The United Nations has recognized four Bangladeshi youths as “real life heroes” for their contribution to humanitarian work on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day on Wednesday.
They are Dhaka University (DU) student Tanbir Hasan Shaikat, Brac Architect Rizvi Hassan, translator Sifat Noor, and Akhi.
According to the World Humanitarian Day website, Tanbir, along with a team of volunteers that he gathered, started providing two meals a day to the poor and marginal city dwellers for straight 116 days uninterruptedly around the DU campus.
“He collected donations and raised funds from his friends, teachers, and other well wishers who were willing to donate to keep this work going. Tanbir’s good work eventually caught the attention of the mainstream politicians as well who came forward to contribute to this great initiative,” the website said.
Rizvi Hassan was recognized for work with Brac and Unicef in designing a safe space and a community centre for women and girls at the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, home to hundreds of thousands of displaced Rohingya people who had fled violence and persecution in Myanmar, after aid workers involved in gender-based violence work in the camp reported that women and girls needed a safe space to receive counselling and skills training.
Meanwhile, Sifat Noor was hailed as a humanitarian hero for his contribution in translating critical, potentially life-saving information into Bengali, so more people have the information they need to lead safe, healthy, and informed lives.
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“Since starting with Translators without Borders in March 2020, Sifat has translated over 115,000 words into Bengali for organizations such as IFRC and UNHCR Bangladesh. Recently, his work translating Covid-19 information helps more people keep themselves and their families safe from the virus,” said the website.
The campaign also recognized Akhi, a girl rescued from hazardous child labour by World Vision, as a real life hero as she decided to make masks because masks were not available in the market when Covid-19 started to spread in Bangladesh.
Akhi sells her masks at a low cost so that her poor neighbours can afford them, the website said.
The United Nations paid tribute to humanitarian workers now battling the Covid-19 pandemic after a year in which they found themselves under greater attack than ever before.
The UN marked its World Humanitarian Day by remembering the 125 aid workers who were killed in 2019, and the hundreds of others who were wounded or kidnapped.
World Humanitarian Day is held on the anniversary of the August 19, 2003, attack on the UN compound in Baghdad which killed 22 people.