The Forgotten Soldiers

By Mehzabin Ahmed

Armed with a weapon of a new kind, a breed of new age warriors have taken over the streets of Dhaka. “But Bangladesh isn’t at war with anyone. Who are these soldiers? What are they fighting for?” asks my friend Nabil.

Long gone are the days when we fought for our freedom with guns and bullets against Pakistan. The bayonet of our enemy has a new name and disguise today, it’s called poverty. Disguised as the army of children, our distinguished freedom fighters have formed a trench in the streets of Dhaka, armed with candies and popcorns to help them on the way.

Most of the upper class society in Dhaka tends to think it’s better this way that these children work than them begging . It’s all about survival of the fittest after all. But are these children supposed to be doing either?

“Well, the children have nothing to worry. They have more candies than I ever had,” complains my 4 year old niece, Tania, as she throws out her half eaten ice cream. Sheltered from the atrocities of life, little does Tania know that not much older than herself, these children face a life of a different kind. A life not showered by cartoons and teddy bears. A life where they have to fight to earn their bread while the Marie Antoinettes of our society turn a blind eye and say, “If they have no bread, let them eat cake.”


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