Md. Imamul Kabir Shanto, the founder of the Shanto-Mariam Foundation, is a valiant freedom fighter of the nation. He joined the liberation war at the young age of seventeen. The goal of the liberation war that the Father of the Nation, Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, called for was not only to gain the geographical freedom, but also to establish a golden Bengal of a dignified nation through economic emancipation and cultural development of the people where economic disparity would be eliminated. We achieved the geographic independence, but neither we achieved the economic freedom nor the cultural development. With strong commitment to fulfilling this task and bringing the benefits of independence to the common people through expansion of job oriented, creative and cultural education, Mr. Shanto established the Shanto-Mariam Foundation and its affiliated service and human-welfare oriented organizations and educational institutions.
Mr. Shanto’s education life in childhood started in a missionary school in Tejgaon, Dhaka. While he walked past by the rail lines to and from the school, he observed the poor helpless children of the slum. Seeing them and the orphan classmates in his school as well, affection filled his heart. His mind questioned- why are people poor and what is its solution? When he was in the eighth grade, he came across the autobiography of the great revolutionary, Che Guevara. Reading the biography, he thought establishment of socialism through revolution can remove the disparity between the rich and the poor. Therefore, he engaged himself in student politics to improve the status of the poor people and attain their economic freedom. In response to the Father of the Nation’s call for the liberation war, Mr. Shanto took active part in the war to attain the ideals of the independence. After the ending of the nine month struggle and the surrender of enemy forces on 16th December, when hundreds of freedom fighters were returning to Dhaka crossing the river Buriganga in the first hour of the victory on the 17th December, very sadly, eleven of his fellow fighters, which included some of his close friends, died in the water in a dire boat-capsize. This event strongly affected his mind. After the independence, young Shanto was greatly aggrieved seeing that the sacrifices of the martyrs were not properly appreciated. He then actively participated in politics for the peace of the souls of his fellow fighters, their proper appreciation and establishment of the goals of the liberation war.
After the sad killing of Bangabondhu and his family in 1975, when the Dhaka University opened, he participated actively in the first protest against the then military government. He got involved in political conflicts and fights with the military government supported student organization of that time in the Dhaka University, which subsequently became a long term conflict. At that time, some of his close friends died in the premises of the Dhaka University. Later, in the face of strong pressure from the military government and without seeing any other alternative, Mr. Shanto was forced to leave the country along with some of his friends. He then cried in the aircraft of his journey and thought why he had to leave his own country. These events in his life caused much grievance and sorrow in young Shanto’s mind. He then promised himself that he would never come back to this unfortunate country. At the same time, he thought he also had many mistakes in his life. He vowed that he would make himself a true human being with goodness. He realized that if bandit Nizamuddin could become a saint even after killing many people, why he would not be able to become a true human being. Travelling through countries, he finally reached Germany. German nation made strong impression on him. They are a warrior nation. Despite being defeated in two world wars, they are still thriving as a great developed nation in the world because of their hard work, appropriate job oriented education and deep respect for own culture. Seeing this, Mr. Shanto realized that establishment of socialism through armed revolution is not the way to improve the status and economic freedom of the people, rather the key is job oriented education. At the same time immense respect for native culture and heritage is needed to instill humane qualities in people, which is possible through cultural education. At that time, he came to learn about the life and work of Mother Teresa and strongly felt the desire to serve the humanity getting inspired by the philosophy “man is for humanity”.
As we have a creative and talented people, vast natural resources, well-integrated geographic border, very fertile land and potential for tourism in a beautiful country, it is possible to bring the benefits of the independence to the common people through these means. Mr. Shanto then realized that the question that he had in mind since his childhood- why people are poor and what is its solution- the answer and solution to this question can come through this. So to fulfill the incomplete tasks of liberation war, bring the benefits of independence to the common people- the cherished dream of his life, bring peace to the souls of the fellow martyred freedom fighters and friends and to build a model of education in the country following Germany, he came back to his own country with the sole commitment to work for human-welfare, abandoning his earlier decision not to come back.
