With the fund collected from Dhaka Tribune's readers, Sajib was rewarded with Tk15,000 on Monday
Autorickshaw driver Sajib was rewarded on Monday, on behalf of Dhaka Tribune and its readers, for his demonstration of exemplary honesty in Chandpur.
On June 22, Masud Hossain, an account manager of bKash(popular mobile financial service) and two of his associates left a bag full of Tk61 lakh in Sajib's autorickshaw after withdrawing it from a bank in Chandpur town.
In a rare demonstration of integrity, Sajib reported the incident to Badal Gazi, office assistant at the district's Awami League headquarter. Badal then contacted Chandpur Sadar police station OC Nasim Uddin and as a result bKash got the money back.
On June 24, a new battery-run autorickshaw was handed over to Sajib by Chandpur district bKash agent Alamgir Hossain Jewel, with the help of local police, as a token of appreciation.
Also on the same day, to appreciate Sajib's act of honesty Dhaka Tribune arranged a crowdfunding program and a report was published regarding the matter.
With the funds collected through Dhaka Tribune's readers, Sajib was rewarded with Tk15,000.
Chandpur Additional Superintendent of Police Jahed Parvez Chowdhury handed him the money at Chandpur Press Club amid the presence of prominent journalists in the district.
Among other journalists present, some of them were: Ikbal Hossain Patwari, Shahid Patwari, Rahim Badsha, HM Ahsan Ullah, Al Imran Shobhon, Riyad Ferdous, Abul Kalam Azad, Talha Zubayer, and Ashik Bin Rahim.
Expressing gratitude to Dhaka Tribune and its readers, Sajib said he will buy parts for his battery-run autorickshaw with some of the money.
Sajib said: "People ask me sometimes what I got after I returned the Tk61 lakh. I reply that I am happy with whatever I have got."
Sajib said he studied until fourth grade before dropping out due to financial crisis in his family. He has two brothers and a sister. "Me and my elder brother are the earning members in our family. Our sister is married and my younger brother is an eighth grader," he said.
Before getting the brand new auto-rickshaw, Sajib used to drive a rented one. After paying the daily vehicle rent, he was left with an income of around Tk250 to Tk300 per day, according to Sajib.
Sajib said: "My current auto-rickshaw 's battery is not so good. It could be driven only four hours a day and the earning is around Tk300 to Tk350.
Sajib added that he could earn a little more if new batteries were arranged for his vehicle.
After Sajib returned the money, Chandpur Superintendent of Police Mahbubur Rahman appreciated his honesty with a gift of Tk5,000. The district's deputy commissioner and MA Hannan, an industrialist, respectively rewarded him with a sack of rice and Tk25,000.
"Of that money, Tk5,000 got spent in different ways. I have spent 2,000 for myself and handed over the remaining 24,000 to my mother. She used the money to pay back various loans previously taken for the family. We took loans from two organizations for the household expenses. Every week we have to pay it back in installments.
"My father got a bit old, so he cannot work that much. But he sometimes works as a labourer in Puranbazar," added Sajib.