Dr Quazi Ahmed Zaki - Restless Beings Bangladesh Project Co-ordinator
Alongside working for RestlessBeings, Dr Zaki is working with University of Chicago and Columbia University - on a research program called 'BEST' - Bangladesh Vitamin E and Selenium Trial - a field based interventional clinical trial. You can find out more about this study via the website of his Principal Investigator - Habibul Ahsan from Columbia University. BEST is currently an ongoing study so papers are yet to be published (Links to his papers will be available on this webpage soon). He is also working in the Govt Health Service as Medical officer (similar to health services like the NHS in United Kingdom).
Dr Zaki graduated as a Physician from University of Rajshahi (Rajshahi Medical College - 5th ranked medical school in Bangladesh) and obtained MPH (master in public health) from National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine, under University of Dhaka. In the beginning of his professional career he joined the Army Medical Corps - Bangladesh Army in the rank of Captain but opted for voluntary retirement as he was badly injured during one particular military exercise. Later, in 2007 he joined the National Health Service. He started working with Columbia University, New York from 2004 in a study named HEALS (Health Effect of Arsenic Longitudinal Study as Research Medical Officer - He was then shifted to the Clinical Trail, BEST where Columbia University, Chicago University Dartmouth College USA, and very recently Imperial College, London will be involved to observe health effect of climate change in Bangladesh as well as arsenic induced cancer among population in Bangladesh.
Shipa Bhuiyan - Restless Beings Bangladesh Field Worker
“Working as a RestlessBeings Field worker is the second job in my career. Instead of working under a roof, I prefer to work under the sun.
I always try to work for the vulnerable and deprived group and use my skills and time in the most effective way possible. That is why I joined the “Shahjahanpur Shamaj Kalyan Sangstha” (a non profitable organization in Bangladesh) as a volunteer and taught primary education and social awareness to the elder people. So moving to RestlessBeings was a natural choice for me as part of my desire to work for and alongside the needy in my country,
I recently sat my final exams for an M.S.C programme in Home Economics at Eden Mohila College, Dhaka, Bangladesh. I also obtained a Bachelor's degree from Begum Badrunnesa College in same subject.
I am very much dedicated to my career, ready to take any challenge and want to be an asset of the organisation not just as a field worker, but also as a Bangladesh representative and an ambassador for change, based on humanitarianism - beyond all borders and working towards helping those who rely on us to give them an opportunity to start over.
Aside the above, I have a passion for folk fashion and am a designer for my own boutique collection of Bangladeshi dresses”.
Shoeb Mahmood - Restless Beings Bangladesh Field Worker
“I am a teacher and my profession has given me the chance to render the best service to my country. I disseminate knowledge among the young learners who will lead the nation in future. I derive pleasure from sharing my knowledge with the students.
Travelling is one of my favourite hobbies and I have a passion for it .Whenever I get chance I take the opportunity of seeing my country as it is. Because of my extensive visit across the country I have seen the condition of poor people in rural Bangladesh from very close proximity. There is a gloom of poverty all around and the sight of the shabbily dressed and skinny children causes a pain in the heart as at will do to any man or woman and you can't help but want to do something to alleviate some of their struggle.
The chill of penny is felt every where and the young children are the worst victims of it. Because of their grim poverty, the children are forced to do internal migration at an age when we could not even think of going out the boundary of our houses, these children especially the girls become the victim of violence, physical and mental repression. The girls are very vulnerable and are exploited by the wicked elements of the society. They are raped, compelled to enter a world of prostitution and end up in brothels across the city. They are so helpless and lead a life on the streets with no direction or grain of hope.
Bangladesh is a small, poor country with a large population where more than one third of the total population live under the poverty line. They are deprived of the basic social facilities, and are exposed to child labour, dowry pressures applied to their families, early marriage, acid violence, juvenile delinquency, polygamy etc. Unfortunately children and women are the worst victims of these social evils.
Because of extreme poverty the parents usually can not afford to send their children to school. Even if they are sent, they are forced to leave before the completion of their primary education to do work as consistent pressure is applied to feed their families, and for orphans, a wide variety of jobs being juggled is the only option. Jobs range from working in the automobile shops, being a helper with a minimal salary in the bus, welding and mechanical garage work, garment factory work, sweat shops, cleaning odd jobs in restaurants, and more, all in the aim to add some income to the family budget. This is how the children are deprived of a natural childhood and exposed to the harsh reality of earning their own livelihood and giving some money to their parents as well and sustaining their family.
Many street children are the victims of family violence and social repression. Since it is easy to exploit children many unscrupulous employers employ child labour with minimal or sometimes no salary. Children are seen doing the job of scavenger, selling chocolates, flower and assisting old, blind, disabled beggers in begging. These children do not get anything from society and can not give anything to the society in return. Many of them end up behind the bars becomes victim of cross fire because of different criminal activities.
Since the children are the future of a country, it is the corporate duty of us all to extend our helping hand to them so that they get proper education, health care and can prepare for the future and can give a meaningful contribution in the process of nation building. It is impossible for a nation to make any headway keeping their children uncared for.
Because of religious and other superstitions many poor do not practice family planning. When their children hardly reach their adolescence they are given away in the hopes of getting some dowry which would feed the family for a few extra months. Subsequently, many of them die because of malnutrition, lack of knowledge of health care and hygiene. The rate of child and maternal death is quite high among this group of people. As a conscious Bangaldeshi citizen, practicing Muslim and passionate individual, I have always wanted to do something for the betterment of these children and I now feel I have the opportunity to do so.
Making and being part of a good change is imperative for me and helping the helpless is my way of achieving this. When it concerns children who are living on the streets, I cannot help but feel responsible if I remain ignorant and do not help. RestlessBeings has given me the opportunity to put my efforts for the improvement of their socio-economic condition. The main reason I joined this organisation is their transparency which is absent in most of the organisations running in our country. Moreover, their different activities made a very good impression on me and encouraged me to join. And now, as a field worker for RestlessBeings, meeting children of the streets on a daily basis and collating vital information which will contribute towards the effective infrastructure of the RestlessBeings Rehab Centre & Home, I feel as if I am now part of something which will bring about a change that is desperately needed in Bangladesh”.