June 15, 2021

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‘My life ends in the graveyard’

Mohammad Alamgir. The 70-year-old started working at the Jurain cemetery in the capital at the age of 16 or 17. Since then, his life has been spent in various cemeteries in the capital, sometimes digging graves, sometimes bathing corpses or sometimes doormen. Alamgir, who is currently working as a guard at the Rayerbazar cemetery, said, “My life is over at the cemetery.”

Alamgir also has a brother and a son now working in the cemetery. Commenting that not everyone gets the opportunity to work in the cemetery, Alamgir also expressed his gratitude to the creator. He spoke to Alamgir at the Rayerbazar cemetery last Wednesday. On March 25, 2016, the country’s largest cemetery behind the Rayerbazar Martyred Intellectuals Memorial officially started its journey. The cemetery, built by the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), has about one lakh graveyards. The total land area of ​​Rayerbazar cemetery is 96.23 acres. Alamgir has been working since the inauguration of the cemetery.

Alamgir said his father’s house was in Shariatpur. He was born in Jurain. The first work began at Jurain Cemetery. After that he worked in Azimpur cemetery for five years. For some time he has been working in the Caravan Market Office of the City Corporation. Then again working in Rayerbazar cemetery. It’s old, so you can’t dig graves anymore. Helps with the boy’s work.
Mohammad Alamgir has five surviving daughters and three sons. Three sons have already died. Married five daughters. Two sons are married. The younger son is studying in a madrasa. According to Alamgir, everyone respects him for working in the cemetery. Outbreaks of coronavirus have increased the work of others in the cemetery, including Alamgir. Alamgir said 15 to 16 bodies that died in Corona last year were also buried in one day. Fewer bodies are coming this year than that. He said, “I pray to Allah, do not pick up the plague.” “I have buried a lot, there is no accounting,” he said. Alamgir has also buried the bodies of his three sons, sister and father with his own hands. He said that just as he bury his relatives when they die, he also bury unknown bodies. “These people will no longer have the opportunity to serve,” he said.

When he worked as a gravedigger in the cemetery, there was no salary. Later he started working as an employee of City Corporation with 975 rupees. Now the salary is 26 thousand rupees. He works from 8 am to 11 pm. Do not get any holiday on Eid. He said, even on the day of Eid, corpses do not stop coming to the graveyard.