Glamorous Evening to Help Kids
glitterati gathered together on December 9 at the Winter
Garden in Hotel Sheraton. It was an evening filled with
fashion, shows, dazzling outfits, delicious food, music
and dancing. Well-known faces like Pakistani cricket heart-throb
Wasim Akram, and the American Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry
K could be seen minglingling with the other guests. But
what was so special about the rich and famous having a ball
till 3 am in the morning? All the elaborate arrangements
had been made to raise funds for an organisation that helps
poor kids live a decent life.
was founded by Leena Mahmud in 1993, who had the vision
to help the children living on the streets to escape their
scavenger-like lives. "I think we can have fun and
still contribute to our society,' she said welcoming the
party, 'Utshob 2004', began after 9:30 pm, starting out
with a show of designer Rina Latif's creations. But this
was no usual fashion show since the models swinging down
the ramp were women from various professional fields in
today's Bangladesh, namely from the corporate world, education
sector, arts, music, dance, theatre, TV drama and many more.
Guests danced to the catchy tunes of Pentagon, a musical
group that delighted them with familiar songs. Many paintings
were also auctioned off to raise more funds for the organisation.
Ali, the Chairperson explained that this event was specially
organised to raise funds for the Utsho Biddya Niketan, a
school for underprivileged children. 'We have this kind
of an event every year, and this is the 6th annual show
we are holding today,' she said.
provided a deeper insight behind the whole event. 'We have
a habit of always depending on foreign funds nation-building.
If each of us today take up, at least the financial responsibility
of educating a child on the street, I think we can slowly
eliminate the number of children living hellish lives on
tradition in the far areas of the village where I grew up.
If a close relative died, it was the duty of the neighbours
or the other relatives to take care of the orphaned children
and take up responsibility for food, a home and education.
So you see, this is actually within us, a part of our culture
that we should really uphold and develop for the generations
to come, in the future.'
exactly what Leena says she is trying to do through Utsho..
'Today, we have a school for the underprivileged children,
where many children have found homes, education and also
a hope to live for. Their mothers are also being trained
in various skills like tailoring and cooking so that they
can at least have a little knowledge to support themselves
in the future. If we can establish such centres in every
city of the country, then gradually not only will the children
live a life without insecurity, pain and uncertainty, but
we will also be able to build a better country.'
(R) thedailystar.net 2004