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Wall of humanity makes its way to Manikganj

  • Published at 07:43 pm August 31st, 2019
A man picks out clothes donated by the people of Manikganj town <strong>Dhaka Tribune</strong>
Time to recycle? Dhaka Tribune

The wall situated in the Shaheed Rafiq Chattar, is similar to others throughout the country, consisting of cloth hangers with the message written overhead - “Apnar oproyojoniyo jinish rekhey jan, proyojoniyo jinish ekhan theke niye jan (Leave your unnecessary belongings here and pick the ones you need)

The social welfare initiative named ‘Manobotar Dewaal - the wall of humanity’ which gained massive attention on social media through its distinctive way of helping people in need has now been spotted in Manikganj city as well. 

The wall situated in the Shaheed Rafiq Chattar, is similar to others throughout the country, consisting of cloth hangers with the message written overhead - “Apnar oproyojoniyo jinish rekhey jan, proyojoniyo jinish ekhan theke niye jan (Leave your unnecessary belongings here and pick the ones you need).

The man behind the charitable campaign is a local resident named Kazi Junayet Hossain Pratik. He is also the assistant secretary of the district unit Awami League. He was not done just sticking the hangers on the wall. He along with his friends donated the first batch of clothes gathered from each of their homes.   

It has been nearly a month since the set up the wall, and not a day went by when the wall was out of clothes. Along with the youth of the district, the seniors have also become a part of this initiative by donating unused clothes.

Pratik said: “People of the middle to higher income group frequently throw away clothes that aren’t being worn anymore. I was inspired by the thought that if people had a place to donate these clothes, a greater purpose could be served for those in poverty.”

On Tuesday afternoon, a school student Sabiha Afrin, along with her father, was seen hanging clothes on the wall from a bag of unused ones she brought from home. “We had clothes piled up at the house, which weren’t being worn. So, we decided to not to miss the opportunity of becoming a part of this generous program.” 

Advocate Deepak Kumar Ghosh, an environmental and human rights activist, praising the initiative said he would like to see more walls of humanity spread around the district. “People must show empathy for others just for the sake of it. This is how it should be.”

Manikganj College Lecturer Saifuddin Ahmed Nannu commending the endeavour said this has the potential to influence others to be more humane and empathetic to those in need. “However, the initiators will have the responsibility to effectively publicize their work in order to make it a success.” 

Everyday people come and pick up clothes either for them or their family members. Especially people in dire poverty are seen taking advantage of this service as it was intended.

Journey of 'Manobotar Dewaal'

The wall of humanity initiative was first 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".

Yasmin said: "We still have the wall inside my school premises. Most of the time, 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 among other districts, the concept became viral through social media, and many people informed me of it. But I always say I learned it from Yasmin Akhtar."

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