Homelessness-the level of life

No one chooses to become homeless. No one plans on living on the street. Each one of them has their own story, some made bad decisions and others were victims of domestic, economic, or social disruption; including, poverty, breakdown of families, political unrest, and sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Every year a large number of youth all over the Unites States are losing access to safe housing and are pushed towards becoming homeless. What is most striking however, is the contrast between the age groups of homeless people here in the US, when compared with Bangladesh. While most of the homeless population in Bangladesh is comprised of senior citizens or middle-aged people, the scenario differs quite a lot in the United States. Leaving home often gives these young people an initial feeling of independence, and escape from a difficult or dangerous home situation. However, a life on the streets, without the reliability of a roof over their heads at the end of the day, puts them under multiple threats. I had the opportunity to interact with a number of homeless youth in the past and was moved by how one of them described their situation. He said, “Homelessness is a level of life”. He was not defeated by his situation but he was ready to fight back to improve his situation. Just like him many homeless youth were driven to homelessness by various problems but none of them deserve what they have been left with. Most of them have concerns over their situation, but they often don’t know how to resolve it. They need to be empowered, acknowledged and motivated to keep this fire burning and ease the transition off the streets.

Ranak Martin

Being born in Bangladesh, a third world country, I had the privilege of witnessing different strata of society and the inherent socio-economic issues that exists. Bangladesh is one of the most crowded places on earth, and there exists a never ending fight for existence for most of the people living here. Families struggle day and night to survive. I was shocked to experience that most of us don’t even care for development of women and their rights. We as human beings can never progress without the upliftment of women in the society. I started as a feature photographer in The Daily Star (a leading English daily in Bangladesh). After my stint at The Daily star, I contributed to another English newspaper The Daily sun, as a Staff Photographer. I am a third year student in the Advanced Program in Photography at PATHSHALA, South Asian Media Academy. In the year 2012, I was nominated for ‘Joop Swart Masterclass’ organized by ‘World Press Photo’ the Netherlands. In the same year I was selected as a finalist in Roberto Villagraz scholarship of Photography – EFTI School of Photography and Image Centre, Madrid, Sapin. My works have been published in different local and international news media like Sunday times Magazine UK, Fotovisura, Social Documentary, The Guardian; Getty Image, Lightbox.time, UCAN News, The Daily Star, Daily Sun, Daily Jurantor, Daily Ittefaq, Daily Prothom alo, Drik news and also exhibited many photo exhibitions in South Asia, Middle East and London. My focus is on social issues, rural development, and women rights and development in Bangladesh.

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