- Alur Chop
- flavored RD Milk
- custard cake.
These were the foods we selected to distribute among the street children of Green Road area. It was not much. But the enthusiasm of Sufian, Raka, Tahmin, Mushfique, Sayeef, Akif and Injamam, my team, was very high. We gathered on the rooftop community room of Tahmin’s building and excitedly started packing the iftar items. We were a small team but we had decided to distribute a total of 300 iftar packets to the kids. With a small number of people to work and a very limited time in hand, it was a challenging task. But my team showed great team-work, managing to finish the task just in time.
Being a team leader or any sort of leader is a daunting task, a lonely personal journey down an untrodden road. Not only planning is to be taken care of, there are concerns for the people involved and always the fear of failure. Being the area leader of Action Peyaju Beguni was no different. On one side I was excited to do a new Action and work with new people in a newly formed team, on the other side I was worried if we would find enough kids, about the safety of my team and about everything going the way it should. At the last moment, I was concerned about the team being small in number but the team spirit was high enough to assure me that all will go well, my team will do good.
For distribution we divided up into two small teams of four and took two different routes. That’s where it all got interesting. One team went on and kept on distributing here and there. One particularly small kid was so excited to get a packet of iftar that he had forgotten to hold his lungi and made a scene on the road. The Actioneers kept on laughing even after iftar. The other team had a hard time finding any “pichchi” to give the iftar to. All of them seemed gone! Then that team decided to go to Rabindra Sharabar and very unwisely we parked the van near it. At first one kid came running, then a pair of kids, then some more. We tried to form a line. But after that came dozens and then scores of kids. Nobody taught them to form a line. They formed a crowd and they all tried to snatch the packets as a crowd as if it was fun for them. The four people on that team were simply blown away. The crowd became impossible to control and we let them take all the packets so that we can get away. This was a new experience for me and my team and I learned a lot about field-work in the streets of Dhaka. Field experience is very different from what we think or perceive and this experience enriched me and made me understand why field experience is so important.
Despite the madness of the kids, the whole Action was of learning, knowing new faces and team-work. The main purpose of Action Peyaju Beguni is to share happiness. Well, happiness was shared and we had our part of fun too working together and having iftar together later. The points I learned are so important, they are worth mentioning.
- Never go on distributing anything anywhere in a small team on an open van. Either have a large team to manage the crowd or have an enclosed vehicle.
- Never park an open van near a place of a large number of people who might start snatching foods away. Park far from the place and place guards near it. Then count how many people you want to distribute to, take that number of items, quickly distribute and move from the place before they come in dozens.
- Deal every distribution scenario as a special op(eration). You are a member of special operation force and your role is to manage to distribute among street children without attracting a large crowd and without giving up more than you planned. After my area was done, I had the privilege to join Mirpur area where I had Mr. Mustaquim Farooqui, an experienced Actioneer, on our team and he taught us tactics for distribution. Whenever we saw a bunch of kids, we just took the number of packs we needed and went off to distribute quickly and come back swiftly. We planned to distribute at an orphanage first before going for slum areas. And when we went for slum areas we took extra care by not stopping at one place for too long. On that day, we also had a car with us which greatly increases the chance of controlling the situation.