Priya Saha

Thu May 28 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

43979Pah

“Patarhat, Bangladesh 1984.

A 16-year old is rendered fatherless shortly after the liberation war, living day-to-day with her three younger siblings and helpless mother. She took it upon herself to support her family when there was no one else to offer a helping hand. She worked long hours at a young age to be able to ensure a bright future for her younger siblings. That woman is my mother, Dipu.

She went through hardships and constant turmoil post-1971. She faced societal pressures, but wouldn’t budge and did what she could to guarantee her family’s financial security. She decided to get married and move to America so her future daughters wouldn’t face the same inequities and hardships that she did.

I am eternally thankful for my mother’s courage and the fact that she risked her life for a more secure future. Her sacrifices remind me of what a powerful woman she is. My mother’s struggles are my struggles. I am living the life she wished she could have experienced. My goal today is to ensure that the children of 1971 get the chance to see how far we have come. It is imperative that children don’t see the dark days my mom and so many others lived through during and post-war.

Through the Bangladesh Development Project (BDP), I can actively partake in the lives of so many children who should receive an education and ultimately be self- sufficient individuals while not exploiting their innocent childhood. 1971’s struggles should be left in the past. We should strive to better the lives of those still paralyzed by the repercussions of the war. It is time for us to see a new dawn. I hope for a day where there will be no Dipus crippled by poverty or compelled to mature at a young age and succumb to labor work in Bangladesh.”