On the occasion of its 29th anniversary, The Daily Star today honoured two changemakers for their courage to dream big and their commitment to materialise it.
Taking the podium at the capital's International Convention City Bashundhara, Rashid said, "I've a niece who has disabilities. While raising her, I realised the needs of children like her.
"I gave away two-third of my land to make the school [for children with special needs]. I feed my students after selling my crops. I have never been able to pay my teachers. I spend Tk 18,000- 20000 on their food, books and stationeries per month. I raise this money by selling my harvest. Sometimes, my neighbours come to my rescue."
Soinuddin said, "It was impossible to take anyone to hospital if they fell sick in my village. So, I decided to reduce their pain and started making a road on my own."
Readers, patrons, advertisers and well-wishers of The Daily Star made up the audience of several hundred people, who were visibly moved as they came to know their stories.
The two awardees were given Tk 1 lakh each amid cheers from the audience.
Rokia Afzal Rahman, chairperson of Mediaworld Ltd, and Shykh Siraj, pioneer development journalist, handed over the crests and cheques to Soinuddin and Rashid.
The ceremony was also attended by politicians, academics, businessmen, diplomats, media personalities, journalists and development workers from home and abroad.