Celebrating the journey of smiles | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 18, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 18, 2018

Celebrating the journey of smiles

Khelna Bank spreads joy among children

With over 43 toy libraries across the country in various schools, Khelna Bank, an initiative of Build Bangladesh, successfully celebrated the completion of two years into their journey of spreading joy to thousands of underprivileged children by hosting the event “Journey of Smiles”. The event took place in Tejgaon Govt. High School, on January 11, 2018.

The event kicked off with joy and laughter as over 1800 young boys and girls thronged the field of the school. There were representatives from schools who have received as well as donated toys to other insistutions -- all enthusiastic of one core value of sharing and caring for others. The participating schools included Viqarunnisa Noon School, Alokito Hridoy School, Pidim Theatre and several others, with many of them having performed and showcased their talents at the event.

We spoke to Rifat Kamal Saif, team leader of Khelna Bank who told us about their journey, “Build Bangladesh is a concern of Impress Group through which we started the initiative, Khelna Bank. We wanted to make toys just as available as books to children because we realised that they not only have the right to learn but also the right to play as any child in the country. So far we have spread the word of love and the message of sharing among 65,000 students all across the country, covering all 8 divisions.”

The event included the Captain and Vice Captain of the under-15 women's football team who shared words of courage and wisdom among the children in order to inspire and motivate them. Their presence strengthened the message of literacy in all and embedded the values of empathy everyone should grow up with.

The ceremony also saw the first book launch of Khelna Bank which was also called Journey of Smiles. After this, the participants filled a time capsule with toys and letters with hand prints of Class 1 students, which was later buried in the school premises. “We want it to be opened by people in the year 2071, when Bangladesh would be celebrating its 100th year of independence. The capsule would signify the love and smiles left behind by the children of 2018,” said Saif.

In November 2015, Khelna Bank had begun its journey from Tejgaon Govt. High School itself, where they had first established a Khelna Bank. Through this programme since, the organisation has been spreading joy to the poor and lessons for the youth of Bangladesh. The founders of Khelna Bank hope to continue spreading love and kindness among the youth to contribute in building a more compassionate society for the future of our country.

 

Mohua Mouli likes cats and all things art. She also thinks she is good at some types of art. To confront her about her claims, write her at mohua210@gmail.com

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