Anwara (Satkhira, Bangladesh)

My journey

I came in the 1950s with my husband and three children. We came over after the people who migrated from East Pakistan came to our village in West Bengal and destroyed our mosque. Many of us left the night people started attacking the mosque and burning our paddy fields. Some people even left their babies behind along with their possessions thinking they would go back for them later.

We got into our boats in the dead of night and floated quietly over to this side with nothing but our beating hearts in our hands. We couldn't carry anything for fear the boat might sink. There were fifteen of us in it huddled together in terror.

Anwara's family were always very poor and did not own land. Her family used to weave and her husband's family worked as labourers on other peoples' land. When they arrived in Satkhira, Anwara found that there was already a group of weavers and so she had to work as a cultivator. Life was very difficult in those days. But she is now happy that she has a home.

River of flames


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