After returning home, he realized that he needed immense amount of money to carry out his dreams. He started business. One after another, he built business organizations, of which Sundarban Courier Service (pvt.) Ltd. is the most prominent that gained popularity among the people as an example of service oriented business. With the money he earned from his business organizations, he first established the Shanto-Mariam Foundation, a non-political, service and human-welfare oriented organization, to realize his cherished dreams and to provide job-oriented, creative and cultural education to the underprivileged and neglected people of the country. This organization has four work plans:
As a first step towards implementing these four activities, he established the Shanto-Niketon in a purchased fourty bigha land in Sinaboho, Gazipur in 1994 to create a permanent complex for job-oriented, design and cultural education. There he started work to establish a residential vocational and technical training centre for the helpless orphans, underprivileged poor children and adolescents, and the neglected children in brothels and jails, to make them self-reliant and a rehabilitation centre for the neglected old people of the society. These works are in progress. In addition, steps have been taken to establish residential facility to educate children from 1st grade to 8th grade under the Shanto-Mariam School of Creative Technology in Uttarkhan, Dhaka. Mr. Shanto believes that our traditional education system should make the job-oriented education mandatory in the school and college levels to make our young people job-oriented. This will help to ensure that their labour plays a special role in the nation building and they will not likely be manipulated by any vested interest group for their own ulterior purpose as a result of their economic hardship.
Mr. Shanto, the inspired patriot and valiant freedom fighter, believes that the greatest achievement of our nation is the independence of the country and the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to achieve this victory are the greatest children of the nation. So, he established “Shahid Muktijoddha Smrity Foundation” commemorating the memory of his eleven fellow-fighters in order to present the real story of our liberation war to the new generation. At the same time, he built “Shahid Muktijoddha Smritisthombho”, a mausoleum at their graves in the new Azimpur Graveyard. These aside, he regularly provides help for the welfare of the injured freedom fighters and their families and the families of martyrs as well. And every year, he observes the 17th December as the “Shahid Muktijoddha Day”.
The principal aim of the Shanto-Mariam Foundation is: develop enlightened people and create a prosperous nation. As the next step towards implementation of this goal, he established the Shanto-Mariam Academy of Creative Technology to impart job-oriented, creative, cultural education and distance education. Under the “Education for All” programme of the Foundation, this Academy imparts short and long courses in art, music, dance, recitation-acting, musical instruments and job-oriented and design subjects as well. The Academy also offers distance education in SSC and HSC courses under the Bangladesh Open University Distance Education programme and Automotive, Dressmaking and Tailoring, and Interior Drafting with AutoCad trade course programmes under the Bangladesh Technical Education Board.
Then, education enthusiast Mr. Shanto established the Shanto-Mariam Institute of Creative Technology to raise the standard of the design and job oriented education in the country to the international level. This Institute offers Higher National Diploma and National Diploma programmes under the Edexcel International of UK in Fashion Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Fashion Merchandising and Media as well.
Mr. Shanto did not stop his programmes there. In order to implement the four work plans of the Foundation and to provide job-oriented, creative and cultural education at higher level, he established the first design university in the region, the Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, by combining the academic activities of the two educational organizations, and integrating with them the distance education. This University was established under the Shanto-Mariam Foundation in 2003 and at present it is being run under the ‘Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology Trust’ according to the Private University of Act, 2010.
