20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
The Dalit community

Despite living in the village for years, a Dalit community of Nilphamari had no allocated cremation grounds. The ordeal of performing the last rites for the deceased without a crematorium had become a part of their lives. Deeply concerned about the lack of access to cremation grounds, Chabi Rani led her Dalit community to seek Khas land for a crematorium from the government. Although the first application failed to bring any results even after three months, on the District Commissioner’s advice, they reapplied and were awarded 10 decimals of land for a permanent crematorium and one lakh taka to build the enclosure. A Muslim man from the village gave up his land for the cremation grounds. Today, after years of struggle, the Dalit community has built a permanent crematorium. Yet, they are forced to bury the dead as cremation remains too expensive for them.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: nilfamari, Bangladesh
Camera: FC3170