Volume 6 | Issue 03| February 11, 2012|


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Readers’ Club


Readers' Club distributes Blankets to the Poor

How many of us think about them who pass bone-shuddering nights of winter in Poush and Magh lying on hay under a piece of cloth or torn katha in fenced rooms? Students of Govt. A. H. College of Bogra do.

Mostafa Shabuj

Students raising funds for the poor
Students raised Tk 40 thousand selling flowers
Distributing blankets to the needy

When the winter starts its journey in our country, various types of revels are arranged in the sophisticated society to celebrate it. The éclat of preparing various types of dainty pies goes on at the house of many people. The elite society take sound sleep in temperature controlled rooms, poking bodies into warm blankets. Rising from the bed, they take a cup of smoke emitting hot tea; but for over one-thirds of all people in Bangladesh, who live below the poverty line- who cannot even eat two meals a day - winter appears as a nightmare.

On 7 December 2011, when the first cold wave started and the temperature went below 10 degrees Centigrade, several young students of Govt. A. H. College, under the banner of The Daily Star Reader's Club, organized a fundraising initiative to provide blankets to the poor. Keeping the miserable condition of insolvent people in mind, who have no warm clothes to face the winter, they took to the streets, with flowers in their hands, and started to collect money. Their purpose was simple - to distribute winter clothes and blankets to poor people. The students stood in front of the highway of Govt. A. H. College in Bogra and many people responded. Passengers from rickshaws and cars bought flowers for Tk. 5 to Tk. 500! The price they paid had nothing to do with the price of the flower, rather the flowers were handed over as a sign of respect for their contribution in making winter more bearable for poor people. Those students have sold captivating flowers to the passengers of vehicles, shopkeepers and to the standing pedestrians for four days at a stretch. Teachers of the college also contributed to the fund. It was surprising to see that the donations were coming from mostly middle class and ordinary citizens, whilst the most affluent people simply passed the students by without noticing their call for help.

In only four days, a fund of Tk 40 thousand was raised! Flowers of Tk 10 thousand were sold, meaning thirty thousand remained to purchase blankets. A total of 161 blankets of standard quality and 20 mats were purchased. Then the students themselves went to the alluvial land (Char land) of the rivers - Bangali and Jamuna under Sonatala upazilla in Bogra. They, visiting hut to hut, searched out those who needed the warm clothes the most. Two days earlier, another team of students had given a token in the hands of each one making an enlistment of selected people and requested them to gather at an open place of Shimultala of Satbaki. In this case, they have given priority to mothers, babies, senior citizens, physically challenged people and widows. The blankets and mats were handed out on 10 January 2012.

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