| Journey through Bangldesh
A young man, Khudiram Tripura, had great trouble affording the basic necessities of life not too long ago. He used to earn his living by gathering, cutting and selling branches and twigs as firewood. That very Khudiram is now an orange producer. He is the proud owner of a huge orange grove that gleams with beauty. With the help of the regional armed forces in the hills of Kaptai, this indigenous man has created a remarkable prospect in the locality by growing oranges. “An orange orchard in Kaptai?” you ask? It is probably hard to imagine. But in the matter of only one year, the immense growth of burgeoning oranges all over the orchard is quite a feat! Kaptai Sena Region has been very cooperative with Khudiram's efforts. The armed forces took it upon themselves to materialize orange gardens in the hilly region.
The then unemployed, twenty-six year-old Khudiram of Rajastholi Bolipara village, was given twenty thousand taka for this project. Under the supervision of the local Alimupara Sena Camp, he planted 500 seeds on the hill in mid 2006 and started to look after the plantation. Alongside Khudiram, the military also looked after the well-being of the orchard. Through Khudiram's tremendous efforts and hard work as well as the cooperation of the armed forces, a healthy bounty of oranges began to crop up in a matter of only seven to eight months.
In the orchard, the multicolored display of green, yellow and orange on green trees is quite astounding! Orange consumption in Bangladesh is entirely dependent on imports. Captain GM Shohagh informed us that the oranges grown here are in fact juicier and tastier than oranges imported from neighboring countries. The garden that has been created with the help of the armed forces and with only twenty thousand taka by Khudiram, is now a shelter to oranges which are already over a hundred thousand taka in value.
Khudiram has not started to market the oranges he has grown yet, but is planning to do so within the immediate future. Hundreds of people from the locality crowd to observe his beautiful garden of oranges everyday. “I try my best to encourage and aid those that are currently growing an interest in orange plantations and are planning to invest in the endeavour,” says Khudiram.
The contribution of Sena Region's Commander Brigadier General Badrul Millat Bhuiya P.S.C. in the success story of Khudiram must be mentioned. He tells us that apart from restoring the peace and serenity in the hilly regions, the armed forces are also actively engaged in the financial enriching of the local community through various projects. The armed forces are ready to assist anyone like Khudiram, who comes forward with a view to make a difference. “If the people of the region become interested in orange groves like Khudiram, then the economic condition of the indigenous community is sure to change for the better,” says the Brigadier General.
Though the idea of orange plantations in the hill tracts used to be a mere dream, Khudiram has made it real by successfully growing and maintaining an entire, fruitful orchard. The unemployed young people of the area have much to learn from Khudiram's venture; just because something has not been done before, doesn't mean it cannot be done.
(R) thedailystar.net 2007