Nely Islam: An iron lady
Nely Islam is a social activist. She is also the Founder Chairman of an NGO-Association for Development and Motivation (ADM). Through this organization, she worked for the health and education of the sex workers' children. She has achieved several awards, among them Peace Award by Indian government and Genius award by US Embassy is notable. She went to see the the Rohingyas' pain and tried her level best to support the Rohingya women and children.
"I went with my team in Rohingya camp for providing the refugees with relief. While I was giving food to the poor, I saw a teenage girl with a baby staring at me from a distance. The baby she was holding was an infant of 25 days. I noticed that she was holding her in a wrong way. I called her to come closer and take the relief. I gave her the sack containing dry foods and took her baby on my lap. I realized that it was lifeless.
The angel of death took this innocent's life and the mother could not even understand it. For reassuring, I took the baby to the camp doctors and they confirmed that it was dead. The mother of the baby understood that she lost her infant and she did not even notice it. She started crying like her whole world had fallen apart. It was her last hope to survive in this cruel world but look at the irony of fate! She had lost it in her own hands. We could not even hold our tears. How pathetic could a life be! " says Nely Islam wiping her eyes secretly.
Nely Islam is among those stars who do not want to shine but give light to others. She has been involved with working-class rural communities on issues ranging from people's control over their own resources, challenging anti-people policies and programmes to secularism and human rights. She went to see the pain of Rohingya people with her team.
There are many people who are working with Rohingyas but particularly her name is important. She stayed with them to realize their sorrows and understand their pain. At the first phase of her Rohingya mission, she went there with her team and donors on 7th October. She went to Kutupalong for inaugurating Lab Aid medical plan. Then she set for Ukhiya to convene everyone to help Rohingya people and stand by their side. She helped the volunteers to make tents for the refugees. Later, the foreign delegates started to join the programme. She bathed the Rohingya children with her own hands. "It felt like those children are mine," stated Nely.
People of Kutupalong were overjoyed to see the relief. They were eagerly waiting for it. After finishing her mission of Kutupalong, Nely went to Shah Pori dwip to distribute the relief. After reaching there, she was astonished to see that some people were ashamed of taking relief.
"I asked the reason for their shyness and denial. Actually some people belong to very wealthy families of Myanmar. They never imagined that one day they will be the victims of such circumstances. I consoled them that their golden days will come again soon and tried to comfort them. They listened to my words and took the relief."
Then she went to Balukhali Camp. Many refugee children were playing despite of living in a mournful environment. Nely could not resist herself and started playing with them. She went to camp 84/4 where hardly people go to provide relief. After seeing them, the refugees were overjoyed. This iron lady (this name is given by Rohingya refugees) made sure that everyone got necessary medicine and food. The first phase of Rohingya mission ended after 12 days.
Nely stayed in Dhaka only for a few days. Then again she set on second phase of her mission with necessary foods, reliefs and medicine. This time some British groups and volunteers accompanied her. She was so much deliberate at her work that she forgot that she had high fever. But her sickness could not stop her. She went to Dhumdhum border and successfully distributed the relief. On the next day, she had a meeting with German delegates about solving the Rohingya crisis and finding other ways to help them. After finishing her second phase mission of Rohingya relief, she returned to Dhaka to meet the country director of UNICEF.
She again rushed for her third phase visit to help the Rohingyas. "I went to the no man's land where people can hardly go. I went to the highest peak of the hills to see the actual condition of the Rohingyas," says Nely Islam. Unfortunately she faced an accident on that day. "By the grace of the Almighty I got no serious injury - I had got some minor injuries in my hands and legs," says Nely.
Is it possible to stop an iron lady? No it is not. Despite having injuries, she continued her mission at Balukhali camp. She worked with Gauhar Rizvi and Boby, the son of Sheikh Rehana. And finally her mission became successful. "I believe that these people will go to their homeland soon. But until they do, it is our responsibility to help them with our best endeavour. I would like to thank my donors and team members who supported me to complete this task. Especially, I want to thank my Turkish brothers Jafar and Tehsin Senik. They were so humble and cordial and made my journey successful," says Nely.
Humanity is the best religion. Nely Islam perceived that the Rohingya women were the worst sufferers. She told them there is nothing to worry about. "I always believe that a woman can do even more than what a man can do. So tell them Ami Nari Amio Pari," she asserts.