Charitable Work | A BROKEN DREAM | Status of Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy

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After the disposal of the Bangabandhu murder appeal, I came to New York for my second checkup and confirmed that my treatment in Singapore was accurate and was advised again that I need not consult any oncologist other than the Singapore consultant. It was indeed a tremendous relief and the removal of agony from a life-threatening disease. I was boosted with new energy to give proper attention toward the administration of justice and determined that if I could overcome a life-threatening disease, I would try to make innovative change in the judiciary. From New York I went to Boston to meet my younger brother Dr. Ananta Kumar Sinha and visited Harvard University. I was also contemplating purchase of some books. My brother was happy to see me and gave me some money to repay the loan I had taken for my treatment. I asked them to send the money to my account maintained with Sonali Bank, Supreme Court branch.

I thought that since I had received a second shot at life I should utilize the money for charitable purposes and it would be most appropriate if the charity was dedicated to the memory of my parents. I registered “Lalit Mohan & Dhanabati Trust” and opened a fixed deposit account in the name of the charity and kept twenty-five lac taka in it with a view to meet the expenses from the interest, with the specific provision that in no case the fixed deposit money would be withdrawn. With the help of my brother-in-law Dr. Nanda Kishore Sinha and some villagers we had opened a library ‘Lalit Mohan Gonogranthagar’ (public library) in memory of my father. The trust assumed responsibility for the library aiming to modernize it and a permanent librarian was appointed. Over a period, I purchased books worth about thirty lac takas for the library.

The library was started in a room of my outer house and in another room a computer training center with about fifteen computers was started with the object of training local boys and girls free of cost and to confer a computer diploma on passing. I appointed two permanent teachers for training and the center got registered with the Technical Education Board so that the students can officially utilize the certificate to be given after completion of training. The students are undergoing three and six months training courses there. About forty-five students are trained round the year. The number of books and manuals is increasing as also the number of students. Therefore, the training center cannot continue to be accommodated in the present location because two other outer rooms are occupied by my security detail. Hence, I arranged a piece of land of seven decimal for construction of a four-story building for extending the library and  accommodating the students. A two-storied building has already been constructed and the library has been shifted to the first floor with the computer training center in two rooms of the ground floor. Other rooms are also used for the library. I have a personal library with a huge collection of books on law, philosophy, and autobiography of great personalities, history and literature valued above fifty lac takas. I have meanwhile donated my books to the charity.

Our area is mainly populated by our community’s people and in my Thana about forty percent of the population is Hindu. Hindus are cremated on the banks of river and small water body. No permanent or modern cremation ground is available and dead bodies are cremated with wood. These cremation grounds are washed away during the rainy season by heavy rain and gushing flood waters. Since it is a rain-prone area, sometimes the rain continues for two days. In such conditions if one dies, the bereaved family must wait till the rain stops. Dry wood is also not available during the rains. The total cremation of a body requires a large quantity of wood and takes at least seven to eight hours to be completed. The use of wood and bamboos causes profound environmental depletion. To remove the difficulties, I procured about twenty-five decimals of land near the Dhalai River, raised a boundary wall for protection, installed a semi-deep tube well, planted trees around the land and started construction of a modern cremation ground. I have already spent about thirty lac taka and it will require a further amount of more than about fifty lac takas. I had hoped to complete the work from my pension benefits but the government for reasons not known to me has not given my pension funds although Justice Md. Abdul Wahhab Miah, who resigned after me got his benefits immediately after resignation. If the project is complete, all dead bodies of Moulvibazar districts can be cremated without cost in a short time. Our area is developed in communication and carrying of a dead body from the remotest area will hardly take thirty to forty minutes.

I also undertook a project for paying the education cost of some poor students from graduation to post graduation level and I had been providing for around thirty to thirty-four students Tk 2000 to 2500 every month for the last six to seven years regularly. But due to compelling circumstances beyond my control the project had to be stopped from October 2017. I feel for those poor students who cannot continue with their education. I am totally unable to help them at this moment although they are contacting my charity office regularly in the hope of getting help. I also try to help the needy families who cannot marry off their daughters or cannot perform Shradha ceremony on the death of near ones. To these people I give a lumpsum grant of Tk 15,000 to 20,000. I distribute clothes to Muslims twice a year and to the Hindus once during Durga Puja. Besides, my charity distributes blankets every year during winter.

All these charitable works are done in the name of my parents. I did not do anything in my name; but in the neigh boring village Madhabpur the villagers started a school and college in my name and requested me to inaugurate it. I was very embarrassed that the institution was named after me. However, when an institution for education has been set up I felt compelled to contribute some ten-lac taka to the educational institution from my pocket. Madhabpur village is possibly the biggest one in our thana and most of the people of the village is illiterate. Finally, however the institution, “Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha School and College,” was inaugurated by Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid. I had wished to launch a sewing training program but could not implement it yet due to a shortage of space although I have collected some sewing machines. In this project five employees are already working and at present my elder brother is managing it in my absence, but I fear whether he will be able to properly undertake all work including pisciculture, which I have been developing in three ponds with a
substantial investment.

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