As the household's only bread earner, Abdur Razzak, a rickshaw puller by profession, could not bear the educational costs of his kids, besides looking after a five-member family. His sons, Jewel, 24, and Alamgir, 22, worked in brick kilns and crop fields as day labourers to continue their studies. They are from Ratan Borish village in Tangail.
Jewel is a master's student of Economics at Rajshahi University, while Alamgir is a second-year student of Government and Politics at Jahangirnagar University. The siblings also run multiple online businesses.
"Our father stayed in a mess with other rickshaw pullers in Dhaka. He sacrificed a lot for educating and looking after us. I was determined to earn money on my own to support my family," shares Jewel.
However, after getting into university, Jewel's education took a hit due to financial constraints. Fortunately, he received a scholarship for two years from the non-profit organisation, Manush Manusher Jonno, USA.
During their summer vacation in 2018, Jewel and Alamgir started collecting mangoes from orchards in Rajshahi, and selling them online. They invested their savings from tutoring jobs into the business.
They also opened an online store for Qurbani animals, in preparation for Eid-Ul-Azha. More recently, when their universities were closed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, they started an online business for date syrup and natural honey from Rajshahi.
Furthermore, Jewel and Alamgir took their father back home from Dhaka, and set up a cattle farm near their house. During the Eid-Ul-Azha season, Jewel released that the cattle-rearing business is quite profitable. "We did not want our father to be a rickshaw puller in Dhaka anymore, as it is a strenuous job, and he was unwell. For the last few months, he has been taking care of the cows at our farm," he says.
Currently, Jewel and Alamgir are working from a mango orchard at Baneshwar village in Rajshahi. They take orders under the banner of their virtual market, Fruits Hunt.
"When we started out, we supplied close to 30,000 kilograms of different mangoes across the country. This year, we aim to sell 50 tons of mangoes," Alamgir says.
Jewel and Alamgir's father shares that no matter what his sons do, he wants them to be honest human beings.
In the future, the siblings plan to create employment opportunities in agriculture for people in their village.