Village chilgren in Bangladesh

Have you thought about how others live? Felt jealous and envious of what you don’t have? I hope by the end of my blog today you will think differently.

Speaking with a friend “Mike” from Bangladesh, he gave me an insight into his homeland. After ten years of living amongst us, he has a different view than most. In general conversation he came out with ‘the British don’t know how lucky we are’.

Intrigued I asked him to explain, Mike delved into how he came to the UK. Whilst working in the Radisson hotel he was presented with the opportunity to come to the UK, via a work permit. Jumping at the chance to come to what he saw as the promise land, once the Embassy approved his application he was off. His vision was to improve his life experience and his families a life style. I forgot to mention that he had a wife at home and a small daughter, ten years on and his wife and daughter now 15 years old are still waiting to be reunited.

Mike works seven days a week, in his own words is he needs to as he wouldn’t have enough money being sent home (Bangladesh) otherwise. Thinking that he sent money home now and then I was wrong. Mike religiously works seven days a week, firsthand experience has shown me his work ethic is second to none. Mike went on to tell me that he sends the majority of his wage home on a monthly basis, the money he sends gets distributed to his Dad, Wife and Child and his 3 sisters whom have their own families too.

Back to the question do realise how lucky we are?

Unlike the UK, Bangladesh economy does not support a benefit system. This means that education is not free, no nurseries, primary schools or secondary education. “If you are lucky enough to be born in a rich family you are ok” Mike informed me that the fees of schools are extortionate and not accessible on his wage.

The topic of the NHS came up too, Michael couldn’t believe that we had free healthcare. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, Bangladesh do have Hospitals and surely they would provide emergency care too this not the case, he told me that you could turn up needing emergency without payment you won’t be seen.

The NHS provide free healthcare for all pregnant women and an allocated midwife. The Majority Pregnant women in Bangladesh, have home births with female family members as midwifes. A home birth surrounded by family sounds great, providing that if there is medical complications the family can afford to seek professional medical care.

In my eyes is a hero! Mike supports all of his family to ensure all the kids in his family go to school and puts food on the table for 13 family members. Mike desperately wants to rejoin his family, however in order to keep his family in a lifestyle they are now custom too he stays at his emotional and physical expense.

Looking back at my childhood I never realised how privileged I was. We have a great healthcare and benefit system in place. The system can only accommodate for so much. Charities such as; Save The Children UK , The Children’s Society and Shelter were created to be additional support to the public in need.

My question to you is as a member “British public” do we really appreciate what we have? Engage with me, feel free to comment.