16 October 2019

Youth show Eid kindness to disadvantaged kids

Members of the humanitarian group RTIB donating chocolates and items of clothing for Eid to deprived village children in Haydarabad, Gazipur. (PHOTO: Foysal Mostakin) -

Sir Frank Peters

A revolution to create a better Bangladesh has begun. It’s taking root at grass level in a small village near Gazipur. Nowadays, it’s quite common to hear negative remarks directed towards the youth – and with some justification.

More and more school leavers, seemingly, are seen occupying the tattered decrepit seating at village tea shops and exchanging negative views that benefit no one, especially themselves.

When truth is depleted, they make up lies just to keep the conversation going and, at times, that can have a more devastating effect on the minds of youth, worse even than Facebook.

Correction... nothing is more harmful and damaging to modern day youth than Facebook.

Facebook is a repository of the greatest collections of lies, untruths, false images, false hopes, false dreams and false beliefs known to man. Never in the history of mankind, has there been a more potent poison that eats and destroys the young brain from within and transports him/her from reality and into a surreal existence. It is digitalized cocaine and equally addictive and damaging. No teenager should be allowed within 100-miles of it. Its use, by an act of parliament, should be restricted to people of 70+ and then only those with dementia.

Having got that off my chest, it’s comforting to know not all youth in Bangladesh are Facebook zombie nitwits.

There is a group of 40 or so fine young folk, I’m proud to have met. They decided that talking about helping the disadvantaged isn’t quite the same as actually providing the help they need.

So, they’re now on a humanitarian mission, under the leadership of Rubel Hossain, who’s experienced in giving. They meet regularly under jackfruit trees, sit on embankments under the stars and battle with mosquitoes to discuss their plans. No air-conditioned multi-storied office block for them. During one of their frog-croaking infested meetings, they came up with the name Revolution to Improve Bangladesh (RTIB) and decided they would help children in need under the banner to the best of their abilities and resources.

The group’s spokesman, Ashikur Rahman, said: “This week we distributed parcels that contain items of clothing and chocolates to about 60+ children for Eid. The boys received Punjabis and tee shirts and the girls were given dresses and other items. Before buying them, the RTIB members collected their sizes and colour preferences, so each received what they had wished for,” he said.

“All the items were bought with money from our own pockets,” added Rubel. “This was our first effort to bring a bit of joy into the lives of children in need, but it won’t be our last.

“I’m hoping this concept of ours will spread to every village throughout Bangladesh and children all over will benefit,” he said.


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