Bangladesh YMCA Hosts Hong Kong Baptist University Uni-Y Students

                  

No doubt it is a wonder, when a country with an area of only 144,000 square kilometers and having a population of 150 million, mostly succeeded to grow food for the whole population, inspite of frequent cyclone, drought & , floods. This curiosity lead of a group of 20 students from Hong Kong Baptist University visit Bangladesh recently. The purpose of their visit was to know more about Bangladesh and learn how the farmers of this country could succeed to grow the required food to satisfy such a large population.

These students studying International Food Crisis, had chosen Bangladesh as theme country. Bangladesh is a country where food crisis exists and starvation was a daily affair here, this was their primary understanding . However, coming to Bangladesh they realized that there was no case of any mentionable famine in the country since its independence from the British colonial era in 1947, except in 1974 when a famine like situation prevailed which was an aftermath of political tyranny. The students arrived in Bangladesh on 3rd of January and stayed here till 9th of January.

During their stay in Dhaka, Mr. Pius Costa, Director General of the Directorate of the Food Department of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh had briefed them about the total governmental food distribution system as well as the different social safety schemes undertaken by the Government for the people.

Mr. Duncan Chowdhury, National General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of Bangladesh also elaborated that in Bangladesh the issue of food crisis is not relevant here, however, the people of the country is concerned about the food security of the country, with a view so that all people irrespective of their financial capacities do have proper access to food. Fortunately, in the year 2009, the food production of the country has crossed 30 million metric tons, which is the record highest in the history of the country.

In course of their visitation in Bangladesh they had been invited to a reception at University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh, where they had an opportunity to meet the students of the University, shared their experiences with the Bangladeshi University students. Prof. Rafiqul Islam, Vice Chancellor of ULAB, welcomed the overseas students and Prof. Abdul Mannan shared with them the activities, courses and curriculum of the University. Later the visiting students visited different parts of the University.

 
Later the overseas students also visited the Northern part of the country, to experience real life of the monga striken areas. There too they knew about the new variety of BRRI Dhan which had been harvested in large scale this year, curtailing down the harvesting time, thus the issue of monga was more or less history this year. To have a first had experience of an ordinary rural life, they had been staying for a couple of days in the homes of the villagers there, which was a wonderful experience for them. They also visited the food silo at Santahar.

They had seen the suffering of the people there due to severe cold wave, out of sympathy they helped with 250 blankets for the rural poor people in order to save the people from the cold wave.

Bogra YMCA had hosted their stay in Bogra and arranged for all the field trips. Bogra YMCA also hosted a grand reception for them during their stay in Bogra, which was chaired by the Mr. Dilip Marandi and conducted by Mr. Robert Robin Marandi, President and General Secretary of Bogra YMCA respectively.

On the final day they visited a children orphanage in Savar where they spent the whole morning with the orphans. They had arranged for some games for the children and also had offered them small gifts as a gesture of love. There they also donated 400 blankets for the children to protect them from the cold.

Finally on the 9th of January, they left for their home with a different positive view of Bangladesh, entirely different from the one they had perceived in their minds before visiting Bangladesh.

 

 

 

Mr. Symon P Adhikary

Mr. Pius Costa

Mr. Duncan Chowdhury

Prof. Rafiqul Islam

 
 
   
  Prof. Abdul Mannan, Ms. Candice Wong and Prof. Rafiqul Islam  

Ms. Candice Wong