Living in a world of constantly coarse reality, walking on a ramp, perhaps, stays at the bottom of the dreams of Tahmina, Sujon, Shahnaz, Brishti, Sheema or anyone else of the 600,000 street children in the country for whom the street (in the widest sense of the word, including unoccupied dwellings, wasteland, etc.) has become his or her habitual abode and/or source of livelihood. They are inadequately protected, supervised, or directed by responsible adults.
However, in an attempt to introduce them to the sunny side of life, Fashion for Life, an event arranged centering the street children living in Chittagong, has provided the street children with the opportunity of walking on the ramp, and that too alongside the prominent ramp models in the country.
Taking place at Chittagong’s Shilpakala Academy on last Sunday (January 22), a hundred of the city’s homeless children reinvented themselves throughout the day by taking part in an array of creative activities including dancing, drawing, singing, acting and so on.
This is the third time a number of private organisations namely, Hotel Safina Limited, Aseem Enterprise, Spectrum international, The Hideout Lunch, Goodly, Dental Inn, Dhaka Model Agency, Happy Smile Group, Beauty Cafe, Bigo PR, Sound Effect, Dream Bangladesh, Abir Babuji Group, Oporajeyo Bangladesh, Charulota, Colour Cast, Team Chittagong, Rhythm, came forward to organise the distinctive event for the street children living in the city.
The first program of the day was a drawing competition between the participating children. Three selected pictures were then sold in an open auction. The money gained from the auction was handed over to the winners as an education aid, while all the other participants were rewarded with different education materials. Winter clothing, blankets and new dresses were also distributed among the children in the event.
Students from Port City International University and Southern University presented dramas and dance performances on the rights of children in the evening, USTC students sang for the young crowd.
After taking part in the catwalk with renowned professional ramp models, the street children then went on to show their own performances, comprised of solo and group dance, songs and short-dramas.
Rotary District-3282 Governor Dr M Toiyob Chowhdury, Chittagong University Senate Member Dr Manjurul Amin Chowdhury, fashion designer Rowshan Ara Chowdhury, Khulshi Club’s founding president Niaz Morshed Elite, Chairman of Standard Bank’s Executive Committee Zahidul Haque, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police Jahangir Alam were present as the guests of the event, among others.
During their speech, the participating guests called for an increase in similar programs to raise the confidence level of the street children, while thanking the organisers for their distinctive effort.
The event was planned by Mohiuddin Masum and coordinated by journalist Azhar Mahmud with overall assistance of Anis Waresi, president, Fashion for Life, and Shihab Sagir and Naveed Anzum, managing directors, Hotel Safina. Tushar Hossain choreographed the dance performances.
Rowshan’s, Blue Moon, Wings Fashion and Trend by Arnob were the wardrobe partners of the event.
Fashion for Life was hosted by Fahmida.