These gifts were provided by Prothom Alo Trust with support from Summit Group. The gifts include fine rice and regular rice, lentils, sugar, soybean oil and semai. These gifts were handed over to 267 children of the Kurigram Prothom Alo Char Alor Pathshala.
Rakib Hossain is a Class 5 student. She has come with her father Saiful Islam to collect the Eid gifts. Saiful Islam says, “This is the Eid to eat semai, but where do we char people get semai or polau? We don’t get to eat rice, let alone polau! But now we can eat well with this gift of polau rice, semai and more.”
Class 8 student Parveen Akhter lives on Char Kafna. Her father Banij Uddin has gone to Dhaka for work. She lives with her mother Maleka Begum and a brother and sister. With long haul public transport shut down during coronavirus, her father can’t come home. Maleka Begum is struggling to run the family. She has come with her daughter to pick up the Eid gift. She says, “We are struggling. I couldn’t think of how to manage during Eid. These gifts are a great help. I can feed my children properly for a few days. By then my husband will return.”
Shumi Akhter’s father died quite some time ago and she lives with her mother in her elder brother’s house. They are poor. Her brother catches fish in the Dudhkumar river and somehow runs the family. Shumi says, “My brother will be happy to see the gift.”
Present at the gift handing over event at the Prothom Alo Char Alor Pathshala grounds, were residents, of the char, Abdus Sobhan Bepari, Fazlar Rahman, Shahidul Islam, Md Saifuddin, Tabijan Bibi and Laila Begum, headmaster of Prothom Alo Char Alor Pathshala Ataur Rahman, assistant headmaster Abdul Kader, recitation artiste Mamun Ur Rashid, photographer Shafiqul Islam and Kurigram Prothom Alo correspondent Shafi Khan.
Abdus Sobhan said, “The char people have no work during these corona times. They are unemployed and suffering with their families. They are having to borrow money. These gifts from Prothom Alo Trust are a great help. We thank Prothom Alo for this. The year round they stand by the char people and extend all sorts of assistance. If this school was not here, our children would just be labourers. But this school is changing Prothom Alo Char.”