Ashia Foundation reaches out to people in need | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 11, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:48 AM, September 11, 2020

Ashia Foundation reaches out to people in need

Ashia Foundation was established by Talha Sayed, a student from Independent University, Bangladesh, in June 2014. With an aim to help underprivileged communities, the organisation conducted a number of campaigns in the last few years.

Talha conceived the idea for the foundation after he came across some underprivileged kids playing with kittens on the streets. "At first, I thought they were trying to harm the kittens, but later, I realised that they were giving the kittens milk to drink," he said. After a short conversation with the kids, he realised that they did not have a proper meal for breakfast and they did not know whether they would have any meals for the rest of the day. "Their gesture of feeding the kittens even when they had no food of their own, inspired me," Talha added.

At Ashia Foundation's first event, 'Smile', volunteers distributed food packets to over 25 individuals. Their regular projects include a Ramadan distribution drive and a winter clothing drive. They also help flood victims in different ways.

Furthermore, the organisation looks after the medical expenses of those in need, from time to time. They also conducted an awareness campaign, where they distributed water bottles to people in the summer months. During their initial days, they arranged a charity bake sale to raise funds. They also sent out food to the Rohingya refugees.

Talha added that time management is a major challenge for the team. Most of Ashia Foundation's members are university students, who need to juggle their studies and part-time jobs with volunteering.

Their recent endeavours are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. They distributed around 300 masks and liquid hand-washes to raise awareness about the spread of the coronavirus disease. In these troubling times, underprivileged groups, especially day labourers, have little to depend upon, as they are faced with unemployment and food shortages. Bearing that in mind, Ashia Foundation volunteers distributed grocery packages with rice, lentils, oil and other essentials to over 7,200 people in Dhaka and other parts of the country. They reached out to families in Uttara, Shyamoli, Mirpur, Old Dhaka, Sylhet, Khulna, Comilla, Pabna, Gopalgonj, Faridpur and Gaibandha.

"Our latest campaign emphasised on buying necessary equipment for the health industry. We want to ensure that hospitals can treat more patients in the long run," Talha shared. The foundation also provided food to around 200 frontline healthcare workers and supported nearly 100 COVID-19 patients by providing them with the required medicines during their treatment. 

They plan to establish an educational institution in the future. "The school will have a children centre, where kids of all ages can come and stay. We also intend to provide them with necessary facilities," concluded Talha.

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