“Hey! Come over here!” I shouted, holding out a packet of iftaar and a mango juice. The girl turned around, looked at us and ran (read ‘walked away in a brisk pace’ if you are one of those who do not like a little bit of fun) for her life! And that is how Team Uttara’s distribution of Action: Piyaju-Beguni 2011 began!The first meeting of Team Uttara was held on 7th of August. We set our targets and decided to raise the money through personal donations. We met again on the 9th. A sister and a brother helped us big by donating BDT 4000, which was more than half of our total budget, and the Actioneers donated the rest.Then we decided which Actioneers would be purchasing the iftaar items. Osama Bin Noor was made responsible for the bhaja-poras (piyaju, alur chop, pakora and vegetable roll); Aminul Islam for juice, banana and packets; Samiha Kabir and Tamkin Haider for the wafer rolls and I got to be the person to bring the dates, which I had plenty at home.
We got together at 3 p.m. at Mamun Abdullah’s house at sector-13 on D-Day (11 August, 2011) and started packing the foods. While we were at it, two more Actioneers-Makshud Manik and Amit Zaman, as well as Nadia Hossain, who has helped in many ways from the beginning till the end, joined us. Ahmad Talha brought his Probox and Hammad Hamid came all the way from Mirpur to let us use his Voxy. At 5:15 pm we set out in the two automobiles.
The sun was quite angrily radiating heat when we set off, but within minutes it started to rain. Osama Bin Noor and Aminul Islam Ehsan chose the route we would take to distribute the ‘Piyaju-Beguni’ and by the time the rain stopped we found ourselves in Pakuria (an area adjacent to Uttara) in the presence of 20-30 children.
We got out, made the children get in a line and started the final part of Action: Piyaju-Beguni – distribution. All the kids behaved really well and waited for their turn. Around half of the Actioneers helped to carry the packets from the cars and the other half controlled the line and distributed the packets, while Manar Reza Chowdhury made sure our ‘Action’ did not go undocumented.
I got surrounded by kids when the last four packets were in my hand. I didn’t know what to do. So I started talking with them. Then, by the mercy of the Creator, two local elders came forward to control the kids. I handed over the packets to one of the men, got in the car and we left.
The ending was not what we planned for, but then Mother Teresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” We wish we could feed all the children that day, but at least we fed a hundred. And the joy emanating from the faces of those who got the packets made us forget all hardships we went through over the past week.
By the way, did you think that poor kid ran for life because we looked scary? Well, you are slightly mistaken. We were alright. The problem was with the car. Its glasses were tinted!