As visual storytelling has the power of engaging a community and bringing about a change, Kaaktarua took it up as a means to create awareness.
The organization set out on its journey in 2013 with the slogan – ‘Towards a Habitable Earth’.
It equips its members with cameras to capture and highlight any and all sorts of discrimination in society and raise social awareness.
They started with a campaign called Bangla Banan Shuddhy Ovijan (campaign for spelling correction). Since February 2014, the members have been running this campaign on streets, allays and public places in Sylhet. They have convinced shop owners, commercial designers and printing staffs about the importance of proper spelling. Khalilur Rahman Faysal, the founder and current president of the organization, was inspired by the vigilance of kaaktarua (scarecrow) to protect valuable crops. He wanted to form a youth brigade to stand as a guardian angel against irregularities in the society.
Recently, they shifted focus to creative representation of social issues for raising public awareness. The members were encouraged to make short films and documentaries. Contemporary social issues such as drug, question paper leak, food adulteration, and gender-based violence were addressed to a large audience through a number of short-films. Kaaktarua frequently arranges workshops and basic courses on photography, videography and editing.
They have a long to-do list such as documentation and digital archiving of the vignettes of the freedom fighters, who are still alive, and collecting folk songs and artifacts.