I’ve visited various slums of Bangladesh, Chalantika is one of them. Chalantika is one of the biggest slums in Dhaka. I’ve seen numerous meritorious children in the slum who are deprived of education. A 13-year-old girl Sumaiya is one of them.
Sumaiya was born in Bhola which is a coastal area located in the southern part of Bangladesh. Sumaiya’s father Abu Bokor Siddik was a fisherman. He was the only earning person in their family who was responsible for maintaining a big family comprised of seven members. Bokor couldn’t afford the needs of his family properly. The financial crisis did not leave behind his family. Thus, Bokor decided to move to Dhaka along with his family to get rid of poverty and live a better life.
Sumaiya was only 6 when they arrived at Dhaka. They started living in a rented house near Chalantika slum which is a terraced house comprised of 3 rooms with CI sheet roof. Sumaiya and her family were experiencing new challenges after arriving in Dhaka. Her father had to struggle a lot to figure out a good job to maintain their family. Ultimately, Bokor had to engage him to work as a day laborer. It became very hard for him to arrange three meals for his family members. With the aim to contribute to the family financially, Sumaiya’s mother Rabeya Begum started working as a housemaid. Sumaiya’s parents were working hard to arrange three meals for them. But they still couldn’t afford the educational expenses for their children.
Rabeya drowned into despair thinking of how she could educate her children as she couldn’t afford the education cost with her little income. Fortunately, she came to know about Chalantika Slum Children Development Project (CSCDP) of ADRA Bangladesh from one of her neighbors. Soon she went to meet with the project staff and requested them to admit her daughter so she could get the opportunity to complete the primary education. Then CSCDP selected Sumaiya and she started pre-school in the CSCDP center. On that time Sumaiya had to take care of her younger sister after school when her mother went to work.
Now, her sister attends class two. Despite struggling with poverty and other obstacles, Sumaiya continues her education with the support of CSCDP center and this year she attains her first academic achievement.
Sumaiya likes to go to the school and ADRA center. She is regular in her school. She appeared in the Primary School Certificate (PSC) exam in 2017 and obtain GPA-5 out of 5. In 2018, She admitted to Adarsha Biddhaniketon High School in Class Six. At present, CSCDP center is bearing all the educational expenses for Sumaiya. Her favorite subject is English.
“I want to be a doctor in the future. I’ll treat the poor free of cost. I’ll change my life with study and make my family financially stable,” said Sumaiya confidently.
“Sumaiya is so obedient and good girl. She is also attentive in the study. I pray that God will fulfill her dream. I wish her all the best,” said Sinthya, Sumaiya’s teacher.