Children cover Barishal char with Shaheed Minars | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:33 AM, February 22, 2020

Children cover Barishal char with Shaheed Minars

Rasulpur Char. A char on the bank of Kirtonkhola that emerged two decades ago. If one visits the area around this time in February, they will be surprised to see it blanketed with Shaheed Minars.

 To mark International Mother Language Day yesterday, over 200 children built at least 21 Shaheed Minars, taking up almost one-third of the 3sqkm of land.

"It has become a 'mela' (fair) of Shaheed Minars," exclaimed a resident.

All the children working behind the scenes are residents of the area.

They come from underprivileged families with working parents who struggle to see the day through.

They live in slums and most of them go to the Dakhin Chakbazar Primary School.

Asked why, in spite of their circumstances, they made such a grand gesture, the children said they did it purely out of love.

"We feel proud of all the Shaheed Minars we've built," said fourth-grader Alif.

They did it with their own money, collecting Tk 10-20 from children in the area.

They started construction work some seven days ago, said Sajib Khalifa, one of the initiators of the project. The children built the replica monuments using bricks, wood and paper.

Manisha Chakrabarty -- Member Secretary of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal, Barishal unit, and organiser of Bigyan Andolon Mancha -- said they started the initiative to spread the message of "Ekushey February" among the area's slum children.

The programme started four years ago and has gathered pace by the day, said Maruf, one of the children who poured his labor into the endeavour.

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