October 10: New homes constructed in
Annada Prasad village
05: Home construction on its way
April 22: Implementation begins
February 28 :
6, 2003: Final Trip to Bhola
Final report from Bhola
October 10,2002 New
homes constructed in Annada Prasad village
six member team recently visited village Annada Prasad
to observe and monitor the progress of rehabilitation
work undertaken by the Annada Prasad Rehabilitation
Project. The team-members walked around freely
the entire village, talked to the families of the beneficiaries,
and saw for themselves the progress of construction
of 10 houses. Read the details
of the visit here ...
May 05 :
Home Construction on its way
team of four or five members will reach Bhola on the 9th
of May to formally start the construction work and finalize the
schedule. Each home will include a 240 sq ft house having
a main Room, a verandah and a kitchen. If the owner wants
he/she can partition the main room for his children. A
separate sanitary toilet will be built. In addition, each
home owner will receive an improved version of oven (chula),
a water filtering system adequate for a small family of
4-5 and some household utensils.
detailed pictures of the proposed homes here...
April 22 :
Our project implementation is about to begin. There was a
delay in transferring the money because of logistical
complications. Finally it has been resolved and we have
transferred the first installment of an amount of $6000 (tk
3 lakhs 44 thousand) and the money has reached the Dhaka
account last week.
On phase 1, there will be 10 houses
built for 10 families with an approximate cost of 50000
taka per house. Our local coordinators will visit the
village after May 1st to view the ground situation and
start the house building. In the coming phases 10 more
houses are supposed to
be completed in phase 2. Separate projects related to
scholarship, education fee payment and undertaking of
permanent income generating projects (loan for land
borrowing etc) are currently being defined.
February 28 : Campaign
Drishtipat's 'Cheye Dekho' campaign
has concluded past Ekushey February after a 72 day run.
With the cooperation from all of you, the fundraiser
has been a major success. We initially targeted
to achieve $25000; But we have surpassed our wildest expectations
and raised over $29000. The final numbers will be available
within a short time after we get all the numbers from
different cities. Here's how we did on our initial three
goals that we set out to achieve at the beginning of
the campaign on December 10th, 2001.
Raise awareness of current minority-related
human rights abuses at Annada Prashad and elsewhere
in Bangladesh. Drishtipat has been able to highlight
the issues of human rights abuse of the Hindu minorities
during the post election period successfully through
its website, fundraising events and slide shows. The
website has generated more than 19000 hits in two months.
Pictures obtained from Bangladesh has been publicized
among Bangladeshi expatriates and the website has been
regularly updated with new articles, documents and pictures.
Slideshow created by the volunteers were also displayed
in all the three fund raisers arranged by Drishtipat.
Ain O Salish Kendra, our partner organization in Bangladesh,
have also persisted with legal challenges for the rights
of the minority. With the help of Shommilition Shamajik
Andolon, a team went to asses the damage and identify
the victims and they created a report for the Drishtipat
which was publicized through the website. The report
and pictures of the fundraising events are at http://www.drishtipat.org/CheyeDekhoProject/events.html
Lobbying the Bangladesh Government
A petition has been sent on behalf
of Drishtipat to the government to protect the minority
rights. We made some initial attempts to reach the home
minister. However, that did not materialize. Prominent
columnists Hasan Ferdous, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Zakaria Swapan
have written articles in Bangladeshi newspapers about
minority oppression and government action and also mentioned
Drishtipat's initiative. Recently, we have contacted
the ambassador of Bangladesh in the US to help us give
security to the victims of Annadaprasad after their
rehabilitation and he has assured us to convey our message
to the government of Bangladesh swiftly and help us
in any means he can.
Raise fund for the Rehabilitation
The fundraising has been
a major success with more than $29000 having been raised
through this drive surpassing our initial target of
$25000. The final numbers may likely be a little higher
and it will be posted after accounting of all donations
in different cities. The list of the donors are here:
. (Some names may still be missing but they will be
A committee has been formed in
Bangladesh for the implementation of the Annada Prashad
project. This committee is comprised of members from
the following organizations: Committee for Protection
of Citizen's Right & Elimination of Communalism, Sammilita
Samajik Andolan, Mahila Parisad, Nari Progati Sangha,
Ain O Salish Kendra, Humanist and Rationalist International,
Citizens' Voice. A team consisting of university teacher,
columnist, photo journalist, a video team (consisting
4 human rights workers), legal experts visited the affected
area under the banner of "Nagarik Adhikar Sanrakshan
o Sampradayikata Pratirodh Committee".
The rehabilitation program
1. Houses for each of 20 families
without a house of their own. Their houses were either
demolished or partially damaged in between October 2-3,
2001. Each family would be provided with a small house
(a tin shed - called dochala) and sanitary toilet and
a tube well if possible.
family would be given cash money for getting loan of
land of 1 kani ( 40-50 decimal ) . Per kani for loan
needs ~ Tk 10,000/=
3. Rajkumar Das is 108 year grand
old of Annada Prasad who would be assisted with medical
treatment. The perpetrators not only robbed all his
belongings and properties, they mercilessly beat him
with iron rod on legs, hands, and chest. and on the
back. The beating sign on his back still exists as he
showed it to the team. The location is still swelling
and sensitive. He needs immediate medical treatment.
4. A 16-year girl got mum after
the violent attack and she would be provided with medical
treatment. She was about 4 months pregnant while she
was gang raped. She needs immediate medical as well
as psychiatric treatment at Dhaka.
5. A primary school going girl
is hiding for her safety. She is another victim of sexual
assault. She needs to be brought at Dhaka for her education
to be continued.
6. Two B.A.
examinee need immediate cash to pay the tuition fees.
Other school going girls and boys will receive tuition
We are also looking into setting
aside an funds to help victims with longer term needs
such as education, scholarship etc. The above
implementation is subjected to be expanded or modified
and the donors will be updated duly. Currently the
details of the second phase of the implementation are
being worked out. Follow up to the donors: We are
preparing an electronic mailing list for the donors to
update them on the status of the project on a regular
basis. They will be updated through the mailing list.
Also updates will be sent to the e-forums. But the
central source of these information will remain this
site. The most up-to-date information
can be found here all the time.
For the offline users, we will
send press releases to the Bengali weeklies in the USA.
The tax receipts will also be sent out soon.
Drishtipat likes to thank all its
members whose hard work has made this possible. Specially
a core groups of young Bangladeshis, who has
spent many many hours from their busy lives, deserve
our heartfelt thanks for a job well done.
The very enthusiastic
help from all the SpandaanB members and the Bay Area
community for the extremely successful fundraiser have
given the fund drive a tremendous boost. We thank SpandaanB
and its members for their cooperation and courage to
sponsor this very sensitive campaign. Without the help
from volunteers outside Drishtipat in New York and Chicago,
none of the two fundraisers at those cities would have
been possible. Drishtipat also likes to acknowledge
the websites (specially e-mela.com) and some e-forums
(notably BAFI, Mukto-mona, futureofbangladesh) who have
helped publicize the campaign and organize funds from
Last but not the least, Drishtipat likes
to thank all the compassionate Bangladeshis who have
come forward generously at the call of humanity and
helped their fellow Bangladeshis of the minority community.
We are honored that they have trusted Drishtipat to
carry over this work of rehabilitating the victims of
We hope our relationship will continue
to grow in the coming future as we start the most difficult
task of the implementation of the campaign.