The 65-year-old Rahima Khatun, who became visually impaired due to cataract a few years ago, has got back her eyesight, thanks to the initiative of a local platform meant for social welfare.
“I had lost all hope as I could not arrange proper treatment due to financial crisis. Finally, a group of youths came to my help and arranged my cataract operation. Now, I have got back my eyesight,” said Rahima, a resident of Bezra village under Nahata union in Magura's Mohammadpur upazila.
She is one of the many beneficiaries of Nahata Union Development Society (NUDS), a platform of local youths, formed in May 2015.
The organization works against social menaces like drug abuse, stalking and child marriage and extend help for continuation of schooling of poor students.
“My father was unable to buy books for me. When brothers of NUDS came to know about it, they bought books worth around Tk 2,000 for me,” said Toma Parvin, a student of Nahata Girls' Ideal School and College.
Members of NUDS often engage in various social works like distribution of winter clothes, arranging blood donation programme, cultural programme, sports programme, treatment of poor people and campaign against deforestation.
They have set up a library with around 1,000 books, where 100 to 150 people, especially students, come for study every day, said locals.
“Currently, the organization has 301 members, mostly present and former students of different universities. They donate Tk 150 to 2,000 per month to run the organization,” said NUDS president Md Ashaduzzamaan, a former student of Dhaka University, who now serves as education and research officer at Marine Academy in Chattogram.
“Recently we have awarded scholarship to 20 students who achieved good results in JSC and SSC examinations. We have also arranged free coaching for Class X students,” said Md Rezaul Karim Suruj, general secretary of NUDS.
In 2018, the NUDS arranged treatment for 1,600 eye patients, gave blankets to 470 poor people and distributed 600 saplings among the students, said NUDS joint secretary Md Sahjahan Mia.
Appreciating the initiative, Mohammadpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Asifur Rahman said the upazila administration would extend cooperation with any organisation involved in socio-cultural development in the area.