Story Behind Future Bangladesh

A new world is knocking at the door. Artificial Intelligence, Biotech, Nanotech, Robotics, Alternative Energy, Cryptocurrency, Augmented Reality, Quantum Computing all the technologies altogether taking us to a future beyond prediction.

So, are we ready to embrace this change? Are we going to use this tremendous power of technology, or be used by it?!

Humanity has come a long way, with extraordinary achievements but also losing many precious things along the way. We have many creations but also destroyed some invaluable things. Many scientists are claiming with evidence that the earth’s natural environment is on the verge of destruction. Despite the extraordinary technological advancement, there are still hunger, bloodshed, violence, corruption every day in many corners of this planet.

So, something important must be missing. We are drifting apart from each other and becoming like a distant island. We have many friends, fans, followers on social media but none in real life! Day by day we are becoming lonelier. We have many doctors, engineers, businessmen but very few ‘Humans’. In the middle of all these advancements, comfort & arrangements, shouldn’t we rather be happier?!

So, what is ‘True Development’? If the earth got destroyed, do we have another spare planet to live on? We become most happy through our relationships- in love & recognition, by helping each other. So, what’s the point in all this advancement if we become alone & lose our heart?!

Bangladesh- we have a glorious past of revolution & battle for independence. We outlived 100 years of tyranny & injustice. In this very beautiful land, we have earned our long-cherished freedom through a tremendous loss. We have made too great sacrifices to overlook.
Bangladesh is a land of rivers. Every inch of this land is naturally enriched. Currently, we are on a verge of fantastic infrastructural developments. Our economy is growing very fast.

So, what is it that back pulling us from being a great nation?

So, on this 50th anniversary of independence let’s reflect upon our journey so far as an independent nation. Isn’t it about time we search for the common purpose of humanity? Isn’t it about time to avoid all destructions, to join hands & rebuild humanity together? Let’s unite together, talk about collective wellness.

We believe we have the resolutions that together we can discuss & make happen. Besides the government, the citizens must actively participate & cooperate to build a great nation.

Let’s join the mission! It is too late to be a pessimist!

How the Journey Started

A philanthropic cop has successfully challenged the common stereotypical ideas about police by getting into a fight for the integration of marginalized and underprivileged people of the country. This dedicated officer is none but Mr Habibur Rahman, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Bangladesh Police who has made a difference by making charity one of the main components of his life. With his missionary zeal, this benevolent officer has tirelessly been working for underprivileged people & backward communities of the country.

Though he has informally been involved in many sorts of charity work since an early age, the altruistic cop embarked on his fight for humanitarian causes as the Superintendent of Police of Dhaka District in 2012. Uttaran Foundation is the result of his sincere intention & utmost dedication toward helpless people.

The Gypsies (Bede) are a marginalized group in Bangladesh. The majority of the Gypsies live on snake related trading, such as snake charming (training), snake catching, snake selling, etc. They also sell lucky heathers, herbal medicines, which they claim have magical properties. Their other occupations are entertainment services (e.g., monkey-show, magic-show) and petty trading. Many villagers believe in the magical powers of the Gypsies. They can make evil spirits leave someone's body according to magical powers. Some of them beg on the busy streets of big cities like Dhaka, Chittagong, and Khulna. They speak in Bengali during external communications; however, they have a native language named ‘Thar’ which is using by them during the intracommunity conversation. Most of them are Muslim but also practice Hinduism, Shamanism, and Animism along with Islam. About 98 per cent of Gypsies lives below the poverty line and about 95% of Gypsy children do not attend school.

Even, they do not have any kind of formal education and they do not use medical facilities. Due to lack of equal opportunity and the scope of the low-income profession, they developed a substitute profession of various kinds of drug trading and fraudulent activities which has severely obstructed the law-and-order situation of the area and also destabilizing the social harmony. Even the Dhaka District Police administration also struggled a lot to enforce the laws on 'Savar Bedepalli'. The issue of this illegal drug trading activity of the Gypsy community is analyzed by Mr Habibur Rahman BPM (BAR), PPM with his deep insights. He came to know about the misconduct of the Gypsy community and started to think about the underlying problem and solutions. To know more about them and the problems, he organized an Opinion Sharing Meeting with the Gypsy leaders at Savar Police Station on 18 August 2014. The Participants among the Gypsy community shared their sorrows and stigma of itinerant lives and livelihoods for generations without care and support from anyone. Mr Habibur Rahman listened to the unspoken sufferings of the Gypsy community. He realized that arresting few criminals will be a temporary solution to the problem. Rather, he decided to work with the root causes.

He was inspired to do something beyond his policing job. The community also stated that they wanted to break the cycle for a long time and they are looking for an alternative employment opportunity, but no one has come to rescue them. Mr Habibur Rahman has started to transfer his thoughts into action by initiating skill training to 105 Gypsy women with the cooperation of Govt. Youth Development Department. After the training, sewing machines were distributed among the trainees with the support of the Bangladesh Education & Technology Society (BETS) and so on. Gradually Mr Habibur Rahman extends his cooperation through different initiatives for the holistic development of the Gypsy community. All these initiatives were the seeds of the ‘Uttaran Foundation Trust’ although the ‘Uttaran Foundation Trust’ was officially founded on 20th February 2017. After the whole-hearted successful initiatives for the Gypsy’s of Savar Gypsy Palli, the Uttaran Foundation has started to grow and spread its arms to the other marginalized communities like ‘Hijra’ (Third Gender).

The Founder & Chairman of the Uttaran Foundation, Mr Habibur Rahman was well concerned about the real-life situation of the Hijra community. He was also thinking of implementing some long-term solutions for them. He invites a few Hijra Leaders (Guru Maa) to his office and discussed the tentative measures towards a dignified life for them. After then, he established a ‘Beauty Parlor’ at Ashulia in Dhaka through Uttaran Foundation which was a remarkable initiative. Currently Uttaran Foundation is implementing 5 programs & more than 50 projects & activities for the marginalized & excluded communities in Bangladesh. More then 15000 people are benefitting from these cultural, humanitarian, economic, educational, technological and infrastructural development projects & activities.

As things set in motion towards a positive direction for these communities, Uttaran Foundation started thinking to expand its activities into more holistic approach of development. The wretched condition of other underprivileged & backward class like ultra-poor, homeless people, unemployed youth, street children were also brought into consideration. The primary success & inspiration with marginalized & excluded communities along with the research ultimately led to the exclusive program 'Future Bangladesh'. Future Bangladesh is planning to work towards holistic & sustainable solutions through Innovation & IT-driven models for resolving all individual & national challenges to transform our human burdens of our country to human resource.