BAG PRESIDENT BLOG (week of 9 th September 2017)

Living in an age/era of narcissism I find it a constant battle to get the ‘me’ out of equation. Bangladesh Flood Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation (BFERR) has given me a golden opportunity to do that. Personally, I used to feel having a BLOG is another way of expressing your innate narcissism. But I’ve changed my view. I think it can be a useful tool for communication. So here I go!

I think I speak for everyone in BFERR committee that the now nearly month long BFERR journey has been an incredible learning experience.

In every step, there has been surprise, there has been lessons in humility, love, care. The graciousness displayed by people from every walk of life, from every background, colour, creed, religion or not, has made my belief in the innate goodness in all of us more resolute. It just needs nurtured and stimulated. This week we have made fantastic gains financially. But even more important was to rebuild the bridges between people. Bridges which have not been travelled, had become a little rusty, weeds have grown in their path. Friendships which needed to be nourished, was attended. New avenues of co-operation and friendship continue to open with exciting and new vistas beyond horizon.

What an exciting time to be BAG president! Last weekend we approached our old compadre, Bengali Performing Arts, during it’s silver jubilee celebration programme. Whereas those who attended the programme enjoyed one of the best cultural evening this ‘classy’ organisation have done - our reward was £362.86. In the spirit of co-operation, we decided to waive charges for the glass-plates hire fee. Many BAG members and Trustees provided voluntary assistance in smooth running of the programme in every step of the way (some even didn’t get to see the programme at all!). BFERR committee members Mrs. Tasmia Kamal and Saiful Amin need special mention along with our IT secretary Jalal Talukdar who took personal initiative in milking money from audience.

We had approached Dawatul Islam Glasgow (Bangla Masjid or DIG for short as we lovingly like to call these days) in helping to raise funds at the very start of BFERR. This esteemed organisation had once been an integral part in the fabric of Bangladeshis living in Glasgow. As it has evolved to play a more universal role in the Muslim community of that area, it remains a mainstay as part of our identity and provides valuable service to this great city’s greater community. Our original plan was to get some fund raising on the Eid congregation. Due to lack of communication this could not happen on that day. Yesterday along with yours truly, our GS Nasir Uddin and member Md. Shahinur Hossain we made it to Jum’a prayer.

To our complete and pleasant surprise, DIG has been raising funds on our behalf for the last 2 Jum’a week for flood victims themselves and had managed to accumulate £130. And yesterday our presence made a distinct difference and we managed to get 346.36! In total, the generous ‘musalli’s have managed to give us an incredible £476.36! Unfortunately, I cannot replicate myself to become involved in Dawatul Islam’s activity but I will request people who read this blog, to be part of this organisation, take up the mantle and help this organisation continue to evolve and take it to new direction. Last night I sat down with our fantastically efficient GS and have decided that it’s time to bring the BFERR funding drive to a close and start work on how to effectively utilise the funds raised so far.

We have decided to make 20th September as the date we finish our funding drive which will be exactly a month when we had the impromptu meet in the foyer of Kelvingrove museum.

We are going to hold a meeting next Sunday the 24th September, with BFERR committee and few other community members who have shown interest in getting involved in effective and transparent utilisation of funds raised in our noble effort. Thank you all

Dr. Saif D Khan