Beirut Blast

A life cut short

7 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

A life cut short

Mehedi Hasan Rony

Mehedi Hasan Rony of Brahmanbaria wanted to return to his homeland Bangladesh and move to another country five months ago as the Tk 20,000 he was sending monthly was not enough to repay the loans his family took to send him to Lebanon, reports

He spoke to his family in Vadeshwara village under the Sadar Upazila's Masihata union over the phone for the last time on Tuesday evening.

A fellow migrant worker called the family at night and informed them that Mehedi “fell sick” and was hospitalised. After a restless night, the family received the news of Mehedi's death the next morning.

Mehedi was among at least three Bangladeshis who lost their lives in the massive blast that sent shockwaves across the Lebanese capital, killing more than 135 people and injuring thousands of others. At least 78 Bangladeshis were also injured in the incident. Initial investigations point to negligence in keeping explosives as the reason behind the disaster.   

Now, Mehedi’s bereaved parents Tajul Islam and Inra Begum only see darkness when they think about their future after losing the sole earner in the family.

Mehedi, who worked as a janitor at a market in Beirut, was the eldest among four siblings. He studied up to class 10 in a local school and left for Lebanon in 2014. His father Tajul, who was also a migrant worker in Bahrain, returned home later.

“My brother bought chocolates and toys for his two nieces as he was planning to return home. He shopped for evveryone at home,” his sister, Jasmine Akter Happy, told  “But he could not return due to the lockdown. Mother made a cake by herself on his birthday during Pahela Baishakh. We cut the cake and celebrated with him via video call,” she said.  The family also called for efforts to bring the body back.

Al Aminul Haque Pavel, the chairman of Masihata union council, said he maintained communication with Mehedi’s family after his death. “We are taking steps to bring the body back.”