Sreepur Village is about 40 miles north of Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh, but in terms of noise, congestion and pollution it could be a million miles away. Dhaka is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with over 12 million people. Unfortunately the transport infrastructure can’t keep up with the growth of traffic, and the journey to Sreepur can vary between just over an hour to more than seven hours.
In the monsoon season the road often breaks up, but the traffic does not stop until a large vehicle sinks into the mud and blocks the road. Much of Dhaka goes under water at this time, but although Sreepur is probably only 20 feet above sea level it is enough to have prevented it from ever having been flooded.
The journey to Sreepur takes you out of Dhaka through an area of garment factories where wages are less than £25 a month for a six day week. When the village first opened in 1989, after about 10 miles there was open countyside, but now there are factories all the way to Sreepur.
Moana is the nearest town to Sreepur on the road from Dhaka, and 20 years ago it was just a few wood and tin buildings with no electricity to the north in the direction of Sreepur. Electricity was only brought in to feed Sreepur, and now a whole community has grown up along the road that was built to serve Sreepur.
Many of our card producers live in this area, and although there is a factory being built about 2 miles from the Village there is still a feel of rural Bangladesh with trees and rice paddies all around.
The thing you notice most about leaving Dhaka is the quiet and the fresh air. Dhaka is a vibrant, colourful and exciting place, but an hour on the streets leaves you totally exhausted - a total contrast to strolling down the lane at Sreepur.
Click on the thumbnails below to see films and photos that help you to experience the journey.
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