Conversations with an aspiring judge
Hasna Hena is a seventh grader who wants to be a judge. Luckily, I was her English Language Trainer from September 15 to November 15, 2020, organised by Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB). My task was, in this particular time period, I had to complete 360 minutes of conversation in English with her over phone.
Every trainer and the student are usually nervous on the first day. We were nothing different. I was confused with the thought whether I would be likeable or not, and Hasna Hena was hesitant of whom she is talking to? While talking, finally I got a point to break both of our hesitation. She lives near Sundarbans. What an ice breaking point, isn't it? I had lot chitchat with Hasna Hena about this World Heritage Site. The second day conversation experience will be a lifetime inspiration for me!
As I am also a student, and have classes during daytime, I told her I would be calling at 7 pm. We started our conversation and as usual, I tried to teach her the basics of communication with a friendly conversation in English. For me the epiphany moment is when she said, "Apu can you call me at daytime? As there is no network inside our house, me and my mother have come to a board office which is a little far from our house. And as you know we live nearer to wildlife, it is risky for us to go back home after this conversation." These particular lines just threw me to the cruelest side of life and made me realise how much privileged I am. Now I think twice before complaining over life! However, later on we continued our conversation program during daytime. Each day I tried my best to make her learn, to answer her enquiries. Mostly my ambition was to create a thirst of knowledge inside her, to make her understand that it is she who needs to workout hard for her dream and to practice more to be fluent in English.
Of course, there were connectivity issues every day. But it is Hasna Hena's eagerness of learning which made our programme successful. She is not only a curious and ambitious student; rather it is great humanity of her which attracted me the most. The inspiration behind her being a judge is the injustices she experienced so far. She just wants to root out corruption and get the justice for people. She mostly wants to give hand to those who are unprivileged and hopeless toward justice system. One day, I asked her, "Do you think this English Conversation Program will benefit your dream of being a Judge?" She was quick to answer, "Definitely! Because for higher education I need good qualification of English Language skills & communication skills. You not only showed me the ways how I can do better in learning English, you also taught me how I can communicate effectively!" It is not only Hasna Hena who is benefited by this conversation program; it is me who got inspiration from her to do something for those who are unprivileged. Her liveliness and curiosity just boosted me up to do something for humanity.
The last day was emotional. Hasna Hena told me she recorded our phone conversations so that she could learn better by listening to them. Point to be noted, she doesn't use any smartphone. But she made the best use of whatever she has got to learn more, to progress better. I am still in touch with her, and we call each other often. May the Almighty be with Hasna Hena and her dream!
The author is a teacher at Volunteers Association for Bangladesh.