The poor don’t have to die out in the cold
Over the past month, the winter season in Bangladesh has accelerated to an unprecedented scale. The common scenario of the unheard needs of people living on the streets never goes amiss -- while the privileged individuals wrap themselves in warm clothes to keep themselves warm from the wrath of this cold.
However, six students from various English medium schools across Dhaka came forward with an idea to help the poor -- which proved to be both unique and effective.
These school students, in association with Iccheghuri -- a youth organization -- arranged an underground basketball tournament; “Winter Showdown 2019 - Hustle for a Cause” which was held throughout December 11-12, at Playpen in Baridhara.
One might go on to ask how this tournament proved to be unique. Well, the organizers have made a rule for the participating players to donate at least two of his/her warm clothes to the authority when registering for their respective teams. In fact, the spectators were also more than welcome to donate in a similar manner, though the donation was not compulsory. This way the organizers managed to collect up to 500 articles of winter clothing for the poor.
The winter clothes drive was a huge success and so was the tournament -- every match proved to be a nerve-wracking one. In the end, we had our champions -- “SeVenS” from the boys’ category and the “Beamers” from the girls’.
Apart from donating winter clothes to various streets of Dhaka city, Iccheghuri has donated up to 700 pieces of winter clothing to Prothom Alo Trust Fund, who in turn will be donating them to Mumtaz Hospital in Mymensingh, founded by Joynul Abedin, a rickshaw puller from Mymensingh. Not only that -- they have also donated similar amounts of winter clothing to various streets of Dhanmondi, Rayer Bazar, and other places. The people who donated to this cause were all students from various institutions.
One of the founding members said: “Many of us are not used to wearing old winter clothes; we can easily donate them to the unfortunate ones who are shivering and sleeping under the open sky. Winter is a season for extravagant parties and weddings. But while we enjoy the colourful festivities, we must not forget to show compassion for the less fortunate ones.”
Compassion and empathy of the privileged class expressed through philanthropic work can bring about a change in our society. Iccheghuri has been able to prove that in every way possible -- with over 50 members and growing, this youth organization is striving to move forward by helping the people in need.
Such a form of humanity is less seen nowadays. It’s time to get inspired by these acts and start contributing ourselves to our society, even in the slightest way possible. Only then can coherence exist in our society.
As Iccheghuri has proven, only by inculcating our minds with this practice of sharing by donating can bring about a change in society.
Abid Akhtab is a freelance contributor.