In love with sculptures of Liberation War
Shanawaz Sabuj and Riyad Bin Ahsan
WE are proud of our Liberation War and the final victory that came on 16 December. To mark this glorious victory many statues and sculptures have been built over time throughout the country. Sculptor Shamim Shikder's 'Liberation Struggle' situated at Fuller Road in Dhaka University is among those sculptures which depict our glorious history.
The main sculpture 'Liberation Struggle' encircled by a good number of statues of our intellectuals and martyrs (including great poet Rabindranath Tagor, national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, philosopher poet Lalon Shah, martyr Noor Hossan and so on) is located in a garden at DU.
Sri Badal Gowala has been taking care of these statues as a simple day-labourer since March 07, 1999, the day when the sculpture 'Liberation Struggle' was inaugurated by the then prime minister. “I am working here from the very beginning when the sculpture was inaugurated. In the first year, I worked without any payment as sculptor Shamim Shikder told me to work and assured me about getting a permanent job soon. Next year, I was appointed as a day-worker and was paid Tk. 40 each day; after few years, it was increased to
Tk. 80 and now I get Tk.120 a day,” said Badal Gowala. He does not work for the money rather it is his passion for the sculptures and love for the garden that he stayed on. “I worked day and night to beautify the garden as per Shamim Shikder's instructions; sometimes I had to hire others to work with me as it becomes difficult to do all the works by myself. But now when people come to visit the garden and express their satisfaction, I too feel the happiness inside me and I feel that all my hard works have paid off. When I go home in the evening, I eagerly wait for the morning when I would come and I work in the garden. My family always questions me about how much I get from here. But I can't answer them; I offer nothing but silence, for they won't understand me,” he said with tear-filled eyes.
Badal Gowala has two sons and a daughter but he can't send them to school. It is difficult for him to bear the cost of their education. He is waiting for the day when his job would become permanent as an employee of Dhaka University.