After burial of loved ones, Meem is alone with grief

05 May 2021
After burial of loved ones, Meem is alone with grief

After losing her parents and two sisters in a boat crash on the Padma River in Madaripur, grief is the only thing left to nine-year-old Meem.
Quiet, staring blankly at the people around her, the orphaned girl was at her family's ancestral home at Parokhali village in Khulna's Terokhada Upazila on Tuesday morning.
A speedboat carrying Meem, her family and over two dozen others crashed into a sand-carrying vessel in Madaripur's Shibchar on Monday. Rescuers recovered the bodies of 26 people after the accident.
Meem's father Monir Hossain Shikdar, her mother Hena Begum, and two sisters, 7-year-old Sumi Khatun and 4-year-old Rumi Khatun, all died in the accident.
Meem was rescued along with five others after the disaster. Like another survivor, Aduri Begum of Faridpur, Meem and her family were on the way to their ancestral home for the funeral of another family member, Meem's grandmother. Aduri lost her husband and child in the tragedy as they were heading to Faridpur for the funeral of her mother.
Meem was injured in the accident and was first taken to Shibchar's Panchar Royal Hospital for treatment. Once she
recovered, she was brought to Dotara Government Primary School to identify her parents and sisters. She broke down in tears when she learnt she was the only survivor from her family.
Having trouble describing the accident through her tears, Meem said she held on to a bag when she fell overboard. The bag helped her stay afloat.
"We were on our way to my grandparents' house to see my grandmother for the last time," she said. "But now my parents and sisters are dead. I am all alone."
After the identification, she accompanied the bodies to the Schibchar Upazila Health Complex by ambulance before heading to Terokhada.
The funeral prayers for Monir, Hena, Sumi and Rumi were held at 9 am on Tuesday at a field in Parokhali village. Drizzle by the end of the prayers added to the gloom that hung over the mourners.
The family was then laid to rest next to the grave of Monir's mother, Laily Begum.
Monir's younger brother, Md Quamruzzaman, said Monir was the third of four siblings. He had run a clothing store at Dhaka's Mirpur-11 Mosque Market and had lived nearby.
"Monir was coming home to see our mother for the last time," he said. "But he didn't get the chance. And now he and his family have gone with her."
"We buried my mother at 10:30 am on Monday. And on Tuesday I buried my brother, my sister-in-law and my nieces."
"Monir had a happy life with his wife and children," said Monir's relative Kismat Howladar. "I can't believe they are gone. What will happen to Meem now that her parents are gone?"

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