Commonwealth Point of Light 223. Kishore Kumar Das
Kishore Kumar Das, representing Bangladesh, aged 40, is the founder of ‘Bidyanondo’, a charity which has improved access to education for over 1,200 children from marginalised backgrounds.
Set up in 2013, and starting with only 22 students, the charity runs five primary schools which are free to access, as well as running free academic coaching sessions and scholarship programmes to help children continue into Higher Education. Kishore has also instigated a meal programme, “Ek takay aahar” (Meal for one penny), which has provided more than 10,000 nutritious meals for vulnerable people, particularly children and those who are homeless. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the charity further ramped up its efforts to distribute relief across the country, with Kishore and volunteers also working to sanitise public spaces and transport and provide ongoing educational, health and nourishment support to those in need.
“I feel humbled to reflect on the fact that the world is benefiting from the work that we, the volunteers, are doing. And, the Commonwealth Points of Light validates that. Such honour helps volunteers to determine where our focus should be. I believe this prestigious recognition of ‘Bidyanondo’ will inspire different charitable organisations to be more humane and beneficiary oriented.
“My earnest gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen as the Head of the Commonwealth for the recognition. Also, thanks to the British High Commission in Dhaka for acknowledging the hard work and determination of the volunteers of ‘Bidyanondo’ across Bangladesh.”
Javed Patel, Acting British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said:
“My warmest congratulations to Kishore Kumar Das on his Points of Light award. Through this recognition we also acknowledge the inspirational volunteers of ‘Bidyanondo Foundation’ who are contributing to eradicating hunger, empowering people and improving access to quality education in Bangladesh. Their outstanding efforts continue to drive young people in Bangladesh and across the world towards the spirit of volunteerism and compassion. This award further strengthens the Brit Bangla Bondhon and the values of the Commonwealth.”