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The light that will never go out

  • Published at 12:00 am December 22nd, 2019
Sir Fazle
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

He was a true visionary, and a doyen of our times

The nation is mourning the passing of one of Bangladesh’s greatest citizens, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.

Few people can claim a legacy as rich and lasting: He was founder of Brac, which grew to become the largest non-governmental organization in the world, employing over 100,000 people, of which 70% of the employees being women.

Indeed, Brac’s contribution towards bridging the gender gap in Bangladesh cannot be understated, and it is largely through Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s efforts that Bangladesh is now doing so well in gender equality rankings in the region.

Abed’s mantra was “small is beautiful, large is essential,” and it is clear to anyone studying the organizations workings that Brac has adhered to this philosophy. And it is because of this philosophy that the man was never content to rest on his laurels, always expanding the size and scope of Brac.

Due to his background as a chartered accountant, Abed also knack for numbers, giving him a strong advantage in a world governed by idealism; he personally checked the books periodically to make sure Brac was financially healthy, because a vision without the right finances is doomed to fall flat.

In the end, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was a highly pragmatic man, and even though his goals were lofty, they were never unrealistic.

He was a true visionary, and a doyen of our times.

As Bangladesh moves forward in our development journey, we would do well to take a page of this great man’s life, and forge ahead, realistically, practically, smartly, and never give way to cynicism.