Fazle Hasan Abed honoured
FAZLE Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, has been a name that we have duly been proud of. He is a visionary whose relentless efforts and innovative ideas have changed life in many ways as far as the poor in our country, and beyond, are concerned. It is great news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of Britain has taken note of Mr Abed's services to humanity and decided to knight himan honour bestowed upon only truly remarkable personalities. Needless to say, Mr Abed belongs to that rare genre of committed human beings who love to work for the less fortunate, happily and selflessly.
Today BRAC is the biggest NGO in the world working in no fewer than three continents. That alone tells Mr Abed's success story rather convincingly. He has been able to bring about a quiet revolution.
The challenge of alleviating poverty in Bangladesh must have been a formidable one in the early 1970s. BRAC has shown the way to millions of rural poor and instilled in them the confidence to come out of the vicious poverty cycle which was a stumbling block in the way of development. But men like Mr Abed never give up. He has proved that concerted and planned action can help overcome the biggest odds. BRAC is now globally recognised as a pioneer of poverty alleviation. He has shown that Bangladesh can indeed be a model to all developing and underdeveloped countries fighting poverty.
The fields in which BRAC works are many and all of them have been selected in light of our socio-political needs. For example, BRAC's non-formal primary education programme, which targets the under-privileged children, expanded to a point where it had 37,500 primary schools in June 2008 and it continues to grow. Its public healthcare programme is now a major service provider in the health sector for more than 92 million people. The programme includes some vital components like immunization and services for mothers. The immunization drive has been a huge success.
The recognition given to Mr Abed once again reminds us that dedication, commitment and integrity are always rewarded in the long run. When BRAC started in 1972, it was a modest beginning for the organisation. But Mr Abed's leadership and guidance has elevated it to the position that it has now. We congratulate Mr Abed on his being honoured by Her Majesty and believe that it will only further boost his indomitable spirit of working for our collective good.