The flipside of recent election posters were turned into notebooks, the plastic laminates were reused for packing clothes, strings were made into binding food packets, whilst school bags were made with the banners. These innovative activities have been lauded by everyone on social media. The initiative was taken by Bidyanono Foundation, a youth led non-profit organisation that aims to provide a better life to the underprivileged children.
The organisation is currently present in the Ekushey Boi Mela at Bangla Academy field’s stall number 77, under the banner of their own publication house, Bidyanondo Publications. “All of the decorations in the stall are made from waste products,” says Kishor Kumar Das, Founder, Bidyanondo Foundation. “Our aim is to raise awareness about waste material -- they can be recycled and they turned into useful products.”
Most of the visitors are still unaware of the fact that the stall offers their books in exchange of used products. “Having lived in Europe for a long time, I have witnessed many similar activities,” shares the founder, who currently resides in Peru. “Thus, we have opened up this platform so that people can exchange mobile, laptops, clothes, medicines, or any other products which they do not use anymore.” According to the stall representatives, the response is growing with every passing day.
The books available at their stall are all published by Bidyanondo Publications. “We took this step with the idea that even if a product is no longer in use, it can be an asset for someone who cannot afford one.” asserts Kishor. Another interesting product that can be found in the stalls are calendars in eight different language of Bangladesh. “We have made calendars using the different local languages that are often overlooked, but they are part of our culture. For instance, the Chakma and Marma languages have their own alphabets as well.”
Bidyanondo Foundation is currently taking care of the basic needs of over four hundred children, and providing shelter to them.