For the eighth consecutive time, the non-profit organisation ‘Sombhabona’ has put together the ‘Pushpokoli Winter Festival-2019’ for underprivileged children on January 3, 2020, at Mirpur Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket stadium. Some 300 disadvantaged children of Dhaka were blessed with winter clothes, blankets, and treated to versatile pithas and a cultural show.
‘Sombhabona’, a social welfare organisation, from its inception in 2011, has been running a school named ‘Pushpokoli’ voluntarily. Starting with 2 children, ‘Pushpokoli’ now educates 300 underprivileged students in its three branches in Mirpur Stadium, Robindro Sorobor and the slum of Kalshi, Mirpur.
The chills of winter only bring more suffering to the underprivileged, from the lack of shelter, warmth, food and such. Children, regardless of economic background, have similar wants of love and comfort, yet most of the underprivileged cannot even imagine the luxuries the rest of us take for granted.
Winter pitha is one such item that occupies an important place in our culinary culture. Children await eagerly when mothers make delectable pithas. But even this simple joy is a tall order for many.
Yet, Sombhabona, with a team of diligent youths, made this very dream come true for poor underprivileged children. Sombhabona organised a number of events on the occasion. One of these were ‘Joto Khao, Toto Pao,’ for which Hasina Jannat Saki and Nahida Akter, two women entrepreneurs, worked tirelessly through the night to make pithas for the significant number of children at the event.
Besides, Sombhabona arranged a magic show, puppet show, and a cultural show of Pushpokoli’s own, making it a full-fledged winter festival. Moreover, a traditional dance performance was staged by a team of volunteers led by Muniya Meghla, Cultural Secretary of Sombhabona. She trains the Pushpokoli Students in dancing and recitation in her free time.
The most heart-warming event of the occasion was when the volunteers distributed winter sweaters and blankets to 300 underprivileged children. Executive Director of Standard Group Tofazzal Ali, Acting Editor of Daily Samakal Mustafiz Shafi, Ex Secretary of PSC and Director General of Bangladesh NGO Bureau Nurun Nobi Talukder and many others were present.
In addition, women entrepreneurs like Hasina Mukta, Hasina Jannat Saki, Nahida Akter and Ayesha Jasmin also took the responsibility of providing the significant number of children with tiffins and pledged further support the mothers with further training.
By Tahmid Azad Sohan