Enlightening the underprivileged

Saiful Islam and Selim Reza write about a voluntary teaching organisation for underprivileged children

In order to teach some underprivileged children, a few students of Jahangirnagar University have initiated Tori, a voluntary teaching organisation. Through the organisation, the Jahangirnagar University (JU) students now provide basic education to children who live and work in the different tea and cigarette stalls near and around the JU premises.

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Mijan, a class five student of Tori, says, ‘A few years back, I had stopped my studies as I had to earn for my family. But with the help of Tori, I am studying again while also working to help my family out.’

Shafikul Islam Sakib, president of Tori School, and also a senior year student of the history department of JU, says, ‘It feels good to work with Tori. I believe in such ways people from different parts of the country can take similar initiative to help the underprivileged groups of our country.’

The school was established in 2008 by few JU students that included Faisal, Shantonu and Tarikul Islam. The slogan of the school is ‘Alor Pathe Aamra (On the way to enlightenment)’.

Currently, there are 100 to110 students in the school being taught by 25 to 30 voluntary teachers. The school teaches students on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday of the week.

Mumtarin Jannat Oishee, one of the voluntary teachers of Tori, is also a student of the department of Microbiology at JU. She says, ‘We are trying our best to provide quality education to these students who are deprieved of education due to financial problems. Anyone who is interested to help these children and their families, can become a part of the initiative.’

AZM Umar Faruque Siddiki, another voluntary teacher of Tori and a final year student in the Law and Justice department, says, ‘This is the least we can do as a part of our social responsibility.’

While talking about the initiative, M.Tarikul Islam, assistant professor of the department of Government and Politics of JU, says, ‘Over the past decade, we have tried to boost their confidence at facing the realities of life. This is why we figured providing basic education would be right.’


Besides teaching, Tori also arrange recreational activities for its students and teachers. It also provides educational equipment to its students. The school also helps their students in gaining admission in universities.

In the near future, Tori plans to have a special batch of students from their school to sit the PSC and JSC examinations. ‘Tori will soon arrange view exchange programme with participation of parents and students in order to communicate openly with them,’ says Shafikul Islam.

Nagris Akter, a student of Dhamrai Degree College, was a former student of Tori. She says, ‘Tori has helped me during my SSC and HSC.’

A voluntary team of 29 Korean nationals recently visited Tori. They commended the efforts of the organisation and its volunteers.

Saiful Islam is the Jahangirnagar correspondent at New Age.