Hero of Empowerment, Hero of Progress Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

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Sir Fazle Hasan Abed receiving Knighthood by Prince Charles on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on 16 February, 2010.

Hero of Development Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and poet, journalist, Program Manager of Channel I and Advi

Central European University awarded the 18th Open Society Prize to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC.

 

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and  Tibet’s political leader Dalai Lama at the Vancouver Peace Summit.

 

Hero of Development Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and poet, journalist, Program Manager of Channel I and Advicer Editor of The Pages Raju Alim are captured in a frame while sharing some pleasant moment.

pleasing momenttogether captured in a frame sharing some pleasant moment moment

Pleasing

 

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, has been honored as the 2015 World Food Prize Laureate, “for giving nearly 150 million people worldwide the opportunity for enhanced food security and a pathway out of poverty.”

 

Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton met Sir Fazle Hasan Abed while visiting Bangladesh.

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed with Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.

 

 

Fazle Hasan Abed Sir, the hero of progress of Bangladesh, after contributing so much and undertaking such huge responsibilities, it is the greatness obviously that makes him think that, he has done nothing and his support is not enough yet. He may have gained worldwide reorganizations, he may have set example among famous people but it’s his benevolence and kind- heartedness that marks him greatest among the great.

 

Having done a lot and crossing a long path yet I don’t have done anything- thinks Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. Still he dreams dream, fade up for doing nothing in his life. Here lies his kindness and this sadness of doing nothing in life is the philosophy. Wise person thinks alike- every wise person of the world thinks same as. In the huge wave of wise, he thinks himself a little than a little sand. In his throat the same voice raise- “Believe me brother, I’m nothing. I’ve done nothing. Actually, who am I in this world? I’m nothing. Yes, I’ve thought a lot, dreamt a lot but fulfilled a little. Why you publish an interview on? Could you say? Who am I?” He says very normally. His speciality lies on his simple and normal approach.

9th floor at MohakhaliBrac Centre is called executive floor. This is the office of Fazle Hasan Abed and high officials. From top floor to the ground, from high officials to the security, everybody calls him Abed Bhai. He doesn’t like to call and hear ‘sir’ but this dignity of name is sealed before his name. He couldn’t avoid the love of world people. So he is now everybody’s ‘sir’. He is the proud son of Bangladeshi and our lovable Abed Bhai. British government designates him in Knighthood designation. The main side of this designation is that the designated could use ‘sir’ before his name and everybody calls him sir at first. He places himself in the peak of fame by his work. He gets this award for reducing poorness and for empowering poor people.

Fazle Hasan Abed was born to Siddiq Hasan and SyedaSufyaKhatun on April 27, 1936, in Baniachong, which is now called Habiganj, Bangladesh. His father was Mr. Siddiq Hasan was a wealthy landowner. His ancestors were landlords of that time and all of his family members were educated. Four of fathers completed their education from Kolkata.He pursued his secondary education from ‘PabnaZilla School’, Bangladesh in 1952, and graduated twelfth grade from ‘Dhaka College’ in 1954. He get admitted in Dhaka University as a student of Physics department at the same year.Then in 1958, he went abroad for studying naval architecture at the University of Glasgow in Britain before qualifying as a management accountant. After studying there for 2 more years, left the course incomplete, he went to London end get there admitted in Cost and Management studies .There he completed his 4 year spanned course in 1962. He acquired British citizenship, but in 1962 returned to (then) East Pakistan to join the oil company Shell, becoming Head of Finance in the local subsidiary. In 1970 he returned to Britain in the face of increasing violence as his country struggled for independence from the rest of Pakistan, and campaigned for European governments to help end the bloodshed.Moreover, in 1994 he achieved Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Queen’s University, Canada and in 2003 he obtained Honorary Doctorate of Education degree from University of Manchester, UK.

