A group of youths roams around the streets of Pabna town until the wee hours of the morning.
They are the volunteers of Tohura Aziz Foundation (TAF) and their mission is to lend a hand to the hungry as well as the ones suffering without food on their plates for Sahri during the month of Ramadan.
Many disadvantaged people — who lost their jobs, the low-income population, such as rickshaw pullers, whose earnings reduced due to the pandemic, the homeless population living on the streets, security guards and shopkeepers who work late hours — in the town are primary recipients of the Sahri served by TAF, said Dewan Mahabub, executive director of the organisation.
Members of the organisation go to different parts of the town with food packets on auto-rickshaws and distribute those till early morning to the underprivileged and the ones who need food for Sahri.
Starting from the fifth of Ramadan, TAF has been distributing 200 packets of food containing servings of chicken or fish curry and vegetables every night — a quantity that is not sufficient to feed a good number of the hungry on the streets of Pabna.
Each food packet costs them about Tk 50 and the members of TAF, their friends, family and well-wishers make contributions to raise funds for the food drive every day, Mahabub added.
Rickshaw puller Amzad Hossain said he had been working all through the night for the past several weeks as his earnings dropped significantly during the period due to Covid-19 restrictions. “So I don’t get to have Sahri often. But now, that problem is gone and I get a packet of Sahri every night.”
Security guard Jamshed Hossain’s work starts before Iftar time in the evening and goes on till next morning. He often brings Iftar from home, but cannot afford to bring food for Sahri, as it can spoil without refrigeration.
But lately, he has been having Sahri — thanks to the food packet given by the young members of TAF, he said.
“Our hearts fill with joy when we see the faces of people on the streets light up in the dead of the night after getting food packets from us,” said Towhidur Rahman Limon, a member of TAF.
Founded in 2011, TAF is also involved in various other philanthropic activities such as installing tube wells, providing medical treatment for the ultra-poor and empowering women through education and vocational training.