Utsho Shandhya 2019 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 30, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 30, 2019

Utsho Shandhya 2019

Emphasising the forgotten act of giving back, Utsho Bangladesh pulled on everyone’s heartstrings present at the community-based organisation’s annual fundraising event on Friday, 19 April, 2019.

Gardenia Banquets in Gulshan was alight with twines of light and a singular agenda of making a difference in the lives of impoverished children that Utsho looks after.

“Utsho dates back to 1993 when I, with the support of a few friends, took in three children and catered to their needs in one room that eventually led to us opening a school too,” reflects Mahbooba Mahmood Leena, executive director of Utsho Bangladesh.

“Now we have two schools, three day-care centres and a total of nearly 500 underprivileged children flourishing at Utsho,” she added.

Currently, the charity organisation primarily raises funds though activities such as seeking annual sponsorships to cover the cost of food, accommodation, education and recreation for residential students; organising fund raising events, running income-generating social businesses, Utsho Kitchen and Utsho Tailoring Services, and soliciting donations like zakat and CSR contributions.

At Utsho, through tireless guidance and supervision, the children are taught to be enterprising, responsible, and independent. Utsho believes in giving children opportunities to develop their potential based on their talent and aptitude, irrespective of race, religion, caste, class, language, gender identify and sexual orientation.

In this journey, Utsho welcomes participations of institutions as well as individuals to encourage community involvement in local resource mobilization.

“At Utsho, we are driven to enable access to basic human rights for marginalised women and children. Utsho envisions a society where all children are safe, secure, creative, happy and healthy, and can look forward to a better future. And that is exactly what we do here: give these children a beacon of hope that eventually helps them strive for a better life,” shares Srabanti Datta, a dedicated member of the Utsho crew.

The event at Gardenia introduced us to the feats of Utsho, reflecting back on the compassionate journey it has completed to reach this far. Moreover, stories of underprivileged children without homes being taken under the wings of Mahbooba Mahmood Leena and prospering by gaining education and skills to be fit for the fierce job market in life, enlightened and amazed all present.

With Urmi Group as the title sponsor and other reputed companies like Ayoti Business Enterprises, Beximco, Eastern Bank, SBAC Bank and Nestle Bangladesh pledging support, the credit of entertaining the attendees went to the band Poncho Kobir Gaan, and their nostalgic renditions of Rabindra and Nazrul sangeets.

Mahbooba Mahmood Leena spoke to close the event, and then dinner was served by Utsho Kitchen, a catering service by Utsho, the revenues of which are consumed in the day-to-day running of the charitable organisation.

“I believe that Utsho will inspire anyone who has listened to our story of inception and witnessed how far we have come. The stories will make you a part of its community and the work that we do to give back to society, however we can, will ensure no member of Utsho will be able to turn their backs on us. And they won’t even want to,” Mahmood said.


Photo: Utsho


Information on donation: Mahbooba Mahmood Leena at +88 01711 622379 or utshobd@gmail.com

Utsho: http://www.utshobangladesh.org/

For any additional information on Utsho Bangladesh, please contact Mahbooba Akhter Mahmood, Executive Director at +88 01711 622379 or m.mahmood.utshobd@gmail.com.

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