Looking for work on the sidewalk

Rain or shine, Dhaka’s Notun Bazar area is always flocked by day labourers from the crack of dawn.

Dhee Aroni Pal
Published : 17 Nov 2022, 06:30 AM
Updated : 17 Nov 2022, 06:30 AM

Rain or shine, Dhaka’s Notun Bazar area is always flocked by day labourers from the crack of dawn. Masons, painters, carpenters, and workers of all trades wait for passersby to hire them after negotiating a price for a day’s worth of backbreaking work.

Fatema, one of the many day labourers at the scene, said that many people gather here every morning looking for work. They’ll often work at an office or on a construction site or take up other jobs befitting their skills after bargaining the pay with the employers.  

“I earn Tk 400-500 daily if I work from morning to evening. Although we put in the same effort for the same jobs, men still get paid more than us. They’ll get hired for Tk 600 along with the transportation fare,” she said.

Jahir Ali, a day labourer said, “There are days when we do not find work. We come home empty-handed on those days with an additional loss due to paying for transport.”

Hello also spoke to Zainab Bibi, a construction worker. Zainab and her husband work daily to make ends meet with their limited earnings.

“It is difficult to wait on the sidewalk when it starts to rain,” she said. “If someone could put up a roof here, we could take shelter.”

Reporter's age: 11 District: Dhaka

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher