BYLC celebrates Victory Day
In 1971 a country that was about to wither with the fading flames of a phoenix, arose a newborn bird from the flames itself - Bangladesh. And what better way to give back to this country than by serving the underprivileged who deserve the same freedom, at least on such an auspicious day.
The proud graduates of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre's (BYLC) fourth BBLT programme from Chittagong decided to celebrate December 16 through organising a medical camp to serve 200 people at Shatkania. Instead of being one of the million, we thought of being one in a million. While some people may only resort to putting up patriotic facebook statuses, we thought of doing something more tangible. We opted to do something that would leave a lasting impact on people's lives and ours.
Proud graduates of BYLC.
After planning for a week, on December 16, early at 7:30 am, we started off for Shatkania with the purpose of organising a health camp for the villagers. Anxious of working at an unfamiliar surrounding for the first time, we were all each other's inspiration. Apart from the seven of us, we mobilised eight other people to connect to this greater purpose. Soon after reaching, we got to work right away at our chosen location for the camp, a general hospital in Shatkania. We divided into groups of three where girls were mostly allocated to the females unit; boys were assigned to queue management, medicine distribution and documentation.
By afternoon, we had successfully served a hundred patients and went for a short break. That break made us realise none of us had yet had breakfast! However, within only ten minutes, we were back in action with everyone rejuvenated and more keyed up into delivering their best. We exchanged shifts, and while some of us were losing hope at managing the chaos, we managed to draw quick learning from BYLC's leadership programme to tactfully manage the crowd.
By 5:30 pm, we had efficaciously helped 200 people, having distributed medicines to all of them and making sure no one went back disappointed. Time was against us, which was why we had to stop at 200 patients. At around 5:45 pm, after a late lunch, we departed after bidding farewell to all those who helped us.
Celebrating the first meaningful Victory Day of our lives made us realise that giving back stands for more than what the two letter word means. After doing something significant for what is only a handful of people, we realised how much more we wanted to keep doing. There will still be rock-strewn places of disappointment and meandering points of incomprehension. There will always be “something else” to do, or something else, which will seemingly be more important than giving back to the country. There will be those instances when the resilience of optimism will be transfigured into the fatigue of hopelessness. But if we bear bold faith in ourselves, and keep that candle burning, we can someday go ahead and bring forth positive changes in the Bangladesh we know. Let Bangladesh's 39th Victory Day mark the beginning of a new chapter in all of our lives.
(The author is a BYLC graduate)