While 45-year-old Chawkbazar fire victim Anwar Hossain is battling for his life at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Dhaka Medical College Hospital's burn unit, his family is looking at a bleak future.
Anwar, a rickshaw-puller and also sole earner in a family of eight, survived the devastating blaze that ravaged Churihatta area of Chawkbazar in Old Dhaka on Wednesday night, claiming 67 lives.
Hailing from Rajbari Sadar upazila, Anwar used to live at a shanty in Dhaka's Kamrangirchar area, said Bithy Akter, Anwar's daughter.
On that fateful night, Anwar was returning home on his rickshaw when the fire erupted, leaving him seriously injured, Bithy said.
The condition of Anwar, who suffered 60 percent deep burns, is “the most critical” among the nine Chawkbazar fire victims undergoing treatment at the ICU, according to Dr Samanta Lal Sen, chief coordinator of National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery at DMCH.
Anwar, father of four, had to go above and beyond to maintain his family. His eldest son Hridoy is a slacker, Bithy said.
Hridoy has a month-old infant. Bithy's other siblings are minors.
None in the family went to school and Anwar had to work 12 hours every day to make ends meet.
Despite their best efforts, Anwar has little chance of survival and his condition is deteriorating, said Dr Sen.
He is being fed through pipe and gradually losing the ability to talk, he said.
Hajera Begum, Anwar's wife, said he is pleading for mercy and urged her (Hajera) to hold the family together in his absence.
Although Anwar is receiving treatment free of cost, the rest of the family is finding it difficult to stay afloat, Hajera told this newspaper.
Of the nine survivors, conditions of six are critical while three are showing signs of improvement, Dr Sen told The Daily Star.