Srimukh: A village of 5 residents
Published: 11:16 PM, 8 October 2019
What is the name of the largest village in Asia? One can be asked simply and the answer must be Baniachong in Habiganj district of Bangladesh. But which is the smallest village in Asia? Many people will be hesitant about such a question.
It is believed that the village Srimukh in Bishwanath Upazila of Sylhet is the smallest village in Asia! There is no road of its own. The village of Tilnai, Belghar UP in Lalmai Upazila of Cumilla district, which was previously considered the smallest village in Asia, has a population of 40. All of them are reported from the Hindu religion.
On the other hand, the present populations of Srimukh village in Bishwanath are five. Among them, one man, three women and a child.
The Family Members
The current members of the isolated family including three women -- Rahima Begum, 35, Dilara Begum, Angura Begum, 43, and minor girl Sumaia Akhter Tahina, 8, and Aftab Ali.
The Condition of the village and Family
This village is situated in Khajanchi union in Bishwanath upazila of Sylhet. Only one family has been living in this gazetted village before independence.
Khajanchi UP is located nine kilometers far from the upazila Sadar. Srimukh is the village between Telikona and West Noagaon under ward 5 of Khajanchi.
Once, a Hindu family lived in ‘Srimukh’ having about 60 decimals of land known as 'one house-one village'. The Hindu family sold their house to the ancestors of the present residence of Aftab Ali during the riot in the year 1964 and moved elsewhere. Aftab Ali's family has been living in the house since then. Currently, Aftab Ali is a Saudi expat. His wife-daughters and two sisters are living at home.
Around the village, there are cropland, bamboo shrubs, forests, and clay. The bare feet have to cross the mud and water to enter the road-less village. The Srimukh is deprived of development.
Various deprivations and misery are remaining here. There is no road to enter the village and the lone family of the village has been struggling to survive for lack of various basic facilities. There is no path to get out of their house. As there is no road, they have to go out crossing the lands of others. Though the village is listed in the government gazette, no development work is done at the village. They don’t get any government assistance.
The only daughter of Aftab Ali goes to a kindergarten every day by crossing the mud-water. Raw toilets have to be used because of their financial distress. The only tube-well at the village went out of order long ago and they have to drink water fetching it from neighboring village. They have to drink contaminated pond water when they are unable to move out. After many troubles, the electricity came to the village but the meter readers made the monogram bill without going home. One of Aftab Ali’s sisters is older but does not get any allowance.
With only five members in Srimukh village, they have been associated with the neighboring Paschim Noagao panchayat. The transportation system in the village is very bad. There is no road to travel. They move with a small isle. Especially during the monsoon, people in this village cannot go anywhere from the home without a boat. During the dry season, they also have to trample mud. As a result, residents of the village are suffering much. The family alleged that the village was small and deprived of development.