‘Father will manage everything somehow despite poverty’

Alpona Akhter, who has got chance to study at Mymensingh Medical College, with her rickshaw puller father and mother at their house in Thakurgaon's Baliadangi upazila on Friday.collected

Father is a rickshaw puller. Except the homestead he doesn’t have any other wealth. Alpona Akter comes from such a poverty-stricken family. She passed in the medical college admission test this year.

Family members and villagers of Alpona have been extremely delighted in the success of the girl. Father Aftabar Rahman tried his best to fulfill his daughter’s dream though the family struggles with poverty.

Aftabar is a resident of Dharia Belshara village under Baropalashbari union of Thakurgaon’s Baliadangi upazila. Among his three daughters and a son, Alpona is the third. The elder sister has been married off. Her brother, Munna Ali, is a seventh-semester student at Bangla department of Dhaka University. The younger sister Jharna Akhter is studying higher secondary at local Samir Uddin Memorial College.

Alpona passed this year’s medical college admission test. Her rank on the merit list is 675. Based on that, she has got the chance to study at Mymensingh Medical College.

Visiting Dharia Belshara village under Baropalashbari union on Friday, Alpona, her sister Jhorna and another teenage girl were found sitting on a bench on the corridor of their earthen house. Talking to them it was found that Aftabar has gone out with his van-rickshaw and they didn't know when he will return.

Alpona said, “This success could not be possible without the help of my school and college teachers. Though there are worries regarding the expense of my study amidst the poor-condition of our family, I’m not that bothered about it as my father is still there. I have faith in my father. He will manage everything, somehow.”

Alpona informed this correspondent, she passed her Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam from Kushaldangi High School in 2019 and her Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam with GPA-5 from Thakurgaon Government College in 2021. Her teacher exempted her of tuition fees since her school days. She continued her studies with the money she got from her father and from stipend.

Alpona’s mother Mazeda Begum said, “The educational expenses of all three of her children are being carried out with the money her husband earns as a van-rickshaw puller. My husband is always attentive to their children’s educational needs such as books and notebooks. Our lives will become successful if we are able to support our daughter becoming a physician.”

Their neighbor Hazera Begum said no one from the surrounding villages has gotten the chance to study at a medical college before. This girl, living amidst poverty, has brought honour to the village by being selected in the medical admission test.

When Aftabar returned home, this correspondent talked to him about his daughter’s medical college admission cost. He said, when his son got the chance to study at Dhaka University he didn’t have any money in hand. He then sold away five decimal out of his 25 decimal land property. The rest of that land was also sold to meet their study expenses later.

Aftabar said, “If I could manage it during my son’s admission, my daughter’s admission won’t stop either. I’ll manage their admission and other educational expenses somehow. I’m not worrying about that. However, if someone wishes to help without any condition, I won’t turn them down.”

Yasin Ali, headmaster of Kushaldangi High School said he has never heard Alpona’s father telling anyone about his poverty. As he has confidence in himself, he is helping his children to continue their studies by pulling a van-rickshaw himself.