The fight for his country did not end with independence for Bir Protik Momin Ullah Patwary. The 70-year-old went on to serve his country in various public and private capacities over the years.
However, perhaps his most notable contribution is setting up a school -- Bir Protik Momin Ullah Patwary Academy -- in Moishadi union under Chandpur Sadar upazila.
It was with passion that he set up this institution and that is evident in the fact that the school achieved 100 percent pass rate in the Junior School Certificate (JSC) examinations last year.
The school has set a standard of excellence in the union that has three other schools, and other neighbouring districts as well.
Currently, the school has 14 full time teachers and 186 students, who pay a fixed tuition of Tk 600 as they mostly belong to low income families.
In addition to regular classes, the students are given lessons in computer studies, sports, cultural affairs, and debate in the school that got government approval in 2016.
But its academic activities began in 2017 after construction of the five-storied campus on an acre of land.
Talking to The Daily Star, Momin said, “I took an initiative to set up the school so that children of our village could grow up receiving quality education and achieve success in every sector.”
“The school came to the limelight after it achieved a 100 percent pass rate in the JSC level examinations last year.”
A total of eleven persons, including Momin, contributed the funds to acquire the land and construct the building, said Nurul Islam, one of the eleven donours.
The school was constructed at a cost of around Tk 3 crore. Of the amount, Momin himself chipped in Tk 2 crore, added Nurul.
After serving as superintendent of police in different districts for 19 years, Momin served in deputation under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked in Bangladesh embassy and high commission in Senegal and Australia. Upon returning to the country, he worked at the jute ministry for four months.
Later, he joined the Prime Minister’s Office and worked there for five years. When BNP assumed power, he was sent into forced retirement.
However, after Awami League came back into power in 2009, he was made an additional secretary with retrospective effect. Later, he went into retirement as a secretary.
He used all his savings from his salary, pension and business to donate to the school.
Even now, he pays the tuition of two students directly from his freedom fighter’s allowance and sometimes takes classes as well.
“There are three other schools in our union. But the Bir Protik Momin Ullah Patwary Academy is a unique one for its quality education, extra-curricular activities and discipline,” said Moniruzzaman Manik, chairman of Moishadi Union Parishad.
Emdadul Haque, the academy’s head teacher, said all the teachers, founders and patrons of the school are working hard to improve the school.
The students too are delighted with the facilities available to them.
“We are lucky to get such an educational institution at our village. Here, the quality of education is better than other educational institutions in the vicinity,” said Salma Akhter, a Class IX student.
Sifat Hossain, another student of the same class, said, “Our school has all the modern facilities that are normally found in schools in the metropolitan cities.”
Their future plans include taking the academy to the Higher Secondary level by next year.
Earlier in 2009, Momin Ullah Patwary set up the ‘Bir Protik Momin Ullah Foundation’ that contributed to the rehabilitation of beggars and education of ultra-poor children.
The foundation also distributed academic materials and uniforms at eleven schools in nearby areas. But the foundation’s activities were shut later.