The University is implementing its activities in dual mode- one is in the traditional campus based education and other is the distance education programme. The University is offering its academic programmes under three academic faculties:
In order to contribute to the development of country and the nation, Mr. Shanto took the programme to establish Shanto-Mariam Centres in different parts of the country to promote his educational initiatives by integrating with the Sundarban Courier Service. The main aim of these Centres was to provide distance education, job-oriented, creative and cultural education to students where they could avail lessons on design, fine art, music, dance and crafts. It was intended that Garments and Craft Villages would be established by taking advantage of natural and other resources of the students’ localities. This would help to provide employment opportunities to the people by keeping them in their locality and earn foreign exchange by exporting products from these villages. This would help the nation to free herself from the curse of unemployment. However, regrettably, the Government stopped the distance education programme succumbing to ill campaign of a vested interest group, and as a result the activities of the Centres came to a standstill.
Mr. Shanto believes that the economic, social and cultural, and even the political problems of the country as well, would be resolved to a great extent if these activities are implemented.
In order to set the activities as a model for the nation, he started “Education in Exchange of Work” though his Foundation. He established the Creative Destination, a design and product development and display centre, to integrate education with the market and to raise the standard of education to the international level by responding to the market demands. This organization is promoting the creative works of the students within the country and abroad. Also, it is working to promote our products developed from our own resources to the international market. To implement these activities, he established a number of organizations supporting the educational programmes:
The Shanto-Mariam Centre for Creative Media is working to highlight and spread the truth and beauty, modern education for a successful nation, cultural development of the nation and creativity of the people to the general public. A national daily, The Ajker Prottyasha, is being published regularly through this Centre.
Shanto-Mariam Foundation always extends its arm to help the distressed. It always stands by the calamity afflicted people as a friend with relief and financial help in times of natural disasters such as flood, storm and tidal surge. In 2007, this foundation stood by ten families in their rehabilitation efforts, who were devastated in the cyclone ‘Sidr’, by building permanent houses for them. The foundation is taking many initiatives to improve the status of the families who remain below the poverty line.
Bangladesh is currently traversing on the highway of development as Digital Bangladesh. We are proud that we are also a party to this development success. Shanto-Mariam Foundation has come forward with ‘Sundarban Digital Express Service’ as an active partner of the “Digital Centres” under the Government’s Access to Information (A2I) programme to provide courier service to the people.
Since the inception of the Shanto-Mariam Foundation, many experts, education enthusiasts and high ranking officials from home and abroad visited the University and praised the exceptional academic activities of the University. Many organizations from home and abroad offered financial assistance to its activities, which the founder politely declined to accept. His belief is that rather than the financial assistance we need technical assistance and training and expansion of cultural exchange.
Ironically, a vested quarter of anti-liberation forces and beneficiaries of independence has been involved in conspiracy to stifle to programmes of the great ideals and objectives of the foundation right after its birth. For the first time in this region, we have introduced exceptional higher education in fashion design, dance and classical music. Since then, high quarters from the government, and even the standing committee of the parliament in the time of four party coalition government, called us and opposed us by directing that this education is not needed in the country. For this reason we faced attacks numerous times, and a vested quarter made arson attack and destroyed properties in our Creative Hub and artworks of huge value.
Despite being a victim of the ill-efforts and hindrances created by the anti-liberation forces and the beneficiaries of the independence, the founder of this university, is conducting all activities of these education organizations by staying steadfast in his ideals and goals, as he remains inspired by patriotism, truth and justice. This is a war, which he started at the age of seventeen and it is still on. The academic activities have created much interest in the country and nearly all students from these institutes have gained employment at home and abroad after receiving quality education. They are working in their respective fields with efficiency and good reputation. Thus, the education has earned much popularity throughout the country and the nation sees its success with appreciation and respect. And for that reason, the people of the country has regarded this institution as the ‘Creative Destination of the Nation’.
We believe the country can go long way towards development by following this model of education and promoting the exceptional education. It is being proved now that madrassas often become a breeding ground for militancy because of lack of job-oriented education in the system. At the same time, students from affluent families often become involved in militancy despite getting higher education becoming victims because of lack of cultural education and religious dogmatism. As a result, events like Holey Artisan attack had happened. It has now been proved that the job-oriented, creative and cultural education that we have promoted for the last two decades plays an important role in development of youth and the need for such education is now acknowledged by all. The experts of the nation now realized the importance of this education. We congratulate them.
