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Wall of humanity mired among doubts

  • Published at 01:09 pm January 19th, 2019
The wall of humanity in Mirpur 2 Bangla Tribune

A lack of promotion has led the initiative to remain shrouded in doubts, confusing the locals

Three months after its introduction, the initiative named "Manobotar Dewaal - the wall of humanity" is yet to make an impact on society.

The wall, established in different parts of the country including six areas in Dhaka, consists of hangers where people can hang their unnecessary belongings so the disadvantaged people can collect them later. 

However, due to a lack of promotion and public cynicism surrounding the initiative, the wall of humanity is yet to spread at large after three months. 

A visit to different areas where the wall has been erected showed clothes scattered messily around the wall. Those who had taken the initiative rarely come to the site, locals said. 

Elders from these areas confided that since they have no clear information on who took the initiative and why, they did not affiliate themselves with the whole matter.

Journey of 'Manobotar Dewaal'

The wall of humanity initiative was introduced by the headmistress of Arpara Primary Model School in Magura, Yasmin Akhtar, in 2015. She named it "Mohanubhobotar Dewaal" or the "wall of generosity".

Initiative taken in Uttara | Bangla Tribune

Yasmin said: "We still have the wall inside my school premises. Most of the times, students are the ones to hang their unnecessary clothes to help other relatively poorer students.

"The whole process is done anonymously," she continued. "No one will know the identity of the ones who kept the clothes and the ones who took them. It was my idea that: if children can start distributing their clothes they no longer use or need, they can start being aware of their social responsibility."

Tanjina Naznin Misty from South Muksedpur Govt High School in Kishoreganj was introduced to this  concept from a workshop conducted under Yasmin Akhtar. She, too, transformed a wall inside her campus premises into the wall of humanity.

"After my school took the initiative, nearby schools followed suit," she said. "Recently, after the walls started appearing in Dhaka, the concept became viral through social media, and many people informed me of it. But I always say I learned it from Yasmin Akhtar."

Lacklustre initiative in Dhaka 

The wall of humanity has been observed in Mirpur, Bhashantek, Uttara, Mohakhali, Mohammadpur and Lalbagh areas. However, a dearth of adequate promotion and awareness, and doubts regarding the initiative, has caused the failure of the widespread use of the walls.  

Initiator from Uttara Saidur Rahman said: "I personally took the initiative to use the wall. I thought a person can help the disadvantaged just by hanging their unnecessary clothes, especially during winter, on the wall - as someone will inevitably come and collect them later."

After the initial wall was demolished, the wall of humanity was transferred to another wall in Uttara, he said. 

Screenshot taken from Facebook post of Shahin Matabber, who took the initiative to introduce the wall of humanity in Mohakhali wireless area

Although the initiative was introduced in November, almost three months later, the wall is yet to attract mass attention.

"We need to engage in better promotion," Saidur Rahman said. "And it should not be only one person's responsibility to monitor the wall; it should be done collectively, area wise. Only the wall will be in a fixed place."

In Mohakhali wireless area, Shahin Matabber took the initiative to introduce the wall of humanity. 

In a Facebook post, posted on Wednesday, Shahin said: "I feel very happy that a lot of people have expressed their solidarity with our cause by selflessly helping and providing aid for the disadvantaged. Students from Brac University, especially, have helped by distributing their clothes."

However, a 60-year-old living near the wall of humanity in Mirpur 2 said even though clothes are deposited near the wall in a regular basis, they are not collected as frequently. 

"The locals from my areas do not have a clear idea about the wall," he said. "This is why they refrain from taking part in it."

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