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Dhaka Tribune

‘What will I do with education, when I can’t get to eat properly?’

The founder of Mojar School talks about numerous challenges behind how the small initiative of Suhrawardy Udyon has now become huge

Update : 08 Jan 2023, 08:37 PM

On the fourth and last day of Dhaka Lit Fest, a session on Rubaiya Murshed's book “Nobody's Children” took place at the Bangla Academy lawn.

Moderated by researcher, educator and storyteller Shakil Ahmed, author of the book Rubaiya Murshed, Mojar School Founder Arian Arif, Wahida Banu, and Unicef Child Protection Officer Fatema Khyrunnahar participated in the discussion.

Rubaiya Murshed said she was waiting for her commute after class one day while attending Dhaka University. She was listening to two street kids at the moment. Because the flowers didn't sell as well as anticipated, the street kids were sad and talking about how they would buy food for other family members because they did not have enough money.

Rubaiya talked to the street children and tried to cheer them up. Since then, her initiative started from the urge to do something for them.

However, after running the school for five years, she stopped the activities. Her experience and the stories of various street children have come up in the book. 

Once a child told her: “Apu, What will I do with my education, when I can't get to eat properly?”

Another speaker Arian Arif told the story of establishing “Mojar School”. 

He talked about the numerous challenges behind how the small initiative of Suhrawardy Udyon has now become huge. 

After teaching Jahanara Imam's book “Ekttorer Dinguli” up to class eight, Mojar School engages street children in technical education. Then jobs are also arranged to make them self-reliant. He requested everyone to call the 109 helpline if they see any problem or inconsistency with the children.

Wahida Banu talked about her “Aporajeyo Bangladesh” initiative. She has been working with street children since 1995. 

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