 

His mother died in 1958 when he was a student of Chartered Accounting. Later he joined in farm in London. After a few days of his job, he goes to Canada. Here also he joined in a job and after that he went to America. In 1968 he came back Bangladesh (East Pakistan). Here he joined in Shell Oil Company as Head of Finance. When he an active employee here in 1970, a huge natural disaster has occurred. He established an organization namely- Help and works for the affected people going to Monpura. In 1971 when our Liberation War was started Fazle Hasan Abed sir went to England and dedicated himself in organizing fund and support from others country. It was during his time at Shell that the devastating cyclone of 1970 hit the south and south-eastern coastal regions of the country, killing 300,000 people. The cyclone had a profound effect on Abed. In the face of such devastation, he said the comforts and perks of a corporate executive’s life ceased to have any attraction for him. Fazle Hasan Abed sir created HELP, an organisation that provided relief and rehabilitation to the worst affected in the island of Manpura, which had lost three-quarters of its population in the disaster.Soon after, Bangladesh’s own struggle for independence from Pakistan began and circumstances forced Abed to leave the country. He found refuge in the United Kingdom, where he set up Action Bangladesh to lobby the governments of Europe for his country’s independence. When the war ended in December 1971, Abedsir sold his flat in London and returned to the newly independent Bangladesh to find his country in ruins. In addition, hundreds of refugees who had sought shelter in India during the war had started to return home. Their relief and rehabilitation called for urgent efforts, and Abedsir decided to use the funds he had generated from selling his flat to initiate his own such organisation to deal with the long-term task of improving the living conditions of the rural poor. He selected the remote region of Sulla in northeastern Bangladesh to start his work, and this work led to the non-governmental organisation known as BRAC in 1972.

Although the name “BRAC” currently does not represent an acronym, the organization was formerly known the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee and then as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee. In a span of only three decades, BRAC has grown to become the largest development organisation in the world in terms of the scale and diversity of its interventions. As BRAC grew, Fazle Hasan Abed sir ensured that it continued to target the landless poor, particularly women, a large percentage of whom live below the poverty line with little or no access to resources or conventional development efforts. At present BRAC owns BRAC Bank, BRAC University, Aarong, and a number of very popular brands in Bangladesh.

BRAC now operates in more than 69,000 villages of Bangladesh and covers an estimated 110 million people through its development interventions that range from primary education, essential healthcare, agricultural support and human rights and legal services to microfinance and enterprise development. It is now considered the largest non-profit in the world – both by employees and people served. In 2002, BRAC went international by taking its range of development interventions to Afghanistan. Since then, BRAC has expanded to a total of 10 countries across Asia and Africa, successfully adapting its unique integrated development model across varying geographic and socioeconomic contexts and covering an additional 16 million people.

 

Fazle Hasan Abed sir could expend his life in abroad happily but couldn’t do. He sold his England’s property and shares for the Bengali. He has invested his everything for the common people and shares his development with Begum Sufia Kamal, Prof. AbdurRazzak, KaziFazlul Rahman, Akbar Kabir, Vikarul Islam Chowdhury, S. R Hossain like this people by starting BRAC. He could be the Chairperson but he shows his dignity to Begum Sufia Kamal and selects her for the post. He becomes Executive Director of BRAC.

 

In 1981, this passionate philanthropist became a visiting scholar for ‘Harvard Institute of International Development’. The next year, he was appointed as a member of the ‘Board of Trustees’ for the ‘Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies’. He was also made the chairman of the ‘Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh’. This famous benefactor became a member of the ‘World Bank NGO Committee’ at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1986. The following year he was appointed a member of the ‘International Commission on Health Research for Development’, Harvard University, in USA. In 1990, he was given the designation of ‘Chairman’ at an educational NGO called ‘Campaign for Popular Education’. Two years later, Fazle Hasan Abed became the Chairman of the ‘NGO Forum for Drinking Water Supply & Sanitation’. He was also appointed to the ‘Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation’, as a board member. In 1993, an organization dealing with human rights, ‘Ain O Salish Kendra’, made this social worker their chairperson. The next year at Dhaka, he became a part of the ‘Board of Trustees’ of the ‘Centre for Policy Dialogue’. From 1998 to 2005, this compassionate humanitarian served as a member of renowned committees like the ‘Policy Advisory Group’ of ‘The World Bank’ in Washington, and the ‘Board of Governors’ of the ‘Institute of Development Studies’, affiliated to ‘Sussex University’. He also acted as the Chairman of the governing body of ‘BRAC’ and the Commissioner for the ‘UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor’. In 2010, this famous Samaritan was a part of ‘UN Secretary General’s Group of Eminent Persons for Least Developed Countries’. Two years later, he became a member of the ‘UN Secretary General’s Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement’. Since 2013, Abed has been serving as the Chairman of the ‘Board of Directors’ at ‘BRAC Bank Limited’.

