Ikram, an employee at a private security company in Dhaka, who was supposed to go back to his family in Narail with new clothes to celebrate coming Eid-ul-Adha, returned home dead, instead.
The 45-year-old breadwinner of the family, who had been suffering from dengue fever, breathed his last on Thursday morning, July 25, in an intercity bus on the way back home.
Now none is left to support his five-member family – mother, wife and three children.
According to the family, around a week ago, Ikram informed them over phone that he had been suffering from dengue fever, a viral disease responsible for more than a dozen deaths this year.
Ikram took a bus of Hanif Paribahan from Abdullahpur in the capital on July 24 night for home.
As the bus reached Kalna ferry terminal in Narail, passengers found him dead in the vehicle and the bus staffers later sent the body to Narail Sadar police station.
Landless Ikram used to live in a tin-roofed small house built on government land alongside a road in Baghdanga village in Narail Sadar upazila with his mother, wife and children.
Ikram, who used to earn his livelihood by working as a day labourer or driving a battery-run easy bike in his locality, went to the capital city about 45 days before for a better earning.
His wife, Latifa Begum, lamented the uncertain future of their two schoolgoing sons.
The poor couple had to stop their daughter’s schooling due to a shortage of money, she added.
“Nobody visited us after my father’s death,” said 17-year-old Fatema Khanam. “Where will we go now? How will we survive?”
Ikram’s sons, aged 6 and 14, kept crying. “My father wanted to buy us new dresses for this Eid,” one of them said.
Rakibul Islam, a member of the local Union Parishad, said, “We came to know that Ikram had been suffering from dengue fever two days before the body arrived.”
He pledged to take the matter to the local government for arranging financial support for the helpless family.
Mashiur Rahman, a resident physician at the Narail Sadar Hospital, said none had been found infected with the dengue virus so far in the district.
However, he added that a number of people were admitted to the hospital after being infected with dengue in other areas outside Narail.
He said they have shifted the patients to Khulna Medical College Hospital for better treatment.