of rising sea levels and shrinking forest, humans and tigers are fighting for space. The farmers are forced into the forest to hunt for honey, fish, or collect crabs, putting them at risk for a tiger attack. Poverty forces people into the forest, into the tigers’ natural habitat.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Cyclone Aila hits Bangladesh

At least 275 people have been killed and millions have been displaced by cyclone Aila, which hit parts of coastal Bangladesh and eastern India on May 25th 2009. GMB Akash travelled to Shyamnagar Upazila, an area of Bangladesh's Satkhira district that has seen some of the worst damage. The cyclone triggered tidal surges and severe flooding. Several thousand homes in the area were washed away while agricultural land was swamped. More than 500 shrimp farms were flooded by five to seven feet high tidal surges in the affected area. Aid agencies are warning that a lack of food and clean drinking water could lead to many more deaths.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Life for Rent

The two-to-three –thousand –square-meter area of Kandaportte Potitalow is home to 1500 prostitutes and their families. This place is all they know and it has its own micro infrastructure of grocery stores, teahouses,hairdressers, and doctors. The women themselves only know this other world through the men who come here; they know rickshaw pullers, truckers, businessmen, policemen and priests. Most of the girls who work here were either born here, fled here, or were sold by their relatives when they were between eight and ten years old. Inside, the man is the guest, but he pays for the hospitality. Sex without undressing and without further intimacy costs hundred takes (1USD = 70 Takas). For special services the price can go up to as high as three hundred takes, and the whole night will cost you five hundred. Low social status and a lack of opportunities for both education and employment, have forced many Bangladeshi women into prostitution or exposed them to other forms of sexual exploitation. An estimated 150,000 women are involved in prostitution in Bangladesh.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Vigilantes in Pink

Fed up with abusive husbands and corrupt officials, India's poorest women are banding together, taking up arms, and fighting back. Even more shocking than the pink saris they wear: Their quest for justice is actually working. In one of the most backward regions of India, the badlands of Central India, village women dressed in pink saris are getting togther to fight corruption and injustice and to raise their voices against the system."Pink Gang" fights for the rights of women and other marginalized people in rural India.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet the invisible

‘Everyone used to say he is my bad luck. Everyone blamed my child as a reason for an unknown misery. They predicated I might have to spend my life crying for him. I did not say anything to anyone. When at night I saw that he slept at my arms and his innocent face filled my heart with the greatest joy! He has made me understand how colourful, vibrant a life can be! The years I am passing with my son are the best times of my life. When I go out and he always holds the corner of my dress and I feel someone is there for me. Someone who will never live me alone. My child is reason of my life. I brought him into this world but this autistic child has made me feel how beautiful life is! With pride I can say if there is another life after death I will again want to be a mother of such an autistic child!’ – Mother of an autistic child Nitin that I meet in Nepal Airport Although there is no official data in Nepal, it is estimated that out of 12.8 million children under the age of 18, there are about 117’000 known autistic cases.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Dark Alleys

Drug addiction is a major social evil in Bangladesh, affecting thousands of young people and their families. There are thousands of addicted people in Bangladesh and most of them are young, between the ages of 18 and 30 from all walks of life. Drug addiction in young Bangladeshis is mainly seen because of reasons like depression. People try to remove depression using drugs as a tool. And this is how they become addicts. Drug users are taking drugs by sharing same needle with each other. Injecting drug users have few places to turn, and they are one of the groups most at risk of contracting and spreading HIV. Heroin is mostly smoked within aluminum foil or cigarette paper, but in Bangladesh this is injected. Injections through infected needles can cause diseases of the liver, brain, heart, lungs and spinal cord. Estimates of the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh range from 2,500 to 15,000 most of them are affected while taking drugs. A Heroin addict may need about Taka 500 worth of the drug a day. They neglects the needs of the family, and those are non-earning may sell off family assets. They also go out on the streets for mugging and dacoit.  

