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The vision of a mother’s heart

  • Rajib Kanti Roy
  • 6 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
The vision of a mother’s heart
Rajeka Begum who is raising her only daughter Nurjahan fighting against visual impairment can see her child through the eyes of her heart. The photo was taken from the capital’s Purana Paltan area recently. Kamrul Islam Ratan

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Watching kids growing up in front a mother’s eyes is considered as the best part of motherhood and the best gift a mother can ever receive in the earth. But there are unfortunate mothers who need to feel the taste of motherhood only by touching their children as they are visually impaired.

Rajeka Begum of Purana Paltan in the capital is such an ill-fated mother who is raising her only daughter Nurjahan fighting against her visual impairment after her husband abandoned both of them.

Since then, the woman has been begging on the footpath opposite to Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in the city to eke out a living. Tying a rope around the waist of her two-and-half-year-old daughter, Rajeka seeks alms all day long.

Her only brother, who is a rickshaw-puller, drops her there every morning and takes her back in the evening.

“I’m visually impaired since my birth. I was married off at the age of 17. My husband accepted me as my family paid him Tk 25,000 and a rickshaw van as dowry. But after a couple of months into the birth of my daughter, he fled and never communicated with us,” Rajeka said.

“We searched for him in different places but could not find his whereabouts immediately. One year ago, we came to know that he went to his village home and began a new life marrying another woman,” she added.

Rajeka and her family did not try to make him bound to return or take any legal step against him. According to Rajeka, no one can be forced to continue a family life. Her family has already spent a lot of money for her marriage. They would not afford more expenses for taking legal step against her husband.

Asked about the reasons behind tying a rope around the waist of her daughter, Rajeka said, “My girl is very agile and energetic. She can run on the road and meet an accident anytime. Therefore, I tie a rope around her waist and keep the other end of the rope in my hand. Nothing is more important for me than keeping Nurjahan safe.”

Sighted mothers usually rely on visual signs such as facial expressions to perceive their children’s needs and mood changes and to respond to them while Rajeka, on the other hand, cannot communicate easily with her daughter compared to the sighted mothers.

“It’s really difficult as I need to play the role of both her mother and father. Being a visually impaired mother, I depend more on her mood when she comes close to me and carefully listen to her voice to realise her needs,” Rajeka said.

“I and my daughter have developed an interesting method of communication. We understand each other. Eyesight is important but I can see my child through the eyes of my heart,” the confident mother added.