Subrata Kumar Das
It was the 29th of April. The sun was shining brightly, but we did not look back. Our journey started when the clock was about to strike 8. Dr. Mahmudul Hassan, the Secretary of Bangladesh National Commission for Unesco (BNCU) bade us waving his hands.
The tour was financed by the Unesco Dhaka office as a reward for being one of the 50 finalists in the Mondialogo School Contest 2005-2006. The prayer for arranging a study tour received more attention when two girls of Shere-e-Bangla Government Girls' School bagged a prize of $ 500 in an essay competition on Sustainable Development. Both the competitions were conducted by Unesco.
Dr. Hassan was the key person who took the necessary steps. Since his involvement in the ASPnet (Associated School Project Network), he is enthusiastic to work for the teachers and students. He managed the fund, but added a condition: to do something worthwhile.
BNCU was concentrating on the slogan of Education For All (EFA) in that week. So it was decided that the participants will conduct a survey in the nearby villages about the literacy rate and other related issues. What an exciting proposal! We got off the bus at 10.30 at the Salban Vihara of Mainamati. Immediately the four groups of students rushed to the villages under the supervision of four teachers: Nurul Islam, Nazmul Kabir, Shawkat Hossain and Sontosh Kumar Basak. The whole survey was supervised by geography lecturer Sultan Farid.
As scheduled earlier, the surveyors came back by 4.30 and we moved to BARD cafeteria to make the bellies full. Shortly finishing the tasty dishes, we had a look at the museum and the historical sites of Mainamati Buddhist Vihara. This was really a new experience for the new visitors.
When the sun was reclining, we all sat in a circle in the premises and passed a fun time. Our Principal Mia Md Moniruzzaman did not hesitate to ventilate his sense of homour and wit.
We are very grateful to Mahbubuddin Chowdhury, the Secretary General of Unesco Clubs Association, for his able management and company. Many thanks to Sumaiya Khanam, the BNCU programme officer and Helal Ahmed as well as Atikur Rahman of Comilla Unesco Club for their cooperation, and how could I forget the time when my colleague Abu Darda for the moments of joy and merriment on our way back to Dhaka in the bus!
Subrata Kumar Das: firstname.lastname@example.org