Makrai, a village located 28 kilometers from Dinajpur sadar in Birganj municipality, has seen the dawn of a new chapter in its educational landscape.
Nestled amidst sweeping forests and flanked by rivers to the east, the village welcomed the inauguration of a new school on June 24 this year.
The ethnic minorities inhabiting Makrai's plains have long been struggling with literacy rates and living standards, marred by pervasive poverty. Hindered by limited resources, they have grappled with providing basic education for their children.
To address this concern, Bashundhara along with its social platform Shuvosangho has taken a significant stride by establishing an educational institution in the village, aiming to integrate disadvantaged children into mainstream society.
The school, conveniently located close to the main road, was inaugurated in a grand ceremony attended by a host of dignitaries, including Ekushey Award-winning litterateur and editor-in-chief of Kaler Kantho, Imdadul Haq Milan.
Lawmaker from Dinajpur-1 constituency Manoranjan Shil Gopal and Shuvosangho Director Zakaria Zaman, among others, were also present on the occasion.
In his address, Milan, with evident passion, described the school's establishment as a manifestation of Shuvosangho's dedication to fostering education across the nation.
He voiced his dreams of a developed, enlightened country and emphasized the need for an educated populace to achieve this.
"Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan has emerged as the charioteer propelling our dream towards reality," Milan said. "With his support, we've established the 10th such school. We plan to extend this initiative to all 64 districts."
In the near future, more lands will be purchased for the establishment of Bashundhara-Shuvosangho schools, sewing training centers, and libraries, he informed.
Furthermore, the initiative aims to empower women by offering them training in tailoring and computers, helping them earn money and achieve self-sufficiency.
Milan affirmed that the primary objective of the school is to integrate the children of ethnic minorities into mainstream society through literacy and employment.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Bashundhara Group rolled out a month-long food distribution program for the most vulnerable in the locality and has consistently stood by the community, striving for the economic emancipation of its women.
Milan appealed to the parents in the community to ensure their children's regular school attendance. "They are the future of our country and have the potential to reshape our society," he said. "The largest corporate body will stand by you, and we ask that you pray for the Bashundhara Group Chairman and his family."
The Bashundhara-Shuvosangho school opened its doors to 140 disadvantaged children. Operating daily from 8 am to 11 am, it has two teachers and a coordinator on staff.
The school is home to students like Apurbo Madi, who had previously been excluded from education due to poverty. Now, alongside classmates Anupom Madi, Abdul Bari, and many others, he starts each day with the national anthem and physical training.
Describing their daily routine, Apurbo said, "We study in the morning and do household chores in the afternoon. PT and poetry recitation are part of our learning. Our teacher is very caring."
For many parents, the new school represents a welcome change. Mini Murmu, a parent, said it was impossible for children to attend any school that required crossing the shal forest and the highway. "Bashundhara-Shuvosangho school, being close, is convenient for us," she explained.
Another parent, Rita Hemrom, expressed her gratitude for having the school at their doorstep. "We're happy to have Bashundhara-Shuvosangho here. Books and stationeries are provided free of cost, and we now dare to dream of educating our children and securing their future with the help of Bashundhara Group," she stated.
The local MP, Manoranjan Shil Gopal, thanked the Bashundhara Group for their noble initiative to facilitate the education of disadvantaged children.
"Since its inception, the Bashundhara Group has actively participated in social welfare activities," he noted.
He also highlighted the Group's support to cold and flood-affected people and urged other affluent individuals to follow suit.
"Everyone's contribution is vital for a developed and educated nation. Our countrymen will surely benefit from such humanitarian schemes," he concluded.SOURCE : Daily Sun
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