The six-year-old girl drowned in a canal near her home in the capital’s Kadamtali area
Hit by a sudden craving for sweets, six-year-old Toamoni asked her mother to make some pithas (cakes) for her last Saturday.
But her mother, Tania Akhter, could not keep her daughter's request because she never saw the little girl after that day.
Five days ago, at around 4:30pm, young Toamoni drowned in a canal near her home in the capital's Kadamtali area, according to eyewitness Farhad Alam.
Since then, Tania has been waiting on the bank of the canal for the dead body of her only child.
Officials of the Fire Service and Civil Defence, the Dhaka South City Corporation, police and locals have relentlessly been trying to recover her body, but they have not been able to make any progress so far.
Toamoni used to live with her family on the embankment of the canal in Mohammadnagar area, just a few metres away from Kadamtali police station.
"She had just turned six last month," said Ershad Hossain, Toamoni's father.
"Toamoni was watching cartoons on my phone that day. After 3pm, I left her home and locked the door. But somehow, she managed to open it and go out on her own," Ershad said as he broke down into tears.
Wahida Begum, a neighbour of the family, said that she last saw Toamoni at the playground adjacent to the canal in the afternoon.
"She was playing football with other children in the area. Suddenly, the ball fell into the canal and she tried to get it back."
Toamoni slipped into the canal. Unable to swim, she raised her hands and sought help.
"But nobody could rescue her due to the heavy flow of water coupled with waste," Wahida added.
A weeping Tania said, "Toamoni was a fun-loving and jolly child, and she never stayed quiet. That day, she wished to have some pithas. I did not know it was going to be her last wish."
Toamoni's uncle Mossharrof Hossain told The Business Standard that after the incident, locals called the national emergency hotline (999) but the girl drowned before the fire service officials arrived.
"They have already searched four kilometres of the canal, but they have been unable to find Toamoni. The canal meets the Shitalakshya River in Siddhirganj, Narayanganj. We are waiting for her dead body," he said.