<i>Philanthropic arms usher in hope for light at remote Mymensingh village </i>
The people from all walks of life at Goichachhia village under Kendua upazila in Netrokona were in euphoric mood all day yesterday as the foreigners visited the village to inaugurate a newly built school under Basic Needs Programme.
Goichachhia, a remote village, cuts it off from all modern amenities like electricity and so on. It has no education institutions at all and the rate of literacy is almost zero. The school was built as a result of private philanthropy of a US family.
Tom Hubbard, a great heart doctor hailing from Virginia state of the US, funded to establish the school at the village, some 50 kilometres off from Mymensingh town. The school named after Tom and his wife Susan Hubbard was inaugurated by the couple.
“It is my maiden visit in Bangladesh and in South Asia as well, but I am very happy that I could help the underprivileged children mostly deprived of education to make them perfect for the present world,” said Tom, a medicine doctor and a dentist.
“Now the poor children will get quality education there,” he added.
Tom told The Daily Star, “Following friendship of his son Richard Hubbard, a medical student in the US, with Shohan Rahman, a BBA student of ASA University in Dhaka, in 2007 during his summer tour in Bangladesh, we were interested in doing something for the poor and helpless children of this country that paved my way to coming to Bangladesh.”
Shohan is the leader of a group of volunteers studying at ASA University in Dhaka. The youngsters of the group, all from BBA department of the university, conduct various charity work, including rendering free education and treatment and nutrition programme, for the poor children at two points of Mirpur in Dhaka, they said.
Susan Hubbard, Tom's wife, in a smiling face told this correspondent, “We are very happy to involve us in such charity work that will continue for the years together and this institution will charm us as near and dear ones to visit Bangladesh again and again.”
“The people of this country are very good and we hope this initiative would be successful,” she went on.
Richard said, “My heart cried when I saw a child affected with malnutrition at a slum in Mirpur during my summer visit in 2007. Being influenced by Bangladeshi charity workers led by Shohan, I decided to do something for the poor children and that resulted establishing a school at Goichachhia.
“Being influenced by the charity work of ASA University, I also influenced my parents to do something for the humanity,” he added.
A total of 40 poor children will get the opportunity to study at the school, scheduled to start its session next year, Richard said, adding: “My parents will do everything possible for the progress of the school and I seek allout supports from the local people to make our dream a real.”
Richard's younger brother Chandler Hubbard was also present on the occasion.
Gazi Jalal, a member of the charity group, said they opened two learning centres at Mirpur for poor children and they monitor the centre five days a week.
“We are out with our noble mission and we want to spread our activities throughout the country in near future, increasing charity workers at every education institutions of the country,” he added.
“Fund is not a matter as there are many people to come forward for such philanthropic work, so our mission will surely shine,” said Adhrita Islam, a classmate of Jalal.
Md Kamrul Islam, the only honours student of this village, said the school would be a great hope for the children. Most of the people here live below the poverty line, but now they could send their kids to the school for receiving education, he added.
Mohammad Shahjahan, a farmer of the village, said, “We needed a school heartily and the foreigners, who came here with their helping hands, should be welcomed with open arms.”