Andrew Biraj

Photographer
      
BAHINI
Location: Washington DC, USA
Nationality: Bangladeshi
Biography: Andrew Biraj is a photojournalist currently based in Washington DC. Biraj has worked for the international news agencies Reuters, Sipa Press USA and Getty Images. He holds an advanced diploma in photography from Pathshala, the South Asian... read on

“I saw my mother committed suicide in front of me. She was so frustrated as my father was a drug addict and he used to beat my mother. My father left me on the street in my age four. I never saw any peaceful thing happened in my family. 10-year-old Sagor utters in a dull morning at Apon Gaon, a rehabilitation house for children, vulnerable in the society.

The APON drug rehabilitation centre in Manikganj, near Dhaka, Bangladesh works with street children, helping them fight drug dependency and providing basic education and skills training. The children come together in a support-group called a bahini, a Bengali word that means ‘battalion’, or ‘strong fighting force’. In the bahini they learn to share their experiences and feelings with each other.

The children of “Bahini’ in Apon are all from the very poor family. Some of them had lost their parents in accidents, some of them had escaped from their family and some of them had been refused once they tried to rejoin their family. All of them have faced extreme poverty by living on the street and being homeless. One thing is almost common for all them, before living in APON , streets were the place which they called ‘home’! The group of children “Bahini” got the inspiration to see the life back from the darkness. In APON they learn how to bring fidelity in life. After the long sessions in APON, Every children hope to go back to the society and live as a normal and regular human being. They learn to forgive and they learn how to revitalize.

They knew how to fight just to stay alive but now they learn how to fight with life. The children have lack of basic needs, but have a strong sense of their own life and power to survive. For them in the past it was just a great struggle to survive each day. Now they are learning to live a life of a true human being. Now they dream of a life that has ‘dignity’ a word that was completely unknown to ‘Bahini’!

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By Andrew Biraj —

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PHOTOS & STORIES I Podcasts

By Andrew Biraj
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George Floyd Protest in D.C.

By Andrew Biraj / Washington, D.C. — Demonstrators protest peacefully as they gather outside of The White House and merge to the U.S Capitol in..
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THE SOLITARY SPRING - DAYS OF PANDEMIC

By Andrew Biraj — A short-film by Andrew Biraj depicting the solitary and emotional journey of life, during the coronavirus..
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THROUGH MY WINDOWS

By Andrew Biraj — A short film by photographer Andrew Biraj depicting the solitary and emotional journey of life, during the..
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Ship Breaking Yard

By Andrew Biraj
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Tobacco Children

By Andrew Biraj
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Tearsheets

By Andrew Biraj
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Bonded Stitches & Struggle

By Andrew Biraj — Testimony of Life in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry More than 3.5 million workers produce high quality..
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Singles

By Andrew Biraj
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Living With Water

By Andrew Biraj — Living With Water In Bangladesh flood has become a common phenomenon, a natural calamity which over the..
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Myanmar; Cyclone Nargis Aftermath

By Andrew Biraj / Myanmar
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Cambodian Landmine Victims

By Andrew Biraj / Siem Reap — “The disability has imprisoned my dreams and hinders my whole spirit.” While walking  between the..
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Afghanistan

By Andrew Biraj / Kabul — In our imagery, Afghanistan is a ground of catastrophe without therapy. A ground of Taliban, Islam,..
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Jute Mill Workers

By Andrew Biraj — Jute Mill Workers in Bangladesh “Our lives are like the factory’s spare junks. No one needs us now,” says..
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State Excluded

By Andrew Biraj — Tales of the Bihari Community in Bangladesh “People of the city can’t live even a single day if we stop..
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Gabura; A Village of Sorrow

By Andrew Biraj — A Village of Sorrow Gabura is an isolated village near the mangrove forest Sunderban in Satkhira district..
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