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Ships Graveyard in Pakistan

The funeral rites for the world's largest ships are read on the beaches of the Indian subcontinent. When a super tanker or a cargo vessel reaches the end of its useful life, it generally limps towards Chittagong in Bangladesh, Alang in India or Gaddani in Pakistan. Piece by piece, it will be taken apart for recycling, its steel taken away to re-rolling mills. The Gaddani ship-breaking yard north of Karachi. Thousands of men, mostly Pashto migrants, toil over the ships. They are seasonal workers, returning to their homeland near the Afghan border at harvest time. The job is one of the world’s most dangerous: workers are at risk from toxic chemicals, asbestos, a complete absence of safety equipment and frequent accidents and explosions.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Living on the fringe

“ Shame Akash, Don’t show us these pictures. It’s a sin even to look at them.” This was the reaction of Jhomur, my sister, to my story about Jibon a homosexual man living in my neighborhood. Her reaction is typical. Religious beliefs and cultural standards of morality make homosexuality an unacceptable abomination in Bangladesh. The kote, as gays are called locally, are ostracized and thus live together in small communities. Yet social stigma is not enough to dent their unshakeable faith in life. ‘Kote’— a word in colloquial dialect meaning homosexual (gay) — is what they are called. But most important of all is how they identify themselves in a heterosexual society. Due to the dictates of religious and cultural beliefs they are regarded as objects of hatred and disgust in our society because their objects of desire are men not women. Their lack of education has so far deprived them of information and any scope of communication with gays all over the world. So they bonded themselves in their very own community of brotherhood. Apart from their sexual desire for their own gender these physically complete males have an intense faith in life. It is this faith that keeps them survive and dreaming, even when reality aims to destroy everything that they hold dear.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Life and Death in Pashupati

Here and there they are seating in the courtyard and on the shrine platform with absorbed in detailed memories of a distant happiness. Or it is a place where elderly people are left by their families to die? Thousands question will haunt you but there is no one to answer you but only your inner realm of emotion. They submits to being fed, here, in a old home, It’s the same every day, every day…..I understand, when you get here you don’t worry about the future. Then, I mesmerize, May God bless and give them solace. Nepal

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Contained in Cage

Indonesia has a population of 240 million and only 500 psychiatrists. The resulting treatment gap leads many to rely on traditional herbal treatments and prayer to alleviate mental illness commonly thought to be caused by dark spirits. Almost 750,000 Indonesians with mental illness get no medical treatment throughout the country. Patients are often chained, caged, and naked. The screaming and weeping is constant. Indonesia

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Night girls in Nepal

Strippers and dancers of the popular night scene in Nepal. Located mostly in the tourist area Thamel, hundreds of clubs host both local and tourists to strip shows, dances, and drinks. Each club has on average 30 to 40 girls working for them. The girls work as waiters, dancers, and strippers and in many cases as prostitutes. The clubs open at six pm everyday and close at two am.

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Factories of Death

Here and there they are seating in the courtyard and on the shrine platform with absorbed in detailed memories of a distant happiness. Or it is a place where elderly people are left by their families to die? Thousands question will haunt you but there is no one to answer you but only your inner realm of emotion. They submits to being fed, here, in a old home, It’s the same every day, every day…..I understand, when you get here you don’t worry about the future. Then, I mesmerize, May God bless and give them solace. Nepal

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Digha Beach

The excursions of Kolkata include beautiful beaches. Digha beach is among the most famous beaches located on the eastern coast of India. About 187 km from the city of Kolkata, this place is the most popular sea resort of West Bengal. The place was referred as the 'Brighton of the East' by Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of Bengal, due to its mesmerizing beauty. Originally known as Beerkul, it is a place with serene and tranquil atmosphere, accompanied with rustic charm and undiluted air.  

Visit Gallery
GMB AKASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Nothing To Hold On To

Nearly three thousand kilometers of railroad tracks crisscross the delta lowlands of Bangladesh, connecting the capital, Dhaka, with Chittagong to the southeast and Calcutta to the southwest. The system was built largely by the British and began operations in 1862, more than a hundred years before Bangladesh became an independent nation. Bangladeshi rolling stock now carries more than forty million passengers a year in three ticketed classes: air-conditioned, first, and second—and then there are the passengers who can’t pay. These riders, many of them daily commuters going to and from work, cling to handles, crouch in doorways, perch on the couplings between cars, and climb onto the roof. I live in Dhaka and began riding the rails with my camera in 2006. I wanted to draw attention to the danger the stowaways expose themselves to; gruesome accidents are routine for free riders. There is nothing to hold on to and it is very difficult to keep your footing. On a recent ride, I spoke to Majed Miya, a carpenter who has traveled on the roof for two decades. Miya said he enjoys riding on the roof: “no one really disturbs me there, except the fear of death.”

Visit Gallery