"An investment in knowledge always pays the best dividend" is what Niloufer Manzur believed. Ever since she set her feet into the academic arena, she tirelessly tried to imbibe her faith in every young individual of Sunbeams, the school she founded in newly independent Bangladesh, starting from her own living room.
We as students know Mrs Niloufer Manzur had clear conviction that every child could become a future leader since each individual is blessed with his/her unique gifts of life. As she left the world on May 26, we can recall all the virtues she had instilled in us - leadership, honesty, integrity, and patriotism. She particularly showed us the path to humility and compassion. We can't emphasise enough how important she was to the Sunbeams family she formed in the process of teaching and learning over the years, for almost five decades. She wanted the seven beams of the sun in the Sunbeams logo to represent her values.
Mrs Niloufer Manzur was the one who didn't just establish a community of learning through Sunbeams, she also gave all the students a place where they could cherish magical moments of their childhood. As an exemplary leader, she wanted to make a future for young learners by establishing an institution where everyone is equal.
She guided every student towards the path of light, and her smile was like a ray of glistening hope. I will always remember the times that I greeted her in the corridors of Sunbeams and she greeted me back with her warm and affectionate smile. I still remember the time when I lost a loved one, and Mrs. Manzur came to our house to express her condolences. She told me "your loved one is gone, but not forgotten". Indeed, today, another of my loved ones is gone. Mrs. Manzur may be gone, but she will not be forgotten as she remains in our hearts.
Niloufer Manzur is not just a role model of many of us, she is also an epitome of courage. She taught us to face all challenges and obstacles of life with headstrong determination to overcome them. Her mere presence created an air of optimism and offered us positivity. Her inspiring speeches in the assembly inspired us to spread the message of love and hope.
She remembered every one of us, her students, by their names, and the members of the Sunbeams family are privileged to have known such a compassionate and caring human being like her. She had taken all of us under her wings and she proved to be more than an angel.
Today, she might be separated from us physically, but not spiritually, as our learnings from her and the light of knowledge she lit would always be with us. I can say this on behalf of everyone she knew. I also express my heartfelt condolences to the beloved family members she left behind - her daughter, son, daughter-in-law, her grandchildren and her husband.
Nabila Faiza Islam is a former student of Sunbeams School