Zainab Khatun is the younger daughter of Abdul Jalil and his wife Julekha Khatun, who works as a furniture maker. This Zainavi from Mandalpara in Roumari Upazila of Kurigram was the only member of the clan who came to study in Dhaka University. The family members dreamed that the girl would get a job after passing the BCS exam. But due to an accident, Zainab’s address is now the village graveyard. A group of 57 people went on a trip to Keokradang under the supervision of an organization called ‘Bhramanakanya-Travelettes of Bangladesh’. The group ranged from a 60-year-old woman to two children. Zainab, who served as the leader of the organization’s Rangpur division, was also on the trip. Travelers in five moon cars (jeepcars) went to Baga Lake from Bandarban district town on Friday. On Saturday morning they were returning together after a trip to the Keokradang hilltop. A car lost control while descending a mountain road and fell into a mountain ravine. The local people and the visiting tourists carried out initial rescue operations and rescued the injured. Later, the army and fire service members rescued everyone and took them to the hospital. The accident took place between Darjeelingpara and Rumsampara on the Ruma-Boga Lake-Keokradang road around 11:30 am on Saturday.
Zainab died on the spot. Apart from this, a woman named Feroza Begum (53) died on the spot. Feroza Begum was the mother-in-law of Prothom Alo co-editor Sajeeb Mia. Sajeeb Mia’s wife Nusrat Jahan Rizvi (30) was also seriously injured in the accident. Rizvi is the coordinator of the organization.
There are more than 75,000 women in the current membership of the country’s first women’s travel organization ‘Bhramanakanya-Travelets of Bangladesh’ based on Facebook. The journey of the organization started in 2016 by doctors Mansi Saha and Sakia Haque. The organization aims to empower women through travel.
Her elder brother Mehedi Hasan took Zainab’s body home on Sunday afternoon. He was later buried in the village cemetery. Earlier, Zainab’s body was taken in front of Bangmata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall of Dhaka University.
Talked to Mehdi Hasan on mobile in the afternoon. Zainab Khatun (24) was a postgraduate student of Criminology Department of Dhaka University. His elder brother Mehedi Hasan told Prothom Alo, Zainab had promised that he would concentrate on his studies after completing this tour and start preparing for BCS. But now all dreams are over. He said, “When the money runs out, no one will say, brother, send the money.” Sister has become a senior officer with BCS, that dream is over. In other words, everyone’s dreams have come to an end.
Mehdi Hasan said, he himself did not study after HSC. Work a little. One of his sisters is married. Zainab was the youngest of three siblings. Zainavi was the only member of the family who got the opportunity to study up to Dhaka University.
Mehdi Hasan said, “The condition of the family is not good. Still, I used to send money to Bonar to save my own expenses. Everyone wanted Zainab to be well. After getting admission in the university, Zainab wanted to do tutoring. I say, you read. We will arrange the money.
There were 12 tourists including Zainab and Feroza Begum in the accident jeep without the driver. The driver fled immediately after the accident. Travellers-Travelettes of Bangladesh organization informed on Facebook that the police are trying to file a case against the driver of the car. The Bandarban trip with 57 women was the organization’s 226th trip. All subsequent tours have been canceled following the accident.
After the incident, Ruma Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Abdullah Al Hasan told Prothom Alo that members of the army and fire service rescued 13 people and brought them to the hospital. Both were brought dead to the hospital.
Representatives of the organization said, this was the first accident in the 226th tour. The volunteers or those who were in charge of the organization took the family members including mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law on the tour. As a result, a tour car fell into a 500 meter ditch and no one can accept the death of the two. The physical condition of the injured persons is being reported by the organization on social media Facebook. Various people are posting about Zainab’s death and the accident.
Sakia Haque, one of the founders of Travelots of Bangladesh, a doctor, told Prothom Alo, “Zainab was lifted from the ditch and given to me.” As a doctor, I can see that Zainab is no more. Still try it in different ways. And Rizvi got up from the bottom and said himself, mother is no more. This is the pain that we have to carry throughout our lives. Zainab was young. His dreams were just beginning to take flight. It’s all over.’
Regarding Feroza Begum, Sakia Haque said, ‘Rizvi is our coordinator. His mother Feroza Begum was our mother too. I can’t count how many trips he went on with us. He was a happy man. We took a group photo at Keokradang. But now two are gone. This loss will not be compensated in any way. The only hope is that the others in the car were saved.
Sakia Haque said, Nusrat Jahan Rizvi and Zainab Khatun left in three jeeps with 37 tourists. After saying goodbye to them, some people came running and said that a jeep had fallen into a ditch. With the efforts of local people, administration officials and everyone, it is possible to carry out a quick rescue operation. On behalf of the organization, Sakia Haque expressed gratitude to those who came forward during this time.
Sakia said that there was only one responsible medical officer in the room. However, there were several other doctors including him in the group of 57 people. Treatment is prioritized based on who is in the worst condition.
Sakia Haque said, ‘I took my mother-in-law. Rizvi takes his mother. Another member of our organization Shanta did not go but her mother was with us. Shanta’s mother was seriously injured in the accident. And Zainab was herself. Rizvi had a sister with two children. Standing in front of the milestone at Keokradang, Rizvi’s mother Mane Khalamma stood with her hands raised while the national anthem was sung. One of us said to straighten the hand. We will never forget these memories.
According to the prothomalo