The Financial Express

Two years of DU ‘Nirapotta Moncho’: A strong voice for the DU students

| Updated: June 23, 2022 00:42:28

(From left) Zulias Cizar Talukdar, Founder; Jewel Rana, Founding Member; Arafat Chowdhury, Founding Member; Shihab, Volunteer    (From left) Zulias Cizar Talukdar, Founder; Jewel Rana, Founding Member; Arafat Chowdhury, Founding Member; Shihab, Volunteer  

 ‘Dhaka Bissobiddaloy Nirapotta Moncho’ - the non-profit platform that aims to assist students of the University of Dhaka by providing consultation and guidance at the times of their needs, turns two on the 21st of June.

The organisation was established to reduce the woes of the university students, it has achieved much praise for its feats.

The Financial Express has talked to the founder of the Nirapotta Moncho, Zulias Cizar Talukdar, who has been the elected general secretary of Salimullah Hall Student Union in 2019. 

The beginning

The seed was sown on the 18th June, 2020, at Bhuapur upazila in Tangail, where an alumnus of the Law Department at the University of Dhaka (DU), Mehedi Mustafa was killed by his cousins.

The police paid little heed to the incident, and so Zulias Cizar organised a human chain in Tangail with fifteen to twenty DU students.

Since a lockdown was ongoing, they went to seek permission from the local authorities, and that got the ball rolling. The police and local administration took the matter seriously afterwards.

Seeing the potential of collective effort of the DU students, Cizar devised a plan to form a platform to organise and unite DU students. At the same time, many DU students were being harassed or facing troubles with their villagers and local people at their paternal residence, as the lockdown forced them to stay there.

So, he planned for the establishment of the platform - Dhaka Bissobiddaloy Nirapotta Moncho on 20th June that year.

He contacted the elected student leaders of the DUCSU and all DU residential halls, however, he received assistance from only the independent leaders, not from the political leaders who were elected.

Later, on the 21st June, he formed the Dhaka Bissobiddaloy Nirapotta Moncho with his friends and well-wishers. At present, there are eleven volunteers who are working for the platform.

Achievements so far

Dhaka Bissobiddaloy Nirapotta Moncho aims to bridge the gap between the alumni and the current students of DU and facilitate finding solutions to their problems. Its activities ranges from domestic violence, blackmail and suicide prevention to solving academic issues and administrative sluggishness.

“So far, we have solved five-hundred and thirty individual cases which helped about five thousand students,” Zulias Cizar said, “and we are still sorting out a few cases which will help many more students.”

“Some of the cases we are now doing are regarding the issues of scholarships. Madrasa Board students face much hassles to receive the scholarship money, same goes for the students who received Islami Bank Scholarships.”

“Even some students who have achieved brilliant results and been awarded scholarships face troubles to get that money. We have been taking care of it at the moment. All of it will be solved within a month, hopefully,” he remarked.

Among others, Nirapotta Moncho has been successful in preventing a number of suicide cases by timely intervention. It has also provided the survivors with necessary financial and mental support.

Nirapotta Moncho has also provided support to the victims of village quarrels and cases regarding the property. Many times, local villagers and relatives have tormented or endangered the lives of DU students due to family and local issues, and the platform has assisted them by connecting them to the local authorities and police departments.

One of the significant achievements of the Nirapotta Moncho is discovering the student welfare fund of DU, which was formed in the 1920s and has not been touched by either the authorities or the students since.

Monthly two taka is deducted from the salary of every DU teacher and staff and added to the fund, and Zulias Cizar has, upon discovering the fund, contacted the treasurer of the university, Professor Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed, and convinced him to provide aid to the vulnerable students. So far, fourteen students have been provided aid from the fund.

Nirapotta Moncho has been providing free three meals a day to the freshers who are yet to find a source of income after coming to Dhaka. The program, named ‘Medhabir Meal’ has been quite helpful for a number of freshers.

Another laudable feat of the platform is providing free IELTS courses to forty students last month; this month, forty more will be enrolled in the program.

Future plans

When asked about the future plans with the platform, Zulias Cizar talked about his ideas that are being materialised right now.

“Our whole assistance has been manual so far,” he said, “you had to call our volunteers to state your problems, and we had to go through our options manually, which, as obvious as it is, consumes valuable time.”

“So we are planning to digitalise the whole process via a mobile app. I talked to an app developer yesterday, and hopefully, we will be able to provide free online assistance to DU students soon. They will also be able to access our database where we have stored the data of all of our alumni in government employment, so that accessing them will no longer be difficult.”

Nirapotta Moncho wants to set up a permanent mental health counselling office where DU students will be given free mental health therapy. It is also working on a plan to educate students about outsourcing and freelancing.

The platform has also decided to donate funds at rehabilitation process of flood-stricken DU students.

Additionally, Nirapotta Moncho has applied for registration under the Ministry of Social Welfare; after becoming a full-fledged welfare organisation, the platform would expand its reach beyond the current borders and create an emergency response fund for those who need it the most.

Dhaka Bissobiddaloy Nirapotta Moncho has been doing a commendable job by mitigating the sufferings of many DU students for two years. Such platforms should be patronised so that more non-profit platforms may be formed to work for the betterment of the students of the country.

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