Action: Ushnota holds a lot of significance to me. Action: Ushnota 2010 in Chittagong, on 31st night 2010, was my very first attempt to execute an action and my first step into the realm of actioneerism. In fact, before this, the only voluntary work that I did was no more than the contribution that we make in our daily life. With Ushnota 2010, there came in a new unit of CommunityAction. So, you can imagine the anticipation I held for Action: Ushnota 2011!
Keeping our objective clear, we started laying our plans from mid October. Our primary goal was to reach out to alarger number, in the poorest regions possible, as early as we could and in the most efficient manner. Now, I know it sounds quite easily do-able but anyone who was part of a plan of this magnitude knows how much effort needs to be put and yet at times there remains complication. And so some other Actioneersand I sat down, at times on a daily basis, trying to equate our target with our capability.Having learned from my previous experience, I implemented a few things that greatly helped us on an overall level. One of the things was that by the third week of October, I ordered the blankets at a price which nearly doubled by the beginning of our distribution phase. This helped us reach out to twice the number of people at the estimated budget. Yet, there were many fluctuations in the overall plan and many differences of opinion on how the actions should be executed. Finally, with the help of Injamam bhai and Tashfia apu,we finalized our execution plan.
Initially, there were to be two distribution phases in Chittagong. Later, two more phases were added to the list, the third being done in collaboration with Bangladesh Bank Cooperative Society who offered to join in. To search for the most eligible area (i.e. the poorest and that which is comparatively more affected region), the appointed unit action leader Roton bhai and Actioneer Minhaz started scouting on the outskirts of Chittagong. And after several inspections and asking around, we chose Mostafa Tea Estate at Fatikchari to be our 2nd distribution destination.
Anyone who knows about the situation of the workers of any tea estate will be able to tell you how poor their state is throughout the year. Workers up to the age of 80, working at a very low wage,were in desperate need of help, especially in a harsh season like winter. Another area that came up in our list was a place in the region of Boalkhali where several homes burned down due to an accidental fire and most dwellers were homeless and in a poor state. Thanks to Actioneer Aamir, we could successfully execute our 4th distribution in the region.
Some might think it’s all work and no fun when it comes to such Actions, but trust me I now have some of the best memories,thanks to this session of Action: Ushnota. Cruising from mid-night till dawn on a pick-up, beholding the magnificence of hills after hills covered with tea plants and sharing good timeswith fellow Actioneers – all these experiences, fused with the assuring thought thatwe’ve guaranteed warmth to hundreds,are definitely going to make me miss this year’s session of Action: Ushnota!
Undoubtedly, Action: Ushnota 2011 was the grand conclusion of the first year since the formation of CommunityAction’s Chittagong unit. Sure, we faced some complications, but in the end, we came out as successful and proud individuals, reaching out to 1,670 needy ones! Once again,Actioneers proved to be greater than their actions and will hopefullycontinue doing so. :D
Ushnota team in Chittagong,