At the same time, we want to state firmly that development of the nation can come through utilizing the human and natural resources of the nation by promoting job-oriented, creative and cultural education. In addition, the youth of the country can be given higher education through online and distance education keeping them in their work places in their respective localities. Thus, it is an appeal to all quarters of the nation from the Shanto-Mariam Foundation that let all of us work together to build the nation by extending cooperation, advice and opinions so that we can spread this education nationwide realizing the importance and need of this education.
Being committed to creating enlightened people, the Shanto-Mariam Foundation wants to build a happy and prosperous country through job oriented, creative and cultural education. It wants to ensure the proper appreciation of the freedom fighters and to carry the benefits of the independence to the common people by establishing the Father of the Nation’s dream Golden Bengal, so that the nation can hold its head high in the world and brighten the green and red flag.
Shanto-Mariam Foundation: a service and human-welfare oriented organization
Shanto-Niketon is an initiative of the service and human-welfare oriented Shanto-Mariam Foundation as part of its programmes to implement the four work plans. The aim of this organization is to transform the poor underprivileged people and the neglected children of the nation, who are living a dreadful life beyond the society in jails and brothels, into good citizens of the country through educating them with job oriented, creative and cultural education. With this goal, Mr. Imamul Kabir Shanto first established Shanto-Niketon in a purchased fourty bigha land in Sinaboho, Gazipur. There, he started work to establish a residential vocational and technical training centre for the helpless orphans, underprivileged poor children and adolescents to enable them to be self-reliant, and a rehabilitation centre for the neglected old people of the society. The work is being developed now.
According to the implementation plan of this organization, there will be three different types of residential facilities for the poor and underprivileged people depending on their age, i.e. Dream Heaven, Glorious Heaven, and Sweet Heaven. The main branch of Dream Heaven, is in Shanto-Nibash, which is a concern of Shanto-Niketon. In this facility, children will be educated from 1st grade to 8th grade under the Shanto-Mariam School of Creative Technology. One branch of Dream Heaven will also be situated in Shanto-Niketon. After completing the 8th grade, the children in Dream Heaven will be educated in the Glorious Heaven, a facility of 9th grade to 12thgrades and equivalent diploma, to train and make them skilled with job oriented, creative and cultural education and placing them in employment at home and abroad. There will be separate male and female old homes in the name of Sweet Heaven where medical treatment, food and entertainment facilities will ensured, so that the old can lessen their loneliness and helplessness with the company of children. Under this project, there will be a hospital to provide medical treatment to general people. Under this project, a mosque and madrasah will also be established.
This organization will be run with its own income and assistance of Shanto-Mariam Foundation.
Shanto-Nibash is a centre to promote and expand job-oriented, creative and cultural education for human resource development situated in Uttarkhan near Uttara, Dhaka. It is a concern of Shanto-Niketon. From here, Creativity and Skills Development Centres in the name of Shanto-Mariam Centres will be established through out the countryto promote and expand job-oriented, creative and cultural education, which will play a great role in nation building and in development of skilled human resource.
In Shanto-Nibash, children and adolescent boys and girls who grew up in neglect in brothels, children of the convicted criminals in jail and poor orphans will be educated up to the 8th grade in “Dream Heaven” residential programme under the Shanto-Mariam School of Creative Technology. These young learners will then be given technical job-oriented, creative and cultural education up to the 12th grade and equivalent vocational diploma in Shanto-Niketon, Sinaboho, Gazipur after they graduate the 8th grade. Apart from these programmes, branches of Shanto-Mariam Academy of Creative Technology and Shanto-Mariam Institute of Creative Technology will also be operated in Shanto-Nibash.
