South Asia’s ‘HONY’ Shares Stories Of Poverty, Hardship, Hope

Every South Asian woman has an incredible story of resilience to tell. One Bangladeshi photojournalist has made it his mission to bring some of those untold stories to light.

GMB Akash is an award-winning photojournalist from Dhaka, Bangladesh who captures portraits of people in his country who rarely make the headlines ― sex workers, child laborers, schoolgirls, women fleeing abusive relationships, women who have no place to call home. 

The 39-year-old from Dhaka has been sharing these images on his social media accounts, pairing the portraits with paraphrased captions that dig deeper into his subjects’ life stories.

Akash said he believes its his duty as a photographer to tell these kinds of stories.

“I must show what can be shown; going deep into every milieu and into every aspect of poverty, deprivation and hardship that I can encounter – because the only sin for a photographer is to turn his head and look away,” Akash, who has been taking photos since 1996, told HuffPost in an email.

Sometimes, it takes just a few moments for people to open up. And other times, it takes much longer. 

“It takes a lot of empathy and connection from soul to soul to understand pain and suffering, as well [the] beauty of another human being,” Akash wrote. “There were times when we simply [sit] together without speaking a word and continue to try to hold the tears. Most of the times it happened while I interview sex worker or elderly abandoned mothers. I let people to open up their wound, suffering, tragedies, and voices.”

HuffPost asked Akash to share 12 photographs of women he’s met in his Bangladesh whose stories have left an impression on him. From Tahora, an elderly woman who was abandoned by her three sons, to Shaheda, a woman who built a new life for herself after the death of her abusive husband, these are incredible women who have lived through both immeasurable sorrow and joy. 

“There is a beauty about a woman whose confidence comes from experiences; who knows she can fall, pick herself up, and move on,” Akash told HuffPost.

Read on to hear from these remarkable women and read . 

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