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Mohammad Mainuddin, the boy who died in a bus accident on his birthday

  • Tabarul Haque,
    Published: 2021-11-30 11:12:30 BdST

There seemed to be no end to Rasheda Begum’s tears. Her son was dead.

“My son’s birthday is Nov 29,” she said on Monday.

A reporter told her that it was Nov 29 and she broke into fresh sobs.

“Is that true? It is Nov 29? Then today is my son’s birthday. I forgot, and so did he.”

And so it was that Md Mainuddin, killed by a bus in Rampura, was taken from this world on the same day of the calendar that he was brought into it.

Mainuddin, the youngest of four children, was born on Nov 29, 2002. He would have been 19.

Mainuddin’s father, Abdur Rahman Bhandari, owns a tea stall on East Rampura’s Titas Road. His eldest brother works as a driver in Banasree.

The family had always struggled with poverty. Fifteen years ago, Abdur Rahman moved to Dhaka from Brahmanbaria’s Sarail in the hopes of earning more money. Since then, he has done a number of different jobs to feed his family.

Under these difficult circumstances, Mainuddin was a ray of hope. He was a keen student and sat for the SSC exam from Rampura Ekramunnesa High School.

As he told his father, he dreamt of going to a good college to attain his HSC certificate if he did well in his SSCs.

But that dream died alongside Mainuddin on Monday.

“My son always told me to send him to a good college,” said Abdur Rahman, with tears streaking down his face.

“He had such dreams. And I agreed to help him. I told him that I would get him admitted to a good college.”

Rasheda Begum broke down remembering the time the family had to sell their jewellery and other valuables to keep Mainuddin in school.

“We had such difficulty paying for his education. We sold all my jewellery to pay his school fees in January. When I told him, he said he would buy me more when he grew up,” said Rasheda.

Mainuddin dreamt of becoming an honest police officer one day, his mother said.

“When I told him that police officers take bribes, he said he would never do so. That he would be an honest officer.”

Mainuddin had taken part in the student protests for road safety, his mother said.

“On the last day of his exams, he told me that there would be clashes (between students and police). I told him to avoid any violence and come home after the exam.”

Rasheda referred to the death of Notre Dame College student Nayeem Hasan, who was killed after a Dhaka South City Corporation garbage truck hit him last week.

“Are these vehicles only killing students? Why isn’t the government doing something about it?” she said.

Mainuddin had sometimes helped his father at his tea stall. That is what he was doing in the minutes before the accident.

“He was sitting with me and cutting betel nuts. Then he asked me for Tk 10 to buy some chickpeas and left. Then, 10 or 15 minutes later, my son was gone,” said Abdur Rahman.

Mainuddin and two of his friends were crossing DIT Road near Sonali Bank when the accident occurred, said Md Badsha Islam, a member of the family.

Citing witnesses, Badsha said the bus ran over Mainuddin while racing with another bus of Raida Paribahan.

An angry mob set fire to at least eight buses and vandalised several others in Rampura after the accident.

A passerby called Mainuddin’s family using his phone and they rushed to the scene, said Badsha.

Mainuddin’s family, stricken by grief, took the body to their home. Police came later and took it away.