Cheers for a noble bid

November 17, 2011

Mid-day meal introduced in school set up by day labourers
It does not matter how old the saying, “Unity is strength”, is. The truth is that the outcome of a collective effort has never lost its glory. Do you remember the primary school that was set up by 17 enthusiastic day labourers in a remote area of Madhupur in Tangail district ? Well, it finally did manage to draw the government’s attention.
The Uttar Aronkhola Non-Government Primary School yesterday introduced free lunches for its 228 students under the government’s feeding programme for students.
Established in 2008, the school which has been running with the precious savings of its founders — rubber garden labourers and rickshaw-van pullers — has now taken up its new challenging mission with a brave heart. It had already been supplying study materials to its students free of cost in order to check any early dropout and thus has been making its contributions to primary education.
M Bazlur Karim Chowdhury, deputy commissioner (DC) of Tangail, inaugurated the mid-day meal initiative for the school. He also directed officials concerned to hold routine medical check-up and arrange health cards for the students.
With Madhupur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mohammad Habibullah in the chair, the inaugural function was addressed by, among others, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Education and Development) in Tangail Shoib Ahmed, Madhupur Upazila Parishad Chairman Abdul Gafur Montu, its Vice-Chairman Farhadul Islam Moni, District Primary Education Officer Syeda Mahfuza Begum, Madhupur Upazila Education Officer Abbas Ali and Aronkhola and Sholakuri union parishad (UP) chairmen Humayun Khan and Yakub Ali.
The speakers highly appreciated the initiative of the school. They also vowed to extend all out support in having the school administered properly.
The Madhupur UNO said, “The upazila administration has the ability to continue the lunch programme for the next six months. So the local elites and solvent people have to come forward to help the initiative endure.”
In response to the call, the Madhupur upazila parishad chairman pledged Tk one lakh for the school from the parishad’s annual development programme. The Aronkhola UP chairman said his office would immediately set up two sanitary latrines and a tubewell on the school premises.
Earlier on May 30, The Daily Star had published a feature story on the school.
Faruque Hossain, a poor day labourer and also one of the founders of the school, said after the report was published in the newspaper, a businessman from Dhaka seeking anonymity donated Tk one lakh to help him and his fellow labourers repay the debts they had on them on account of the setting up of the school. The businessman donated a further Tk 75,000.
Moreover, an organisation from Dhaka’s Nawabpur gave the school Tk 90,000 for students’ uniforms. Another organisation from Dhaka contributed Tk 20,000 to the school fund.
Villager Abbas Ali said that apart from the founders four of the teachers had been trying their best for the school by imparting voluntary teaching. He said, “We all urge the government to take responsibility for the school and free the poor day labourers from the burden of running such a big institution.”
The Tangail DC said he and the district primary education officer had already written to the authorities seeking government registration for the school as early as possible. “Besides, we are looking for a permanent donor to run the mid-day meal programme,” he added.

 

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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