I was in Dhaka when I wrote this blog. It’s quite all around either. There are only a few hungry dogs on the street tonight. Sometimes, a few ambulances are running with sirens. Law enforcement forces surround all the streets. It seems that the country has imposed an unannounced curfew due to COVID 19 Outbreak. The name of this unannounced curfew is Quarantine. After the first Corona patient was detected in Bangladesh, the government put the country on lockdown, by the name of Self Quarantine. The main aim of this quarantine is that you must stay at home for at least 14 days and cannot leave the house without any urgent work. The lockdown is going on in Dhaka, like across the country. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has not stopped its activity in the last 30 years. But it seems the whole country is sleeping. The working people can’t get out of the house. The first corona patient was identified in Bangladesh on March 8, 2020. Just After a day, another COVID 19 patient was found. The situation has gone worse when IEDCR confirms first coronavirus death and the government plans to put the country on lockdown. The outbreak of The Italy coronavirus deaths, Citizens of Bangladesh has prompted the government to lock down the country quickly. The government put the country on lockdown in response to people’s perception. Flights were stopped, borders were closed, visas were postponed. Bangladesh is like a bird in a cage, separating itself from the rest of the world. Seems to me, that the country is healing itself!
Just a few days back I met a boy named Md. Hazrat Ali. His lives in Madaripur district of Bangladesh. On March 1, I met him while visiting Madaripur district. He’s a young social worker. Seems very smart and intelligent. That day, he was looking for blood for a woman. I found out later that he was a blood donor. He donates blood either and manages blood for those who need blood. Perhaps he was looking for a blood donor for a woman who was pregnant. It’s a very difficult task to manage blood for people, but I’ve been watching him do it very sincerely. After some digging, he managed the blood. Sound great right😍? After 8th, I came to Dhaka on an Urgent basis when the coronavirus started spreading all over the Country. It’s said that freelancers don’t have a vacation, I’m in the same situation. Many jobs have been accumulated due to the stay in Madaripur. I kept finishing them.
Once a night, Suddenly, I remembered Hazrat Ali. without delay, I started digging him over Facebook. Facebook is a very popular social site in Bangladesh; Within 2-5 minutes, I found him. But I got anxious after watching some of his Facebook posts. Do you know what he did? He was carrying a bag of food on his head for the people who were infected of COVID 19😧! I got it crazy. The death toll of Corona rises to 6 in Bangladesh; People around are afraid of it, no one is leaving the house. Roads, shops, vehicles, schools, Universities are all closed. Although, WHO officials confirm that “Corona is not Airborne” but you might be infected by the droplets of It’s patient. Indeed, A Taboo has been set up in Bangladesh to keep the distance from the COVID 19 patient, no one goes to them😓. No one giving food when they’re getting hungry, No care and even they can’t buy anything from the nearest shops. How bad it is! They can’t get out of the house due to Quarantine. People see them as bad. They are living a life of a kind of prisoner!
So, what I was saying, While everyone is sleeping comfortably in quarantine, this boy is doing crazy things. I just can’t take it tbh😑 He’s wearing a shirt, a mask, hand globes and going towards people in quarantine by riding a red bicycle. Many people still live below the poverty line in Bangladesh. Most of them do unregulated work for a living. They don’t have any fixed salaries; listed as poor or day labour. They live from hand to mouth. Quarantine is a curse for the people of this class. They aren’t getting money to buy foods. Do you know what did Ali do? He asked for donations from friends for this distress class. He raised small donations from friends, built a good fund. Purchased daily commodities like rice, oil, turmeric, salt, onions, etc. Then he packed everything that looks like a big jumble! Then bring it to his bicycle, and run! Even, Where the bike is not going, he carrying this Jumble on his head and going to the People! Am 24 now, however, I didn’t do such crazy thing for mankind it in my entire life! Shame on me! I heard Corona is a horrible disease, but I couldn’t see the slightest impression of it on Ali’s face, trust me😊! Let’s show you some of his crazy activities. I must say crazy because my inner me won’t allow me to do such a thing in this toughest time!
I finally decided to interview him. Since it wasn’t possible to meet him physically due to massive corona outbreak, I called him in case. Asked him a few questions. Here’s the summary of the interview:
1. So, how do you get Fund for doing that?
- Answer: I ask my local and Facebook friends for the fund. They donate 20 tk. 50 tk, 100 tk or equal to 1 US dollar. I also ask for donations from the diaspora. They also help with Tk. 200-500 or 1 to 5 US dollars. That’s how I made the Fund.
2. Sound good! You don’t wear any safety equipment, Why?
- Answer: I’m young, I’m not afraid of my life. I love serving people. Am always ready to sacrifice my life for Mankind! Indeed, it is not easy for me to buy Personal Protective Equipments, I’m not a moneyed Man…lol! (He laughed)
3. Oh my God! You are crazy Man! Tell me about yourself?
- Answer: I’m Mohammad Hazrat Ali. 12 grade Student (passed). Age maybe 21-22. I also work in Bangladesh Ansar-VDP. The Bangladesh Ansar is a paramilitary auxiliary force responsible for the preservation of internal security and law enforcement in Bangladesh. We are primarily a security guard in rural areas. Besides my job, I always try to do something for people. Apart from my the job, I am associated with several non-government organizations including Transparency International Bangladesh, Adamya Madaripur, Madaripur Bandhu Shava, sponsored by Prothom Alo. I like to serve people and doing it. I don’t get any money from this work, yet I do. I do it from my humanity. I believe we are born for each other! Look, I get a very low salary (less than 100 US dollars) yet, I’m happy because I can make people smile like a clown.. hahaha… He stated further –
“TILL TODAY I HAVE WORKED FOR BLOOD DONATION, WINTER CLOTHES DISTRIBUTION, RURAL HEALTH CARE, CHILD MARRIAGE PREVENTION, ANTI-NARCOTICS ACTIVITIES, TREE PLANTING AND DISTRIBUTION, SETTING UP PUBLIC LIBRARY IN MY VILLAGE, SOCIAL AWARENESS ABOUT POLIO AND NOW CORONA”
In this lockdown time, to prevent the menace of corona he distributed soaps among the ethnic communities in Madaripur and taught them to wash hands in the right way, creating corona awareness among villagers, distributed around 300 masks, soaps and hand wash in underaged schools, ensuring full quartine who came Madaripur from abroad, distributed anti-Corona leaflets, providing foods among beggers and feeding ownerless Dogs. And the crazy stuff is, he is doing above-mentioned work for volunteering purpose!
Despite, Some people in the world always like us be owed to them. Ali maybe someone like that. As long as we go, we owe him. What’s more, than stupidity to try to give a return of such debt? But it is a request to you and all the high officials of Bangladesh Ansar to give him a set of personal protective kit to keep him safe! We have a responsibility to keep him healthy. With Love💜
SALUTE MD. HAZRAT ALI! YOU’RE AWAKE, SO THAT WE CAN SLEEP PEACEFULLY!