Story of Moni Aktar

My name is Moni Aktar. I live in Pathshalar Goli in Hazaribagh. I'm 21 years old, and I live with my husband and my son in a small room in a three-story building. Our room is very cramped, and we don't get much sunlight or fresh air because of the large apartment buildings surrounding us. It's always dark and musty, which makes it hard for us to breathe.

During the rainy season, our room is often flooded with water. This creates a lot of problems for us, especially for my son, who is only three years old. He always gets sick during the rainy season. Just a few weeks ago, he had diarrhea and was vomiting. It was very hard for us to see him suffer like that.

There are clinics nearby, but we usually don't go there because they are too expensive. We cannot afford to pay the fees, and we also cannot afford to buy the medicines prescribed by the doctors. Instead, we go to the local pharmacy and tell the shopkeeper our symptoms. Then he gives us medicine, which is much cheaper.

Many poor people like us do not go to hospitals or clinics because of the high cost. We have to prioritize our expenses, and healthcare often falls at the bottom of the list. We try to take care of ourselves as best we can, but sometimes it's just not enough.

Last year, my husband got very sick, and we had to take him to the hospital. We had to borrow money from our relatives to pay for the treatment. It was a huge burden on us, and we had to cut back on our expenses for months to pay off the debt.

Living in a slum area in Dhaka is very hard, especially for people like us who are not very educated and have very little money. We have to struggle every day just to survive. But we try to stay hopeful and optimistic, and we hope that someday things will get better for us.