Faridul Islam Farid would not want others to suffer what he went through. After his parents died, his brothers tried to force him to give up studies and work at their family store. So, Farid had to leave home and continued studying on his own.
He tutored students and did odd jobs to fend for himself. He had to spend tiring days and sleepless nights, that too without any emotional support from the family or anywhere else. Yet, he did not give up.
Tale of a spirited youth who radiated 87 orphans with education and care
At the age of seven, he lost his father in 1994. But his mother did not let him feel the odds and cares of life.
When she died in 2009, Farid got to encounter the harsher side of life. His brothers all insisted that Farid leave study, but he was too determined to give in.
Now that he has been able to overcome all the obstacles and pursue higher education, Farid wants to make sure that the children around him get hassle-free access to education, something he didn’t get.
And he focused on orphans especially for they are the most vulnerable to dropping out from schools.
While studying, he felt the need to stand beside the orphans. He shared the thought with his friends and got them engaged to stand up for the cause.
“I told my friends that if we could save Tk 20-50 a day, we could help the orphans,” according to Farid, who now is studying masters at Rangpur Carmichael College.
His friends Nazmul Hossain, Firoz Kabir, Golam Kibria Sagor, Rezwanul Islam and Mohammad Tuhin joined the struggle to establish rights of the orphans.
With the little money they saved, Farid and his friends started campaigns to make the orphans of his locality aware of their rights and encourage them to continue education no matter what.
In 2013, he gave the initiative a name — Etim Unnayan Foundation — and began working on a broader scale by distributing education materials and stipends to 26 orphans of Balua Mashimpur Union in Mithapukur.
“Now no orphans of at least five unions of the upazila feel left out. They are pursuing education with great enthusiasm,” says Farid.
His foundation also gives special stipends to the orphans who secure A+ in primary, junior and secondary certificate examinations.
Currently 87 orphans are being supported by the foundation.
Nawsin Nahar Liza is one of them.
The ninth grader of the local Balua High School says she gets Tk 900 every six months and all the educational materials required.
“After my father’s death last year, my education became uncertain. The money I got from the foundation helped me a lot to continue my studies.”
To boost its counseling campaigns, Farid has brought in some university teachers in his team. Now the orphans here are going to school and girls are not being married off at an early age.
“If the orphans can be made aware of their rights, they will be able to move forward in their life … I dream that they will grow up, be established in life and take care of other orphans,” Farid believes by his heart.