Always slumped in household chores with her mother, Arifa never thought of going to school as her parents could not afford it. But now, she dreams of becoming a doctor.
Kabir, a third-grader, now dreams of becoming an army officer when he grows up. Earlier, this was impossible for him to think of as he is suffering from poverty. But now, both Arifa and Kabir, along with 23 other underprivileged children, dream of a beautiful future.
These children are students of Swapna Puron Pathshala (school for fulfilling dream), an individual-level initiative launched four years ago by Md Khorshed Alam, former additional deputy commissioner of Bogura.
He launched the school – which is operated by students Mizanur Rahman, S Safiuddin Sanim, Jarin Tasnim, Md Akram Hossain and Abu Hasan – in an abandoned room of the Bogra Zilla School.
Students from different educational institutions in the district take free classes at the school.
The students are taught about how to maintain personal hygiene and keep their surroundings clean, along with academic lessons.
The school could help more children in poverty if its capacity could be broadened. The only class it uses is in a dilapidated condition, with moist walls and a damaged roof. Students get drenched if it rains.
As the school does not have any income or regular aid-based fund, it is tough to improve offer better service.
"The students need to be taught five days a week. But at present we take four classes in a week because of financial limitations," said Mizanur Rahman.
"We have not even been able to manage five additional benches for the students. However, we try to manage the school on a limited scale with our own efforts."
The guardians of these children also encourage them to attend the classes, said Manira, one of the students of the school.