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Survivor; survived against all odds

Pregnancy is a time of happiness, excitement, and anticipation. This is the moment in every expecting mother's life when they need emotional support to ease their pain. In this photograph, the midwife is massaging oil on Dulary’s belly to comfort her. During their pregnancy the traditional midwives of the society always guide them.

The life, which has reared in her womb for 9 months is knocking her to pain to come out. BEDE people do not go to doctors for labor pain. They entrust on the experience of the midwife. Dulary is stretching her hands in pain while the midwife is trying to comfort her.

A normal delivery can take hours to place. All this time, elders, neighbours, friends and foes come to comfort the soon to be mother. The woman with a jug full of water is trying to regain the consciousness of Dulary.

All the houses of the Bede people are same in structure. The ceiling of their home looks like sphere awning. Dulary is trying to ease the pain of her labor by pushing herself by standing up and clinging tightly to the roof. It gives her strength to push the child to a normal delivery.

The everlasting process of childbirth is agonizing. When someone has labor pain, a group of Bede women usually leaves their work and stays home to support the pregnant woman. Nothing can boost up the energy of Dulary more than the known friendly face of her surroundings and family.

Covered and soaked in blood, umbilical cord connected to its mother, the boy took his first breathing in this shabby matt to be labelled as a Bede. The scream of this infant is perhaps the actual screams of every improvised Bede. Amidst the chaos of life, Dulary gave birth to her fifth child; a boy.

Safe and healthy birth is the right of the mother and the baby. Pregnant women need to know about safe and healthy birth, but in the nomadic bede community, the imagery is quite different.

The umbilical cord is the connection that a mother has with her child. Usually, with the help of medical instrument, this cord is separated. Bangladesh has been advanced with medical technologies long ago, yet Bede community live under the shadow of old times with their rituals. The midwife is using a thread for cutting the umbilical cord, which is usually used for stitching clothes.

The midwife is using blade for cutting naval of the baby. Usually, this is done with sterilized blade. However, BEDE community does not maintain these hygiene issues. This is a risky process, which is infectious and harmful. But they believe that whatever the midwife is doing is for the best. Anytime, any mishap can happen. BEDE community trusts their tradition and their experienced midwife.

The first shower of a newborn baby has been always special. In Bede tradition, the first shower takes place within the first hour of birth. Dulary's boy getting his first shower after 30 minutes of birth. Most enjoyable yet daunting experience has been given to a newborn.

After almost sixteen hours of labor pain, the mother, Dulary and the new-born baby are taking a rest. The moment of the first encounter of mother and child has been always precious and serene. With every new birth, a new mother is born. The taste of motherhood can never get old. Every child is precious. In this moment of happiness, Dulary embrace life instead of bothering about her hard life.

In Bede community, a childbirth might be a tension of “another mouth to feed”, but it does not at all mean that they do not get happy with a glee face of an innocent infant. A sleepy infant is nothing but the epitome of clarity and beauty. Life is undoubtedly the name of the struggle for Bede community. This photo of siblings time clearly depicts, they survive, survive by celebrating the life, survive by celebrating the happiness, above all they survive against all the odds.