BCS cadres who braved all odds

Shariful Hasan | Update:

Five persons, who fought against poverty, won their battle to join the Bangladesh Civil Service.

Saim has joined the education cadre

Abu Saim with his parents. Photo: CollectedAbu Saim was born in a farmer's family in Kurigram. His father cultivated other people's land, and his mother sold quilts to supplement her husband’s income, but this still was not enough. They would eat papaya as a substitute for rice.

That is history now. Saim passed the 35th BCS exam and now is an officer of the education cadre. He secured second place on the social welfare merit list.

"I earned Tk 2300 after teaching at a coaching centre and got admitted to Shahjalal University of Science and Technology," recalled Saim. "My mother sewed quilts and sold them for money, but those days are over now."

Zahidul was a day labourer

Zahidul IslamZahidul's father was a vendor and sold his ware on trains. His mother cultivated land and his elder brother worked at their uncle's tailoring shop. Zahidul used to get clothes from that shop on Eid, his only set of clothes for the entire year. When Zahidul's friends went on picnics or enjoyed Eid, he would be selling boot-moori (chick peas and puffed rice).

In the SSC exams, Zahidul secured the best results in his area. After that he got admitted to Rajbari Government College. He had to depend on the rice that his brother provided him once a month.

After passing HSC exam in 2005, he got admitted to Pangsha College and earned money through private tuitions. Later he got admitted to Kushtia Islamic University. He took an education loan from a private bank, and provided private tuition there too.

Zahidul sat for 34th BCS exam after his MBA, and got the first place in agricultural marketing.

From a carpenter's assistant to a BCS cadre

Monirul IslamMonirul Islam's family struggled with seven children to feed. Monir worked as a day labourer to support his family. He worked as an assistant to a carpenter for a year and then worked at a furniture shop in Satkhira. Alongside, he continued his studies. He came to Dhaka after HSC and started working with a medicine company.

"A caretaker of Nalta Mazar helped me continue my studies. I returned to Satkhira and passed my HSC exam. After that I got admitted to Dhaka University," said Monirul, who is a lecturer at Madaripur Government College now.

A college teacher from an assistant to a truck driver

Shafiqul IslamShafiqul's father was a bidi (local crude cigarettes) maker. He did not earn enough to support his family and so it was difficult for Shafiqul to continue his studies. After much struggle, he passed the SSC exam in 2005, and got a GPA 5 in humanities. He was the only one who got GPA 5 in humanities in 2005 in his district.

After SSC, he worked as an assistant to a carpenter, but the payment could hardly meet his needs. So he started assisting a truck driver.

When the SSC results were published, one of his friends said "You got an A+ (GPA 5)". His story was published in Prothom Alo back then. Some people came forward to help him. He then got admitted to Dhaka University in the sociology department.

Shafiqul passed the 35th BCS exam and now is a teacher in sociology department at Lalmonirhat Government Majida Khatun College.

An agriculture labour who is now a lecturer

Alamin Khan
Alamin Khan grew up in a poor family in Netrokona. His father had to work on other people's lands. Alamin's mother saw his interest in studies and took a bank loan for his school fees.

He passed the SSC exam in 2004 with GPA 5. He got admitted to Netrokona Government College. Alamin again passed the HSC with a GPA 5 and got admitted to Dhaka University in the social welfare department.

Alamin struggled a lot in his university life too. He got first class in honours course, and now, he is an education cadre after passing the 35th BCS.

*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Sitesh Kumar Saha.

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