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The Shelter has been Burned

The Shelter has been Burned
This is a part of the burning area of the Chalantika slum for first time and there were more than 1000 shanties that were burned into the fire. August, 2019 Mirpur, Dhaka.

The most destructive human-made disaster is a Fire accident. Fire accidents are occurring often in Bangladesh. Unconsciousness is the main and primary reason for this incident. Mostly the common fire accident happens in garment factories and slums in Bangladesh. There are many others happening such as depo, gas cylinder blast at home, oil, gas and power station, etc.

A family is gutted by the fire accident, there was nothing left except for the dress they wear. August, 2019 Mirpur, Dhaka.

The damages of a fire accident are at a very high rate and it not only takes a valuable life but also hampers the economy to a great extent. Every year Bangladesh is suffering this incident and has lost a lot of lives and hamper the economy. Sometimes fire accidents happening in a particular place multiple times. The unconsciousness and some other reasons are the causes of this type of accident. One such incident is Chalantika slum fire, located in section 7 Mirpur, Dhaka. In the last eight months, fire accidents occurred three times and more than two thousand shanties are burned into the fires.

Stuck of burnt books are indicates that education is also damaged by fire accidents for the lower level peoples of shanties. August, 2019 Mirpur, Dhaka.

The first time it was on August 16, 2019, then on January 24, 2020, and finally, the last time is March 11, 2020. Every time multiples units of fire service took over the situation under control within a few hours. But meanwhile, damages are completed. All the shanties are burnt and they were trying to make a new one, but their hope will not and never be on their destiny. I covered all incident in this slum fire and follow up them after the incident. These photos are just a glimpse of some of those moments. I hope the audience could feel their pain through this documentation.

There were three rooms of this woman and all are burned, nothing is left for her. January, 2020 Mirpur, Dhaka.
A woman is standing in front of a shelter room with her granddaughter hugging her. August, 2019 Mirpur, Dhaka.
Rooms are still burning; this photo is captured after 2 hours of the incident. March 2020 Mirpur, Dhaka.
A bed is burnt and nothing is left for them. August, 2019 Mirpur, Dhaka.
A kid is standing and his mother collects the necessary accessories which are not burnt yet. January, 2020 Mirpur, Dhaka.
Peoples are waiting for the food that comes from a local social leader. January, 2020 Mirpur, Dhaka.
Aftermath of a burning house and is this photo is taken just after 5 hours of the incident. January, 2020 Mirpur, Dhaka.
The woman is waiting on a tricycle vehicle (local says Rickshaw) with her bag and baggage to go somewhere from the incident area. March 2020 Mirpur, Dhaka.
The photo of the girl, a resident of Chalantika slum, captured a week after the incident, gives a blank look, full of disappointment and defeat. January, 2020 Mirpur, Dhaka.
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Md. Shamim Shahnewaz

Md. Shamim Shahnewaz is a Software Engineer and Documentary Photographer. As a human being, he wants to find social issues and the impact on… More »


  1. The shanty housing in Dhaka is a huge hazard to fire. The households are so close together, and the lanes in between so full of people al the time (even under Covid19) that it not surprising. I feel very bad about the enormous problems this causes, especially with little money and nowhere to go after the fire.

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