Good deeds breed good deeds
We applaud the work of "Bhalo Kajer Hotel" (Meal for Good Work), a charitable project of a non-profit organisation that gives out free meals to anyone in exchange for one good deed or act of kindness done on a given day. This is a rather innovative way of helping and inspiring the poor at a time when high inflation is pushing more and more people in desperate situations, with food corporations and traders further increasing prices of essential commodities ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. These efforts to alleviate the suffering of those in need are really uplifting.
It is also good to know that the "hotel" has been able to serve them for a couple of years now, thanks to its dedicated pool of volunteers (or "daily team members") and donors. The organisation's aim to not only feed the hungry but also encourage them to help others in return has launched a cycle of good deeds, which is highly admirable. The hotel currently operates in five different locations in Dhaka: Kamalapur, Bashabo, Korail Slum, Shatrasta Mor, and Karwan Bazar – serving two meals a day, six days a week. On Fridays, volunteers head towards different mosques to distribute food packets post-Jummah prayers. Besides, it also extends helping hands to anyone in trouble, such as feeding the victims of the Tejgaon slum fire recently.
Looking back over the past few years, it is the activities of such independent organisations and volunteer groups that have helped thousands of people at their hour of need. Back when the country was caught in the grips of the Covid pandemic, with lockdown causing immense pressure on the people of limited means, a number of organisations such as Bidyanondo, Red Crescent Society, Mehman, Brihonnola (an organisation consisting of transgender volunteers) and others readily helped citizens with food donations, free PPEs, help with the vaccination process, transportation for patients within Dhaka, etc. Neither the goodwill nor the voluntary work of these groups can be repaid; their actions have helped those in need in the most priceless and memorable ways.
So we commend the selfless labour of those behind these organisations – especially the Bhalo Kajer Hotel – and would like to encourage them to keep up their charitable spirit. The fact that they are still funding and distributing free meals, even when the prices of essential food items have skyrocketed, proves the strength of their intent. We hope the government and wider society will recognise their work properly. The authorities should also identify ways in which they can help these organisations in their missions, financially and logistically, to maximise the impact of their work. These groups can be a vital partner in the government's social protection schemes, especially with the ongoing economic crisis pushing large numbers of people below the poverty line.