The Merriam dictionary defines the word orphan as, ‘a child whose parents are dead.’ The orphanage in Charfassion shelters 60 kids, many of who still have mothers who are alive, which seems strange but is sadly true. Not many countries define orphans the same way. As per the Bangladesh Orphanages and Widows law of 1944 states, ‘a child is announced as orphan if he/she has lost his/her father or has been abandoned by the family.’
Charfassion is a small town in Bhola Island, which was once badly affected by cyclones and floods that caused many deaths. Fishing accidents and lack of immediate medical care also adds to the death toll, leaving behind widows and young children with no financial security. This leaves the uneducated widow with no choice but to admit her children into the orphanage, which is usually run either by a international aid or with funds from charitable organizations.
It fills my heart with pain when someone calls a child orphan even while the mother is alive, and how important it is for a child to be with his or her mother while he or she grows up. There is no better teacher than a mother some say, denying the child the most beautiful relationship while it actually exists, just because of an unfortunate incident seems unfair.
This is my attempt to support the idea of the empowerment of women, in Bangladesh and all over the world.