In an era of wars, conflicts, recession and moral degradation, sometimes we feel hopeless. But, still there is hope as long as there are some people like Kishore Kumar Dash. A man who does not live only for himself. Kishore, a man who has dedicated his life in bringing light to underprivileged children. His voluntary organisation Bidyanondo (Learn for Fun) not only provide the children with basic education but also with meals in nine districts of Bangladesh. Kishore did his graduation in computer science and engineering from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology. He went to Australia in 2012 as the commercial director of a multinational company Cloudwork 360.
Now, he is doing hostel business in Peru.
The Business Standard talked to him about his life, philosophy, Bidyanondo and many more recently.
When did you first think about starting Bidyanondo?
It was in 2013 when I founded Bidyanondo. I was going through a tough time after my divorce. I even left Bangladesh in 2012 to get away from my past. I joined a multinational company in Australia and earned a lot of money. But, I had no one to enjoy that. This is when I started the charity.
Why charity instead of buying a Lamborghini or living a luxurious life abroad?
Look, I have spent my life in poverty. My father was a third class government employee. In a family of seven members, no one thought investing in my education was a good thing. So, my school-life came to a halt for two years. I had a friend in my university life, who used to pay my fees when I ran out of money. I continued my studies by doing private tuition.
Many of us forget their past. I did not want to be like them.
I have seen both cruelty and kindness in my life. I just wanted to spread the kindness I received. In fact, I have taken that as my duty. Because, without the kindness I would not have been in the place where I am right now.
Do you have any specific philosophy behind building Bidyanondo?
As I said I feel like I should show the kindness to others that I have got in my life. But, using brain in charity had been my focus. I wanted to do something long lasting than a mere donation, which will set an example in inviting others to donate thoughtfully.
From that point of view, I founded a learning centre, which has turned out to be the organisation Bidyanondo you know today.
Do you think you are successful in that?
I think I am to some extent. Towards the beginning of Bidyanondo, I observed low attendances of the children. Because, managing food was their primary concern.
I have seen children aged between four and nine years did begging for money. They went to places in search of work and sometimes got involved in petty crimes.
So I started providing them with meals for one taka per head. This initiative has freed them from the anxiety of collecting food.
When they have food, they can invest their time in studies or enjoy their childhood in a better way. After that I found they did not miss the school.
Does Bidyanondo have any agenda like alleviating poverty or empowering any underprivileged section of society?
We are not comfortable with setting any agenda. The work itself is more important for us. As I have said before, we focus on planned charity. I think the motto we work with does not need to set any agenda separately, it says for itself. We believe our work will speak for themselves.
Does Bidyanondo have branches abroad?
We do not have branches but we help distressed people all over the world. We raised fund for flood affected people in Kerala; we helped people in Italy.
Would you like to work with other organisations in partnerships?
No, we would like to manage it on our own.
Do you have any new project for Bidyanondo?
We do not like to announce our new projects. We work silently. When we become successful in our experiments and become sure about the implementation, only then we reveal our moves. That is why I cannot tell you about our new projects.
What is the future plan for your organisation?
I want to set an example to everyone, who are doing charity work, or the people who work at government level. This is all I can say about the future aspirations of this organisation.
What is your future plan in personal life?
My future plan is to leave the organisation when it becomes more stable and established. I should give the floor to younger ones, right? I may start a trusty board. I am not sure about it yet. Let the time pass.
Who will carry your legacy?
I have married again. Me and my wife have decided never to have children. We have dedicated our life for humanitarian cause. I want the volunteers of Bidyanondo to carry out the legacy.