Jenny June 14, 2013

They tore down a building, to make way for a new one.

A few hours later, the site is filled with people. Mums and dads, but mostly kids. Small children, a few teenagers, a few babies resting on the hips of their mothers or elder siblings.

The remains of the house – cement, wires, building material – can be used of in many ways: recycled or used to build something else. But most importantly, it can be sold to earn a few taka.

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The kids come with tiny saws and tools to cut off wires or break the larger chunks of cement into smaller ones. Their small hands finish off the job that was started by excavators and tractors: bit by bit, the house gets further deconstructed.

There are kids without t-shirts, with worn-out jeans or shorts only. Others have flowery dresses and thin scarves; decorative but brown from dirt and soil and dust. The mothers have wrapped their saris around their bodies; the teenage boys have thin arms and bare chests.

The kids’ hands are covered with a layer of dust, they climb to the top of the rubble and down again with ease.

It’s right in the middle of Gulshan, one of Dhaka’s hubs with offices, shops and restaurants. It’s just past midday and the streets are busy. People on the pavement by stop for a few minutes to see what is happening – the kids pay little attention, they keep working with concentration.

Making a living.

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Photos by Karim Mostafa.