“When I brought Shabjal to Dhaka from Manikganj for his treatment, he didn’t want to let go of my hands because he was afraid of getting lost. my sweetheart is lost forever… now wherever i go i carry this picture, i feel he is with me.”
Shahida Begum, Shabjal’s mother Shabjal,
died of thalassaemia, at the age of 14,
on shraban 7, 1414
Many mothers like Shahida Begum are just living with the memories of their lost loved ones. Hundreds of thousands of parents fight every moment to survive their children suffering from thalassaemia.
Ballads of the agonized souls is a combination of some still-life images and portraits. The still-live images contain the memories of the lost ones and the portraits represent the brave fighters who are fighting a battle against this deadly disease. According to a publication of world health organization (who) roughly 11.2 million people are thalassaemia carriers and 7,483 children are born with the disease every year with expected 3,74,154 living patients in Bangladesh. but most of the people in our country are not aware of it!
I am not a physician. nor a specialist about thalassaemia disease. rather merely a photographer. i only know that this fatal disease can be prevented. a mass consciousness is necessary to do that. I have been photographing people affected by the deadly disease for last two years. my intention of doing this project is to explore the real scenario as much as i can. the battle against this disease cannot be fought alone. a social movement is required to uproot thalassaemia where the government, media, physicians, guardians, patients and everyone will have roles to play. my effort is just to be a part of this cohesive battle.