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Firoja Begum, a woman with self-dignity

Golam Rosul

DHAKA, Dec 03, 2017 (BSS) - She was busy peeling a boiled egg in the evening at her footpath shop situated just beside Tejgaon Thana recently. She then had a little time to talk to this correspondent. Nevertheless, the octogenarian woman gave some time and told the story of her struggle which also reflected her dignity.

The 81-year-old Firoja Begum, who sells boiled eggs on a footpath shop, hails from Panchkhola village under Madaripur Sadar upazila.

Firoja Begum has none in her family - no son, no daughter even husband. 40 years ago, she left her husband as the man married second time without her permission. Then she came to the capital empty-handed and started selling boiled eggs. And she has been doing this small business around the year over the last 30 years at the same place.

The octogenarian Firoja said she has nothing to lose in life. She never feels that she has no family or near and dear ones to take care of her. She lives in West Razabazar with another widowed woman who works as a housemaid in different houses in the area.

"I am happy with my life. My destiny has brought me here. I never think that I have something to gain or lose. I always pray to Allah to give my death in peace," she said.

She spends her earned money to maintain making food and providing house rent. Rest of the money she gives her two grand children. Firoja said, "I look after two of my grandson and daughter as their father died several years ago. As I have no children or husband what I will do with money? That's why, I give rest of the money to them to bear their expenses of study." The old woman also said she sells 150-160 boiled eggs a day. And her customers prefer duck eggs. As she is aged, some people who regular walk along the road, take eggs from her shop appreciating her for living with dignity.

Imran Ali, who is a journalist by profession, told this correspondent that every day when he is in office duty, eats a boiled duck egg from Firoja Begum. He thinks this woman doing business in her late age. But many young men and women chose to beg which is disgraceful.

"I salute this woman and that is why I come here to eat an egg just to extend support to the lady."