The Brutality, that
matter how hard she herself had to work to survive and to
feed her two children, Aleya never wanted her daughter to
work. As she had done with her son, Aleya sent her daughter
to school, for she wanted her to get an education and, later,
Nupur was only in "Chhoto 1" when her father, Sabuj
Miah, took her away from her mother -- his first wife -- and
brought her to Dhaka. As far as Nupur can remember, he had
at first tried to sell her off to two men in exchange for
a fat wad of cash. But when she warned him that if her mother
found out, he would have her to contend with, he broke the
deal and instead gave her to a couple to work as a domestic
to Nupur, after arriving at the Banani Rd. 4, Chairman House
of employers Shamim and Shabana, Nupur's workday began the
next morning at eight. She was not given any breakfast or
lunch the whole day and was too shy to ask for it. With her
salary fixed at a monthly Tk. 300, Nupur was already busy
doing her many chores -- which included "dusting the
furniture, sweeping the floors, doing laundry, washing the
dishes and cutting up vegetables".
one point, says Nupur, while handling the dishes, her employer's
5-year-old child started to pull at her dress, and when she
tried to free it from the child's grip, she dropped a dish
and the child fell to the floor and began crying. Shabana
came into the room to find her child crying and asked Nupur
whether she had hurt the child. When Nupur said no, Shabana
slapped her and sent her into the bathroom. Following her
in with pieces of cloth and a rolling pin, she twisted the
girl's arm, tied her hands and feet and gagged her. She then
brutally hit her on the head, face and arms, chest and legs,
with the rolling pin. Pouring boiling water on Nupur's feet,
Shabana made her walk with scalded feet.
was blood all around me," recalls Nupur, pointing at
her still swollen black eye and the stitches on her head.
beating her mercilessly, Nupur's employers put her on a bus
to Gandaria, warning her that if she ever identified them,
they would say that she had run away after stealing money
and jewellery from their house.
to get off the bus at Gandaria because she could not pay the
fare, Nupur asked the bus driver's helper whether she had
arrived in Pabna -- her home. Seeing her hurt and bleeding,
a boy on the bus took her home to his mother. When they could
not get her admitted into the local hospital, they brought
her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). After spending
a couple of days in the Casualty Ward, Nupur was shifted to
the hospital's One-Stop Crisis Centre (OCC).
parents have not yet been contacted; her mother, Aleya, does
not yet know that her worst fears have been confirmed. A case
has been filed under the Prevention of Women and Children
Repression Act. Nupur's employers are nowhere to be found.
all over, her arm in a cast and unable to see in one eye,
Nupur, by now, seems quite used to telling people about her
ordeal. The long, dreary corridors of DMCH seem to ring with
the same or similar stories being repeated over and over again.
However, every time another Mostakina, another Putul, or another
Nupur cries out in pain when she is tortured, one cannot help
but wonder whether the world has gone completely deaf.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004