Perpetrators failed to snatch away his dreams
Late Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police detective Rabiul Karim, who was killed in a terrorist attack in the Holey Artisan Bakery incident, started a special school with disabled children on a piece of land donated by his mother in a charming green environment in Katigram of Manikganj Sadar upazila in 2011.
The name of the school was given as Beaconing Light Organisation of Mankind and Society (Blooms) for children with disabilities.
After his demise on July 1, 2016, everyone was concerned about the fate of the school, but credit should be given to the AC Rabiul’s family members, especially his wife Umme Salma and younger brother Shamsuzzaman Shams, and a philanthropic organization running the school. The students have increased from 36 to 44 in the last three years.
The school’s managing committee raised a one-storied building with a classroom, an exercise and playroom, and an office with donations from the Non-Government Organisation (NGO).
Blooms spreading happiness among students
Kausar Ahmed, physically challenged, in addition to education is into music, where a smile is the essence of life.
When this correspondent visited the school, smiles and happiness in the faces of the students were prevalent, as they danced and sing around in the school along with proper education - students paint and recite poetry. The rooms are decorated in classical aesthetic colours.
Firoz Mia another physically challenged student showed his painting, which would bring out a smile on anyone’s faces. Many more students like Alamgir, Sheila Rani Shakib Al Hasan, Mahidul, Kausar are all skilled at writing as well as painting, the correspondent reported.
Blooms still blooming
Rabiul's younger brother Shamsuzzaman Shams said: “The school is becoming bigger day by day as a five-member management committee comprising of locals and well-wishers employed from various professions have taken the responsibility to run the school. On 7 July, it was registered as a non-profit and voluntary organization called 'Blooms Katigram' at the Department of Social Services of the Ministry of Social Welfare.
Director (administration) and teacher of Blooms, Jahangir Alam said: “They are teaching disabled children four days a week, including hearing and speech impairment, intellectually disabled, physically challenged, cerebral palsy and autism. Apart from recognizing the letters of the alphabet, tutoring, music and sports facilities are also available in the school”
Shamima Nasreen Shaon and Shamima Nasreen, two teachers of the special school said: “We are teaching in this school to make Rabiul Karim’s dream a reality. We feel satisfied and proud to do something for the deprived children of the society.
Though the expenditure of the school has increased drastically with food for students, teachers' salaries and miscellaneous expenses, the funds are being provided by close friends of Robiul and members of Blooms. The rest comes from the locals. A 5-member committee is in charge of the school.
’Robiul was not just good at his work but he was a good soul’
Umme Salma, Rabiul’s wife said: "As a police officer Rabiul was very honest to his work and in his personal life he was a selfless social worker as well.”
After the incident, Jahangirnagar University appointed Umme Salma as the administrative officer. Rabiul Karim was a student of that university.
Umme Salma said: “Her nine-year-old son Sami misses his father and often asks about him.