While entering the classroom of Polashbari SMB High School in Gaibandha with the projector setup we heard a lot of noises from the students. They were both curious and excited to join the video conference with Khurulia High School in Cox’s Bazaar, Bastul Ishak High School in Sirajganj and Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission. We set the laptop, projector, sound box and connected it to internet via mobile internet hotspot. The students were eagerly waiting for the messenger video call. As soon as the ‘Incoming Video Call’ displayed on the screen all of the students went silent.
That’s how the Launching of the Diary of Braves event was launched. Honorable Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Kazi Reazul Hoque expressed his wish to talk to the participants of the BraveMen Campaign and launch the Diary of Braves himself. But it is difficult for him to meet the students in person as he has a busy schedule; we found the alternative way of meeting the students. Through Messenger Apps video calling feature 3 schools from Cox’s Bazaar, Gaibandha and Sirajganj can be connected at the same time with Mr. Kazi Reazul Hoque.
The event was organized by a lot of coordination. Minhaz Uddin Shibly, Program Officer, CMMS was at Gaibandha and Sayed Nayeem Shouvon, Intern, CMMS was at Sirajganj to help the respective field coordinators Md Muttakin Mia and Abu Baker Siddique to arrange the video conference. The center of the connection was NHRC office. Sumaiya Rahman, Program Officer, CMMS, Tahia Rahman, Project Coordinator of the BraveMen Campaign, CMMS and Dr. Sayed Saikh Imtiaz, Chairperson (Honorary) were present at NHRC to organize the event. Taslima Islam, National Project Coordinator, UNDP- Human Rights Programme, Bithika Hasan, Gender Expert, UNDP- Human Rights Programme were also present in the video conference event.
The event started with the overwhelmed speech of the Headmasters of the 3 participating schools. They expressed their humble gratitude to initiate the BraveMen Campaign. Mominul Islam Prodhan, the Headmaster of Polashbari SMB high school thanked Mr Kazo Reazul Hoque for meeting the participants and the teachers. Md Nazim Uddin, headmaster of Khurulia High School said that he was very happy to meet the chairman of NHRC. He also stated that he has seen the diary and gone through it and he thinks it will be really helpful to create awareness among the students and make them better person in their life. The headmaster of Bastul Ishak High School, Ashwani Kumar Bhoumik said that he wants the program to be spread all across Bangladesh to every school, so all the students can gain the benefits of the BraveMen Campaign.
Dr. Imtiaz welcomed all the participants students to be part of the BraveMen Campaign, to work for women’s rights and gender equality, which indeed starts from recognizing our mothers’ hard work for us at our home. The first chapter of the diary is ‘Amaar Maa’ (My Mother). The Diary starts with the chapter Amar Maa. The BraveMen campaign identified the relationship with mother as a crucial entry point, that if the participants can realize the struggles of their own mothers, they will start valuing and sharing household chores and being more respectful to their mothers and then women in general.He encouraged the students, specially the boys to participate in household works with their mother and help as much as possible.
Taslima Islam, National Project Coordinator, UNDP was also present in the video conference. She expressed her happiness to be a part of the program. Taslima Islam conveyed her best wishes to the participants and encouraged them to stand for the rights of the people at every step of their life.
Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman, NHRC then gave his speech on the BraveMen Campaign and the Diary of Braves. He said that he was very happy to be present in the launching of the diary. He appreciated the initiative taken by CMMS to promote Human Rights and to stop gender-based violence through the BraveMen Campaign. He hoped that the participant students of the BraveMen campaign would keep the teaching of this program and they would always stand for the rights of people and protest and prevent gender-based violence.
The most exciting part was the inauguration of the Diary of Braves in three different districts simultaneously. Mr. Reazul Hoque cut the red ribbon on a Diary of Braves to announce the launching of the diary. The headmasters of the schools also cut red ribbons at their ends simultaneously as a symbol of the launching. All the participants clapped and expressed their excitement to start the Diary of Braves as a part of their daily routine.
The students wanted to ask the Chairman of NHRC some questions. Kazi Reazul Hoque happily agreed to answer the questions. A boy from Khurulia High School asked the position of NHRC on Rohingya Issue. Kazi Reazul Hoque answered that Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed the responsible persons to take necessary steps to help the Rohingyas. NHRC is taking measures to provide the Rohingyas their proper human rights and are on the process of rehabilitation of them. They are working on sending them back to their own country.
A girl from Polashbari SMB High School asked that we, all humans are equal in human rights, then why do the girls face more struggles and are victim of more violence. Kazi Reazul Karim said that it was a very important question. He said that the patriarchal social system is to be blamed for these discriminations, but it is changing over time and the students like them will be aware of their rights and will fight for the rights of others. Thus, they can create a more equal society for the betterment which will be enjoyed by the new generations of children.
At the end Dr. Imtiaz gave the closing speech. He thanked all of the audience for their presence and specially thanked Kazi Reazul Hoque to spare the time to talk to the participants from his busy schedule. Dr. Imtiaz hoped that NHRC will always be supportive to these initiatives to create awareness among the people to create a better society.