Looking out for the less fortunate | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 20, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:42 AM, May 20, 2020

Looking out for the less fortunate

ACC official feeds over 5,000 people in Bogura, Gaibandha

Surviving with everyone else is Wahid Manjour Sohag's motto. And this led him to distribute one cooked meal among the poor every day since April 19, when shutdown was enforced in Bogura.

The 32-year-old deputy assistant director of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Bogura, till date, distributed a meal among more than 5,000 street children, day labourers, rickshaw pullers, beggars and physically challenged people in Bogura and Gaibandha.

Wahid started this initiative, after seeing some physically-challenged people begging on an empty road near a market in Bogura during the shutdown.

"They looked very hungry. After I returned home, I decided to give them cooked food, spending money from my own pocket," he related.

Initially, he ordered 100 packets of khichuri every day from a restaurant at a cost of Tk 2,500 and distributed those among the poor people on the street.

Along with a friend, Manjour would ride his bike to different areas of Bogura town and hand over the meal packets to those who needed it.

"I don't stop at one place for a long time," he said about his strategy to avoid overcrowding.

When he posted pictures of the meal distribution on Facebook and some media outlets published his story, many people from home and abroad started donating to Manjour's cause.

"At least 50 people from home and abroad have sent Tk 500 to Tk 15,000 to keep the initiative going," he said.

"The finansupport has been inspirational for me to carry on with my activities," he added. .

Since the beginning of Ramadan, Manjour has added an egg and some vegetables to his meal, and has been distributing it as iftar in the evening instead of daytime.

Since April 26, he has also been distributing food among 150 poor people in his home district Gaibandha, through the volunteers of a Facebook group.

In total, Wahid provides iftar to 250 people in both districts every day, spending Tk 7,000 - Tk 8,000 per day.

Besides, with the help of the Facebook group, he and some other wealthy individuals in his network have been providing financial assisatnce to 500 destitute families in Gaibandha for Eid shopping every year since 2015.

Thanking all the volunteers and the financial supporters, the ACC official said, "I want to continue this meals distribution work among starving people as long as the epidemic lasts in our country."

Even after the pandemic, Manjour wishes to continue this initiative among helpless and marginalised children of Bogura, if he gets financial help.

"If the world starts to depopulate due to the food crisis during the pandemic, what should I do surviving alone?" he ponders.

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