We are delighted to be able to honour the extraordinary contributions of two farmers at the 29th Anniversary programme of The Daily Star on Wednesday. They have shown the world how the dedication and determination of a single individual can bring about change in society. Considering their modest backgrounds and their reality of constantly struggling to make ends meet, it is truly humbling that these individuals have sacrificed their time, energy and resources to do something for their community and, consequently, their country.
We applaud Mohammad Soinuddin Miah's initiative to build a 1.5 km earthen road for his village, Chakgadadhar, in Tangail, and Abdur Rahim for building Kaliganj Pratibandhi Bidyalay, a school for disabled children.
These two men, both farmers, have taught us that conviction, hard work and years of sacrifice can bring any dream to fruition, regardless of one's socio-economic background. It's admirable when people, despite many setbacks, come forward to help others; such visionary individuals set a positive example for us.
However, where sustainability of their projects is concerned, there needs to be more support from the government. While Soinuddin Miah has sold his family's paddy to work on building a road, Abdur Rahim spends his income from selling crops and vegetables to run his school. Additionally, they are helped by their communities and relatives. In order to help their projects to become sustainable in the long term, they both require a steady source of funding as their household incomes and donations alone won't be enough to foot the bill in the future.
Here we must point out the importance of the contributions of these two men. Selflessly they have tried to make a difference in their community. One built a road so that people, especially children going to school, could travel without hassle and the other provides education and hope to the children with disabilities. These are projects normally taken up by the state and therefore the state should assist these individuals so that they can continue to contribute to the development of their communities.
We request our government and policymakers to recognise the contributions of these two individuals and provide them with the necessary financial and technical support so that they may continue and even expand their work. It is the contributions of such individuals, when added together, that constitute nation building.