Asar Ali poor but not poor in heart | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2009

Asar Ali poor but not poor in heart

He is offering FFs free tea for last 26 years

Asar Ali at his tea stall at Bajitpur village in Dhanbari upazila in Tangail. He has been offering free tea to freedom fighters for the last 26 years. Photo: STAR

Asar Ali, a tea stall owner at remote Bagitpur village under Birtara union in Dhanbari upazila of the district, serves tea free of cost to freedom fighters as token of respect to glorious sons of the soil.
The man, himself struggling to maintain a family of six members, is doing it for the last 26 years.
A nine-year-old boy during the 1971 Liberation War, Asar Ali was touched to see barbaric killings and other evil acts of the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators.
He also became a witness to the bravery, dedication and sacrifice of the freedom fighters for independence of the country.
Sharing the woe and sufferings as well as pride and joy of the Liberation War, Asar Ali started dreaming of doing something in honour of the freedom fighters.
Twenty-six years ago, he started 'Mukti Seba Tea Stall' where freedom fighters, both local and from other areas, are served tea free of cost.
“A few years after the independence, Asar's father Moen Uddin died and the boy started working as a day labourer to feed the whole family. Asar later started his tea stall at the house adjacent to Bajitpur Bazar 26 years ago,” said Asar's mother Aisha Khatun, 73.
"I feel very happy to offer a cap of tea and a glass of water to the best sons of the nation who gifted us an independent country," Asar Ali told this correspondent.
“Our family comprising three minor children -- Manju, 12, Ashika, 8, and Tanjil, 4, my husband, mother-in-law and myself is struggling against poverty. Financial crisis forces us to borrow Tk 12,000 from the local branch of Grameen Bank last year,” said Asar's wife Ajufa Begum.
"However, I honour my husband's feelings for the freedom fighters," she added.
“No freedom fighter could ever give Asar the price for his tea. He is showing honour to the freedom fighters in a very unique way when the government and politicians do not seem much thoughtful about them,” said local freedom fighter Shajahan Ali.

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