Dhakaiya Profession

Tiffin Distributer-A Case Study

Posted in tiffin distributers by rrasheeka on April 24, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

Every morning Rahima Khatun wakes up, cooks breakfast and lunch, takes shower, feeds herself and her sick husband and goes out to work. She is assigned in the Nawabganj area where she goes to the houses where she is supposed to collect tiffin boxes from. After she collects them she goes to the market where she distributes the tiffin boxes.

Before she used to carry them on a basket over her head and walk to the marketplace. Nowadays, she takes a rickshaw as her right foot has become weak and she can’t carry such heavy load. She has been in this profession for the last 18 years and her current monthly income is tk. 2000 per month. When she first joined 18 years ago, she was given 200 taka per month. The money that she earns is very small and it is very difficult to manage her family with this income. She believes only if she had a child, all her problems would be solved. But she has no children. Her husband was a rickshawpuller and had an accident around 15 years ago. Since then, she became the sole income earner of their small family. She just hopes she doesn’t fall sick before the death of her husband because then there’d be no one to take care of him. Everyday she prays to God to keep her in good health so that she can look after herself and her husband.

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Tiffin Distributers

Posted in tiffin distributers by rrasheeka on April 21, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

In Old Dhaka there are a number of markets. In these markets there are many shopkeepers who sit there from the time they open the shop to the time the shop gets closed. Many of these shopkeepers don’t take their lunch with them from their homes. Have you ever wondered how they get their lunch?

They get their lunch from people who go to their homes,carry it from their to shops and give it to them. They are the tiffin distributers. These people work under a particular person with whom these shopkeepers make a contract. The shopkeepers pay to the people with whom they make the contract and the tiffin carriers are paid a fixed amount monthly by their employers. They are assigned a particular area in which they go from house to house and collect the tiffin boxes and then go to the markets and distribute the tiffin boxes.Most of the tiffin distributers are women who are middle-aged or above. This is probably because these women didn’t find any alternative source of income. We do not get to see these type of people in other parts of Dhaka. Only in Old Dhaka such a profession seems to exist. This is what is wonderful about Old Dhaka. There are such different types of professions that one comes across in that area.