VOF Month 1: (Are You Thinking of Helping Poor People?)
Nasreen Baqui (Shipu), the founder of a hospital and a school is able to run the hospital and the school till today by getting help from well wishers. Most of the women stop working in the community after their marriage because of their husband and children, but it’s the opposite for Ms. Nasreen, being married and having children provides a chance for her to understand the real world. She wants to inspire those who wish for helping disadvantaged groups from her 15 years experience. Neither, she is highly qualified nor has any professional training but is working to bring equality in her community.
She says “Whenever my children fell sick, or if I fell sick, I could always go to a doctor, since I was pretty solvent. But then, it struck me that poor people also fell sick, and they were unable to meet the doctor's fees and fell in great distress. It was then, I decided, I should do something for these people.” Realizing the situation, in 1994, Ms. Nasreen founded a charitable endeavor called Nurture's Centre for Disabled and Paralyzed in North Halishar, Chittagong. It is an 80- bed indoor, physiotherapy unit, with two operating theatres for orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. It also has an outdoor medical centre for primary health care. Mean while, when working in the hospital, she sees many disadvantaged children, who live near the hospital. Therefore, she opened a school to provide free education for those children.
After hearing this, I was interested to know how she achieved her goal. She gives some tips for those who really want to help discriminated people. Firstly, you need to have passion and know what you really want to do. You need to articulate properly about your project with others such as family and friends. They might disagree with you, but you need to convince them. Ms. Nasreen says “I discussed my plans with my father, husband, and friends. Their responses were mixed but supportive. The project did not have any initial funding, so I used whatever I earned from my small Beauty Salon to purchase a small stretch of land in Halishahar and build a thatched house.” Secondly, you need to have determination, patience, courage and efforts to do. She says “It was extremely challenging to persuade the villagers that this project had sincere charitable goals as they had never seen women venture out and start something new, but I didn’t give up my work.” Finally, people will start to help your project, but communication is the main factor that will bring success in your life. She says “It was difficult to convince people. We don’t have any international organization to help but we do have some local organizations such as the Chittagong Ladies Club and Chittagong Grammar School that have helped us from time to time.”
Please let me know if you have tried this. Does it work in your life?
This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 31 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most forgotten corners of the world. Meet Us.