Journey Through Bangladesh
Bangladesh Rifles helps improve Khagrachhari
It may not be the most appreciated wing of the army, but the Bangladesh Rifles are doing their part in improving the country as well as their own image. This report about a battalion in Khagrachhari tells us the details.
Jasim Uddin Majumder
THE members of Bangladesh Rifles are not only protecting border crimes, but are also working to enlighten remote borders areas with education and communication. They are actively changing the lives of people near the border by implementing many socio-economic projects.
During recent visits, a Star Insight correspondent observed some of their additional works and some of their initiatives to develop rural areas and move towards the envisioned digital Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Rifles 5, at Jaminipara Zone under the Matiranga upazilla in Khagrachhari hill district, is a battalion that is already making revolutionary changes in the nearby remote border areas. The battalion has been taking many initiatives to ensure modern education, communication improvements, reduction of unemployment through the implementation of various socio-economic projects and the empowerment of women.
Shimanto Poribar Kollyan Shamity
Aiming to eliminate poverty and empower women, BDR established Shimanto Poribar Kollyan Shamity in 2005. This organization provides training in tailoring, child rearing, health and primary treatment among thousands women. They also organize awareness programmes to increase female participation at all levels. Most of the women of Jaminipara Zone and its nearby areas benefit from various training courses conducted by this organization. After successful training, they also provide necessary tools free of cost, so that the women become self-sufficient.
organization. After successful training, they also provide necessary tools free of cost, so that the women become self-sufficient.
Tatob is the name of the computer club run by Bangladesh Rifles 5. They started this computer club in the early months of this year and trained some 71 youths from 3 unions including Taindong, Tabolchhari and Bornal. The learners are taught computer essentials, including email.
In 2008, a lake spanning 30 acres was created, in which Bangladesh Rifles 5 has been running a fishery project since 2009. This employed 64 families, including some poor ethnic ones. Members of the 64 families are involved in the project, while the battalion provides supervision. They are also trying to establish buildings on the bank of the lake, in an effort to make it a tourist spot.
Jaminipara Primary and Junior High School
Jaminipara Primary and Junior High School is ranked at the top of the 90 educational organizations under Matiranga upazila in the district. Seven class five students secured full scholarship last year. BDR established the primary school in 2006, aiming to ensure primary education for those remote areas. Later, they turned it into a Junior High School and are currently in the process of constructing 5 more rooms.
Road Repair work
Members of Jaminipara BDR Battalion have been repairing damaged roads inside the zone. They also coordinate with government agencies to implement road development projects in their area.
Tree Planting Program
Members of the Battalion have planted some five thousands saplings in their zone and its surrounding areas on the first day of a weeklong tree planting program. They have planned to plant about 40 thousand more saplings in different areas under their jurisdiction.
Second in command of Bangladesh Rifles 5, Major S.M. Naimul Alam, said that they wish to assist people from all walks of life.
“We want people to become more aware of their rights and privileges and gain confidence as enlightened citizens of the country," he said.
Bangladesh Rifles 5 Commander, Lt. Colonel Abdun Nur said that while it is their formal duty to protect the border and protect border crimes, they can also serve the people and improve their way of life near the border.
“With the people of the border with us, we can succeed at anything," he said.
(R) thedailystar.net 2009