[Then came an unexpected help for him from his fellow cleaners who handed him their day's wages. (Photo: GMB Akash Facebook page)]
Dhaka (Bangaldesh): Bangladeshi documentary photographer GMB Akash tells the story – via a Facebook post -- of a father, identified as Idris, who despite all odds, ensured that his three daughters got a good education and were not dependent on anyone.
"I never told my children what was my job. I never wanted them to feel shame because of me," says Idris in the moving post going viral on Facebook. Since being shared on May 6, the post has received over 11K comments and more than one lakh shares.
"All of you are more human than most of the so called educated people from whom humanity can't be expected. Great respect to you all & MAY ALLAH BLESS YOU All", Jebunnesa Jahangir, a Facebook user, says in her comment posted in response
"I can feel tears in my eye .... How can these people get such happiness? On the other hand lot of people who are earning a lot and wanting more by any means but still not happy. Salute to this father and salute to his kids. Beleive me no one is richer than you in this world. May Allah bless you and fullfill your dream. I will pray for you", Nazmul Khair, another FB user, says.
In the post, Idris, talks about going to extreme lengths to hide his job from his daughters. He would tell his daughters he was a labourer when he was actually a street cleaner, who used to bathe in public toilets before going home just to hide from his daughters the work he was doing..
"I wanted my daughters to send to school, to educate them. I wanted them to stand with dignity in front of people. I never wanted anyone look down at them like everyone looked down at me. People always humiliated me.
"I invested every penny of my earning for my daughters' education. I never bought a new shirt, used the money instead for buying books for them. Respect, which is all I wanted them to earn for me. I was a cleaner. ," Idris says.
However, one day he let his daughters in on the secret. He recalls, it was the last day for him to submit the admission fee for his daughter's college but he didn't have enough money. Worried about what he would tell his daughter when she asked about the fee, he couldn't work that day.
"I was sitting beside the rubbish, was trying hard to hide my tears. I was unable to work that day. All my coworkers were looking at me but no one came to speak.
"I was failed, heartbroken and I had no idea how to face my daughter who would ask me about the admission fees once I back to home. I am born poor. Nothing good can happen with a poor person that was my belief", Idris says.
Then came an unexpected help for him from his fellow cleaners who handed him their day's wages.
"When I refused, they confronted by saying, we will starve today if needed but our daughter has to go to college", he recalls.
"That day I did not take shower. That day I went home like a cleaner," he adds.
Idris's daughter is to finish university very soon. She has a part time job and three of them do tuition so that he doesn't need to work anymore.
His daughter, however, hasn't forgotten those who helped them when they were struggling. He recalls how she often takes him to his work place and offers food to his coworkers.
"They laugh and ask her why she feeds them so often. My daughter tells them, 'All of you starved for me that day so I can become what I am today, pray for me that I can feed you all every day,'" he says.
Idris ends his story on a moving note.
"Nowadays I do not feel I am a poor man. Whoever has such children, how can he be poor," Idris says.