Fourth-grader Mahidul lives in a slum area in Ershad Nagar which is located at Tongi. Ershad Nagar is a densely populated slum area that is full of garbage and completely inappropriate for living. Most of the people are garments workers and day laborers living in Ershad Nagar.
The hardship began when Mahidul lost his mother at the age of four. It was so challenging for the innocent kid to grow up in the slum area without having his mother. They were three brothers and the younger one was only five months old. After the demise of his mother, Mahidul’s grandmother took charge to take care of them. But his grandmother was not able to take care of them properly as she was old.
Mahidul’s father Masud Hawlader was a rickshaw puller. He couldn’t afford his family financially with his little income. He decided to donate his five-month-old baby to Mahidul’s aunt as he was suffering from a severe financial crisis.
Things got worse after a few days when his father had a stroke and he went to bed. The only earning person of the family was confined to bed! He couldn’t do anything even he couldn’t walk properly. Mahidul’s grandma had no way to survive with her two grandchildren and son.
Intending to seeking a job, she went to a tailoring shop and started to sew caps, fitting buttons of the cardigan, etc. After a few days, she decided to rear duck and hen aiming to earn some extra money to support her family.
Mahidul’s grandma realized that it’s necessary to educate him. But she was not financially stable to educate Mahidul. She came to know about the Tongi Children Education Program (TCEP) of ADRA in Bangladesh from one of her neighbors. TCEP offers free education for the distressed children in the slum area of Ershad Nagar.
In 2015, Mahidul got admitted to TCEP in class PP. He was attending his classes regularly. He used to follow the instructions of his teacher carefully. When Mahidul passed class PP, her grandma admitted his younger brother to the TCEP center.
Now, they go to school together. TCEP provides children with educational materials, such as a notebook, pen, pencil, eraser, sharpener, etc. They don’t need to buy anything and they get snacks on every school day. Once a week they get hotchpotch as their lunch. Mahidul is now attending class four. After school, he returns home and helps his father to walk. He says, “When I’ll grow up, I’ll be a doctor to serve the poor and sick people.”