‘Little’ efforts, big dream: Tangail youths run schools for slum children
Our intentions create our reality, said the celebrated American motivational speaker Wayne Dyer. And this saying could not be more apropos than in the case of the ten college students behind Doshomik Pathshala in Tangail.
They dreamed of educating and empowering underprivileged children and they made it happen by saving up on their lunch money.
Two years ago, they formed the Doshomik Foundation, which in October last year established the Doshomik Pathshala, a free school for slum children under the open sky.
"We want underprivileged children to chase their dream of prospering in life. We want to stand by the children with our little efforts," said Minarul Islam, founder of Doshomik Pathshala.
The school is currently running in Tangail town's Kagmari slum, Zila Sadar slum and Nagarjalpai slum areas and educating 20, 12, and 10 students respectively.
Islam and nine others take turns in shouldering the burden of teaching as well as channelling their pocket money in the running of the classes.
"I feel mental peace when I see the smiling faces of the underprivileged children -- -t is very pleasant for me to spend time with them," said Amena Akter Tilittoma, one of the teachers.
Along with providing education, the school provides books, notebooks, pens, slates, pencils, bags and other academic materials to the children for free.
The youths also give the children chocolates, biscuits, bread and other foods for free.
It also organises different types of socio-cultural programmes like Pitha-Payesh festival, music festival and sports events. The school conducted a health awareness campaign to make children aware of washing hands with soap and wearing masks.
One student who benefitted from the initiative is four-year-old Ismat Ara from Kagmari slum.
"I like to go to school because they [teachers] give me chocolates, biscuits, notebook and pens. I am really happy for being able to study in this school," she said.
In Kagmari slum, the group takes classes six days a week, and in the other two slums, just once a week.
Salma Akter, a resident of Nagarjalpai slum, could not be more grateful for the project.
Her husband lost his livelihood during the pandemic and could not buy a smartphone for their children's online classes.
"So their education stopped."
But thanks to Doshomik Pathshala, their education has resumed.
"We are grateful to the school authorities," she said.