 

Fazle Hasan Abed was honored with the ‘Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership’ in 1980.In 1992, he received UNICEF’s ‘Maurice Pate Award’, which is given to commemorate the efforts of an organization or individual’s contribution towards the development of children.He was awarded the ‘Olof Palme Prize’ in 2001, for his invaluable contributions towards the human race.In 2002, this benefactor received the ‘Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Award’, for addressing major social issues.He was honoured in 2004 with the ‘MahbubulHaq Award for Outstanding Contribution in Human Development’, by the United Nations Development Programme.This famous philanthropist was felicitated by the ‘Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’, with the ‘Gates Award for Global Health’, in 2004.In 2007, Fazle received the prestigious ‘Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership’, awarded by the ‘Claremont McKenna College’, California, for sharing the best practices in social development.During the same time, he was presented with the ‘Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award’ for his mammoth contribution towards the development of his country.This altruist received the ‘David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award’ in 2008, for empowering the poor with education. In 2008, his organization, ‘BRAC’ was given the ‘Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize’, for its philanthropic efforts.In 2010, the British government awarded him with the rank of ‘Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George’, for his efforts to reduce poverty all over the world.Fazle Abed has also received other felicitations like ‘Entrepreneur for the World Award’, ‘Leo Tolstoy International Gold Medal’ ‘Spanish Order of Civil Merit’ and the ‘Trust Women Hero Award’.This benevolent social leader has received honorary doctorate degrees from many distinguished institutions in the US and UK, like the ‘Princeton University’, ‘Yale University’, ‘University of Manchester’, and ‘University of Oxford’.

Founder and Chairperson of BRAC Sir Fazle Hasan Abed has visited Karail slum and BRAC School in Dhaka. He went there for a photo session of WISE book.

Whole world and obviously the Bangladeshi people called Sir Fazle Hasan Abed as the Prince of Development. Recently in his 80th Birthday Ceremony ‘Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Awarded Book’ has been published. Mr. Faroque Chowdhury was the editor of this book. Another great of Bengali, the Nobel laurite Dr. Mohammad Younus has written about Fazle Hasan Abed, ‘In the social development undoubtedly he is masterpiece. We are proud as Bengali for him that he has born in this country and in which situation he has born, Bangladesh needed for him.’ The honorable Finance Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, AbulMaal Abdul Muhit has written, ‘In 1957 at winter I went Britain for the first time.  There I stay for nine month and leave Britain in 1958. After completing my education I spent some days at England. There we could stay at Pakistan High Commission Rest House in a cheap rate. There I introduced Abed. His full name is SaiyeedFazle Hasan Abed and he is acquainted in BRAC to everybody as ABED BHAI’. Emirates teacher Dr. Anisuzzaman says, ‘BRAC is active in Asia and Africa, it has also presence in North America. This is world’s largest Voluntary Organization. BRAC has changed many male and female’s destiny.’ AbulKhayerLitu has written, ‘He is a masterpiece and mind blowing personality. He is a mentor. I was first acquainted with him when he married my cousin ShiluApa. She loved me much. She acquainted me with Abed Bhai. If there born a few people like him, they changed more Bangladesh.’ Faridur Reza Sagar, Executive Director Impress Telefilm Channel i has written that this man is now internationally dignified and he is now ‘sir’ to everybody. When we talk to Fazla Hasan Abed, we think, we are talking to a simple man. He knows me- knows about my mother- about my child. This type of people is needed for our society more.

At the end, exploringhis immense activities and philosophy it is a matter of proud to say that he is ‘Bengali’s Hero, Hero of Development…’

 

 

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