A group of Rover Scouts from Bangladesh Scouts’ Helds Open Scout Group in Phulpur, Mymensingh are helping poor farmers harvest crops from their paddy fields at no cost. The activity is part of the group’s social activities.
Helds Open Scout Group is known in the entire region for its community development projects and activities previously conducted. The group is led by Tasafik Haq Nafi. When asked why they selected the farmers in Phulpur as the beneficiaries of their community development activity, Nafi stated that the farmers in Phulpur are the most vulnerable.
“These are poor farmers, they till their lands in order to sell the harvest and earn some money. However, they don’t have enough manpower to harvest the crops and the rice. They also couldn’t afford to hire rice harvesters due to the high wages,” he said. “It is because of these situations that made our group decide to help these farmers, to cut off the paddy from the lands of the poor farmers; and we do this voluntarily. We’re targeting to help at least 11 farmers,” added Nafi.
The Scout group is composed of about 50 Rover Scouts who all willingly devoted their time to help out the farmers in Phulpur. One of the farmers, Abu Bakr Siddique, has been suffering from cancer for over two years.
“I have been suffering from cancer for two years. I am penniless for the treatment and I have no money to hire people to harvest my crops.”
Siddique is among those who paddy fields were harvested by the Rover Scouts. He sold his harvest at the market which earned him some cash, allowing him to buy medicine for his treatment and medication.Milon Mia, a Rover Scout who participated in the activity hopes to volunteer is such activities more often.
“It is my first time to harvest rice and crops, and the experience was very good. What made the experience more fulfilling is the fact that we were able to help the farmers earn a living, put food into their mouths and allow them to buy the essential things they need,” she narrated.
The initiative gained traction and other volunteers from the public and private sectors also came to help out. The Bangladesh Scouts has since sent more Scouts to help out, including providing the Scout group with some monetary assistance for the initiative.
Reproduced from scout.org, with reports from Sarwar Mohammad Shahriar, Bangladesh Scouts