Just after saying his Fazr prayers, Abdur Razzak, councillor of Mirzapur municipality of Tangail, opens his small tea stall. He serves tea to customers and at the same time talks to local people to solve their problems as part of his responsibility as a public representative.
A gentle, polite, helpful and honest man, the 38-year-old has set an example in the area and earned respect for his social work.
Razzak has been in the good books of local people since his student life. He passed Secondary School Certificate exams in 1996 from a local school but then stopped pursuing academic education after failing Higher Secondary Certificate examinations.
Razzak's father Nazim Uddin set up the tea stall near the upazila parishad gate at Baimhati in 1990. Eldest among five children of his parents, Razzak began helping his father run the shop from his early age when he used to juggle work and studies.
He was elected councillor of ward no-6 in Mirzapur in December 2015 as he defeated his competitors by a large margin.
Just after Razzak took charge as councillor, his father fell sick and became bedridden following a cardiac arrest. Since then he has been running the stall all alone, family members said.
Razzak keeps no employee at the stall. As tea brews in the kettle, he talks to people on local issues and disputes. He also keeps his seal and pad at the shop for official work.
Local people call him “membor (member)” out of love and spend time at his tea stall.
“Razzak is really a nice man. He offers me as well as other elderly people in the area tea for free,” said Abdur Hamid of Baimhati village.
Trader Profulla Sarkar, of the village, spoke highly of Razzak's down-to-earth attitude even after his being elected as councillor.
“I see no change in his behavior….He has already solved many difficult problems, long-pending disputes of local people in the last one year,” Profulla said.
Describing Razzak as an honest, friendly and soft-spoken person, Shahadat Hossain Sumon, mayor of Mirzapur municipality, said it is an example that he runs a shop just like any other ordinary person even after becoming a public representative.
Razzak, however, sees it as nothing but a way of living honestly.
Asked why he runs the shop despite being a councillor, he said, “What shall I do then for a living?
“I get Tk 4,000 a month in allowance as a councillor. But I earn Tk 12,000 to Tk 15,000 monthly if I run the stall regularly.
“I love my family of wife, son, daughter, two brothers and parents. I also love Awami League and I am the organising secretary of the ward unit of the party.
“Though I don't have sufficient money or influence like others, I have no bad reputation. I am happy with my dignified life,” said a proud Razzak.