There are times in our life when we look back at the path travelled and engage in introspection to find something meaningful within it. Being a journalist, a relatively young one at that, it has always been my dream to engage in work that has some material social impact. The welfare of children with disabilities, particularly the ones from the poorest backgrounds, has been an issue that is very close to my heart.
But even as I was writing a feature on the activities of Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) in January 2016 that was published in Dhaka Tribune titled “The school of hope,” I did not fully comprehend the power of words.
Two and a half years later, it was truly an honour to be invited as a special guest along with Md Sarwar Murshed Chowdhury, DC, Kishoreganj, Prof Naila Zaman Khan, general secretary, BPF, Dr Shamim Ferdous, executive director, BPF, Chowdhury Taiyub Tajammul, executive director, A F Mujibur Rahman Foundation and others, at the inauguration of A F Mujibur Rahman school -- a newly-built inclusive school run by BPF in Maria, Kishoreganj. The construction of the school was facilitated after officials from A F Mujibur Rahman came across Dhaka Tribune’s feature on BPF and agreed to spend Tk42 lakhs to rebuild a shabby two-room school into a proper school building equipped with multiple classrooms.
The inclusive school in Maria caters to around 200 students out of which, almost 90 are children with varying disabilities but are being treated with the same degree of love and care.
It is rather difficult to put into words the sheer joy of the students who attended the opening of their new school, but it was enough to motivate anyone associated with the construction to toil harder in their work to ensure the rights of the children and facilitate their inclusion into the mainstream.