More than a hundred years ago, unity stopped hunger in a village. Drawing inspiration from there, all the families started working hand in hand to build it into a piece of paradise with an invisible shield against the chaotic world outside.
It takes about one and a half hours to go to the village named Hulhulia from Natore town through Bogra.
Hulhulia looks just like any other rural community, with a population of around 6,000, except it has its own constitution, a "High Court" or Social Development Council, whose decision on any dispute is never challenged. And the village boasts a zero illiteracy rate.
Moreover, Hulhulia ensures sanitation facility for all of its residents.
Rules of the "constitution" are upheld by a committee whose members are elected through voting. But socialism is largely practised when it comes to education, food and other social and economic benefits.
Division is not tolerated.
"There is only one mosque and one graveyard in our village. We will never allow two mosques. If there were two mosques, the village would get divided," said Akkasul Islam, a 60-year-old resident of Hulhulia.
The foundation of this Hulhulia, where child marriage, drugs and dowry are foreign words seen in newspapers only, had been laid around 1915.
Back then, villagers suffered a food crisis after severe floods. Many farmers could not cultivate rice due to a lack of seeds.
The village leader, Matbar Machir Uddin Mridha, convened a meeting, asking one person from each family to attend it.
The meeting came to a consensus that those who had extra rice seeds in their houses would lend it to others for nothing in return. Everyone abided by the decision, and the next season golden crops in abundance brought smiles to everyone's face.
That bound the villagers forever into a large family that helps its members overcome differences by love and empathy.
It is said that no cases have been filed over the last century.
MM Samirul Islam, the upazila nirbahi officer of Singra, said disputes in the village are settled through arbitration.
"High Court" of the village
The Hulhulia Social Development Council was formed in 1940, which local people call the "High Court" of the village. It gives the final judgement on any dispute.
Al Tawfiq Parash, chairman of the Council, said if any villager faced a problem, their own family first tried to solve the matter.
If they cannot find a solution, their relatives intervene. If they fail too, a committee of the Council in the area concerned tries to resolve the issue.
If there is no way out yet, the matter is taken up with the Social Development Council. Everyone accepts the verdict given by it.
Those eligible to vote in the national elections can exercise their voting rights in the election of the Social Development Council's committee. The Council also has a five-member advisory committee.
The community has separate management committees to look after the operations of schools, madrasas, markets, the mosque and the cemetery. These committees are also formed through polls.
Success in education
It is compulsory for all children to pass Secondary School Certificate examinations.
If any family cannot bear the educational expenses of a child due to poverty, the committee of a fund created for the poor takes the responsibility. The student is given financial assistance until he/she gets a job. After getting the job, they have to pay back the money.
Two-thirds of the village population live outside and are employed in different sectors. They lend their support to those who need it.
The village has a primary school, a high school, and a madrasa, and they have produced more than 200 BSc engineers, over 100 MBBS doctors, 17 university teachers, 11 judges, and many other professionals and eminent personalities.
Late Mohammad Hanif Uddin Mia, former chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and the first computer programmer in Bangladesh, came from Hulhulia.
Recently, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mostafa Jabbar released a stamp of the Postal Department in his memory.
To forge friendships among young generations, the Hulhulia Diamond Club was formed in 1942 to organise sports and cultural programmes.
Two non-political and social organisations called Shekar and Batabrikkha have been running philanthropic activities. Members of these organisations offer grants to support students, help the poor and create employment.
In appreciation of all the goodness of Hulhulia, it has been recognised as a model village by the government. A large marquee with "Adarsha Gram Hulhulia" inscribed on it welcomes people entering the village.