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Construction worker, foreign domestic worker among winners at migrant poetry competition

SINGAPORE — To be a beacon of light leading his family out of darkness: That was what construction worker Mohar Khan wrote about for his poem, which bagged him the second prize in the second edition of the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition yesterday.

Construction worker, foreign domestic worker among winners at migrant poetry competition

The turnout at the National Library for the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition. Photo: Migrant Worker Poetry Competition 2015/Facebook

SINGAPORE — To be a beacon of light leading his family out of darkness: That was what construction worker Mohar Khan wrote about for his poem, which bagged him the second prize in the second edition of the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition yesterday.

“My poem is a metaphor for providing light for my family. With the work as a construction worker here, I am able to support my family back home,” Mr Khan said of his poem titled Lamp Post.

As the runner-up, he received S$300 as a prize. Mr Khan spends all his free time and energy on writing, which, he said, is an escape from the grind of his day-to-day work.

Mr Zakir Hossain Khokon won first prize for the second consecutive time. His poem was about migrant life, and how he misses his wife and children.

Ms Sharasyamsi Yahya from Indonesia, who won the third prize, said her poem entitled You is dedicated to someone who is very supportive of her dreams and ambitions to achieve success.

She has been in Singapore as a domestic worker for nine years and has dreams to go back to her country to start a business.

The competition saw submissions almost triple from last year, with 14 finalists emerging from 74 submissions.

The participants who included domestic workers, construction workers and technicians, came from countries such as China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh and had 65 per cent of submissions from women.

Organised by the Banglar Kantha, a newspaper for the Bangladeshi community here, the event was held at the National Library.

It was supported by The Literary Centre, American Embassy, SMU Wee Kim Wee Centre, Aidha, H.O.M.E. and Transient Workers Count Too. ANGELA TENG

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