Oggatonama (THE UNNAMED)

Synopsis:

A young girl, Beauty, wants to get a job in a Middle Eastern country which will launch her in life and seeks the help of Ramjan, a manpower agent. Ramjan plans to do so in exchange of sexual favours but is disappointed when he finds a police constable, Farhad, who loves Beauty, in her house. Farhad is ready to help her get the necessary police clearance. In the meantime the officer in charge of the police precinct of the area receives a call from the Ministry of Expatriate Workers telling him to contact the relatives of one Wahab, an expatriate worker who had died in an accident, to receive his body at Dhaka airport. The officer arrives in Wahab’s village and meets the father who is both shocked and surprised as his son was working in Italy and was very much alive. A phone call to Wahab confirms his father’s claim. The officer then gets hold of Ramjan who confesses that he had sent another villager, Asir, by doctoring Wahab’s old passport which was lying with him, so that Asir was now also known as Wahab. The police officer then breaks the sad news to Asir’s father and instructs Ramjan to accompany the father to Dhaka for receiving his son’s body. After an arduous journey and a lot of hassle, the party retrieves the body and brings it back to the village. But while the body is being washed before the last rites, it is discovered that it belonged to a non-Muslim man, most likely from Indian south. The police officer is contacted and given the news, who then asks them to take it back to Dhaka and tells constable Farhad to go with them. After another painful journey and even more painful and futile negotiations with callous and dismissive officials of several ministries connected with expatriate affairs the party fails to find a solution. Now they don’t know what to do with the body, which had started to decompose. Asir’s father resigns to his fate but decides to give the poor dead man a decent burial in place of his son, and the journey continues to the village.

Director’s note:

Bangladesh is one of the largest labor exporting countries in the world. Skilled, half skilled & unskilled labor force is being exported from Bangladesh to Middle East, Far East, Europe & America. But the unskilled labor force is big in number. The main flaws of the man power export are insufficient & lengthy Government process, Lack of training, ignorance, non-cooperation from foreign missions. All these result the cheating by the agents, high cost of immigration process, illegal trafficking. Manipulating the identity is also a major practice. A cut throat visa means-tampering the photograph by changing face in some one else’s passport. Due to huge population & limited employment opportunities in the country people emphasis on the scope of overseas employment. These simple poor people often fail to understand the loopholes and traps of the process. Their living standard in abroad is poor. the wages are low, sometimes less than 200 USD per month, but they sell their last piece of land to fetch the opportunity. Accommodation is unhealthy, lack ample light & air, hygiene is also a concern. These labor forces often denied the human rights; abuses are very common in many cases. But the export continues. According to the newspaper & research, death rate in abroad is very high, especially in Middle East. Some 14 thousand died in last six years. Dhaka airport receives 10 to 15 coffins in an average per day mostly from Middle East. The country earns a huge remittance from exporting this manpower, but these people are often deprived from the basic protection in the process of fetching their dreams. The family ends up with a compensation of 2-3 thousand dollars. The Story not only speaks the identity crisis of these common men but underlines the flaws and traps of these modern day slavery, resulting in illegal human trafficking. The look of the film is near to these common people’s daily life with humors & satire on the surface but pain beneath. The sad events of deprivation & death can not stop celebration of life & continues as symbol of hope & struggle.