A man has become an icon of benevolence providing farmers with all-out cooperation including imparting adult education to illiterate ones here in Kaliganj upazila in Jhenidah.
Kazi Emdadul Haque, popularly known as Kazi Emdad, son of Late Kazi Abdul Wahed, from Daulatpur village under Kola union, has been in exemplary service to farmers through various kinds of activities for around eight years.
Not feeling comfortable to continue a job in a private company, Kazi Emdad, locally known as farmers' friend, returned to his village in 2014 and devoted himself to various voluntary pursuits when he started to impart literacy among local illiterate farmers and encourage them to use modern agro-technologies to effectively harvest different crops.
He also took initiatives to raise public awareness among the youths and farmers acquiring knowledge through the establishment of two libraries, tree planting programmes, blood donation camps, production and distribution of organic fertilisers and so on.
As part of the adult education, he has run many three-month mobile night schools at villages under his union imparting education among as many as 500 uneducated farmers.
When he finds a government or non-government school somewhere, he starts teaching illiterate farmers there with the permission of the authority. If he doesn't get any such institution, he conducts the adult education activity in some other kinds of places.
But, if it happens that he fails to manage any comfortable place, he spreads the light of education among the illiterate farmers by setting up polythene overhead in an empty space.
Locals said, so far, he has run night schools in 9-10 villages of his union and imparted adult education to more than 500 illiterate farmers. He ran an adult school for women too at a village of his union too.
He takes classes at the school five days a week, except on two haat days on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Local UP member Ishaq said in 2014, Emdad set up two libraries at his village, one of which is the Kazi Abdul Wahed Memorial Library and the other is the Kazi Abdul Wahed Memorial Agricultural Library. At present, the libraries are playing an important role in developing and maintaining the habit of reading books among people.
Kazi Emdaid said, "Nowadays, the youths are gradually moving away from reading books and becoming addicted to the internet. We want them to re-develop the habit of reading books."
The public library has a variety of books including novels, short stories, children's books, research books etc.
The Krishi Pathagar has more than three hundred books on agriculture which he has borrowed from various sources and been taken as donation in an attempt to inform the farmers about modern agricultural technologies.
Jiten Das (60), from Petnipara of Kola village, said, "We are educating our children. But I could not learn how to read and write when I was a child. Now I feel very satisfied to know a little after attending Kazi Emdad's night school."
Sathi Khatun, a woman from Pantapara of Krishnapur village said, "I learned how to read and write from an adult school run by Kazi Emdad Sir. I feel like studying more."
Zarina Khatun (60) said, "The joy of being able to put my signature is boundless. I am proud that I am no longer an illiterate woman. A long-cherished dream of my life has been fulfilled."
Besides, Kazi Emdaid is the founder of a 120-member blood bank management team.
He conducts free blood camping every three months. He facilitates blood grouping to those who go to his adult school.
Two MBBS doctors are brought and their prescriptions are arranged.
"We have a management team of 120 people. We have given our mobile numbers to people. We arrange free blood distribution", Emdad added.
Furthermore, every year he distributes among the farmers medicinal plants which are getting extinct from the villages. He distributes 1,000 endangered medicinal plants among the farmers every season.
Kazi Emdad wants every yard of houses of his union to have one/two medicinal plants.
He thinks having such a plant in a house yard means keeping a doctor at home.
Kazi Abdul Wahed Memorial Foundation also planted trees in educational institutions. This year too, trees were planted in several educational institutions in Kola union.
Kazi Emdad takes 2/1 associate students to do this work.
In addition, every year from 2,000 to 3,000 pieces of palm seeds are sown along various government roads in Kola union to reduce the risk of damage during any cyclone-like natural disaster.
Apart from these, he produces organic fertiliser and distributes it among farmers. He has a special reputation in producing organic fertilisers.
Former Kaliganj Upazila Agriculture Officer Rezaul Karim said, "Kazi Imdadul is an enlightened man. I donated some books to the library. This farmer-friendly man reads these books in front of his adult students at night. Through him, our technologies have been spreading among the farmers in that area."
Kaliganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer Subarna Rani Saha said, "Kazi Emdad is a nature- friendly man and his initiative deserves much appreciation. We gave him winter clothes to distribute among the helpless poor last year. We also assisted him to make shelters for wild birds."