Rafat Nur, a graduate of National University of Bangladesh, runs Chobi’r Haat, an organisation comprised of close to 28 young artists who sell their artworks and use the money to provide food and healthcare services to slum dwellers. Rafat and his friends used to visit the slums around the Tejgaon Railway Station. Over time, they formed close bonds with the residents there, who often asked them for help. Chobi’r Haat started in 2012, when Rafat noticed the food crisis in the slums and began supplying packets of meals to a small group of people. The majority of their funding came from selling hand-painted portraits online. The organisation provides food to the people in the slums under the banner of their project, Ek Takay Khabar, through which the people can avail a meal at one taka only.
Apart from serving regular meals and providing medical services to slum dwellers, Rafat often takes the initiative to support the people in acquiring and stabilising independent sources of income, such as a personal rickshaw or a rented shop.
Usually, the organisation serves lunches from their own kitchens located nearby different slums. The meals are prepared by a team of more than 500 young volunteers. This Ramadan, they successfully served a large number of Sehri and Iftaar packets. They have designated and specialised teams that ensure that the food is nutritious and is supplied efficiently. As of now, this project has successfully fed close to a 1000 people across eleven districts of the country.
Shubidhabonchito Der Dokan, another initiative by Rafat, aims to sell food items and groceries to people in remote villages, for one taka only.
Moving forward, Rafat aims to equip the people in the slums with some essential work skills, so that they do not have to look for external support to feed their families.