SHANTO-MARIAM ACADEMY OF CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
Shanto-Mariam Academy of Creative Technology has been established in order to spread up-to-date design, cultural and technical education throughout the country under the guidance of Shanto-Mariam Foundation. Diploma, Certificate and short courses are open to all - from a child of 5 years and above. The subjects are as follows:
The Academy also introduced vocational SSC in Automotive, Dress Making & Architectural Drafting with Auto CAD under Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB). The Academy has started SSC and HSC programme under the Bangladesh Open University for underprivileged students.
Under the programme “Education for All” of Shanto-Mariam Foundation, Shanto-Mariam Academy of Creative Technology is expanding all the above courses to cater for the needs of the common people of the country. In addition a skills training programme for human resource development in the rural areas will be introduced soon all over the country.
SHANTO-MARIAM INSTITUTE OF CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
Shanto-Mariam Institute of Creative Technology is an educational institution of Shanto-Mariam Foundation. It is the only Centre in Bangladesh to offer Edexcel International, UK, awarded BTEC Extended Diploma (formerly National Diploma) and Higher National Diploma (HND) where students can get an International Diploma in Bangladesh at local cost.
This Institute was set up to specialise in art and design subjects with emphasis on supplying skilled designers, knowledgeable in industrial technology and management, as well as design subjects necessary for the indigenous manufacturing industries in Bangladesh, as well as the rest of Asia.
The Extended Diploma is the equivalent of “A” levels at the Level 3 of UK National Qualification Framework. It consists of 18 units and 2 years duration. The Higher National Diploma is equivalent to the first 2 years of a UK undergraduate programme. This Level 5 qualification of the Qualification Framework consists of 16 units and 2 years duration.
The diplomas have been developed in conjunction with industry and professional bodies to ensure they have the added value of preparing students for the world of work as well as higher education. The teaching method is to encourage students to learn through experience in a way that is commonly referred to as students–centred learning. These diplomas consist of 16/18 units and 2 years duration.
Study Areas available in Shanto-Mariam Institute of Creative Technology:
Extended Diploma HND Diploma
Fashion & Clothing Fashion & Textiles
Interior Architecture (3D Design) Interior Architecture (3D Design)
Graphic Design Graphic Design
After completion of any of the above courses, a student has the opportunity to seek admission around 150 universities in UK, USA and Australia which have agreements with Edexcel to accept ND and HND qualifications including Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology.
Joint-Venture Activities at the International Level by Shanto-Mariam Foundation
Shanto-Mariam Foundation is committed to raising the standards of the job oriented, creative and cultural education of the country to the international standard. With this aim, the Foundation signed cooperation and exchange agreements with Edexcel International, UK for vocational education and with Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, Germany, for textile and design education, and with Pearl Academy of Fashion, India, for design education. At the same time, Shanto-Mariam Foundation regularly organizes seminars, symposiums, art and photography exhibitions and cultural events for education and cultural exchange with different countries where many famous artists, scholars and experts participated. Shanto-Mariam Foundation organized the ‘Vote for Sundarban’ campaign to elect Sundarban as one of the world’s seven best natural wonders where dignitaries from the country and abroad were present. These aside, Shanto-Mariam Foundation started China Radio International and Shanto-Mariam Foundation Confucius Class Room under an agreement for language, education and cultural exchange with the China Radio International.
CRI-SMF CONFUCIUS CLASS ROOM
(A Chinese language institution of China Radio international and Shanto-Mariam Foundation)
With a view to keeping pace with the world’s changing socio-economic scenario, Shanto-Mariam Foundation delightfully agreed to a proposal by China Radio International (CRI), one of the largest international broadcasting stations of the world, to set up a Chinese language and culture center in the name and style of CRI-SMF Confucius Classroom (CSCC) in Dhaka.
Its objectives are:
1. To create and strengthen the teaching faculty of Chinese language and culture in Bangladesh
2. To revamp the polygonal relations between the two peoples of China and Bangladesh
through fluent and constant interactions in both Chinese and Bangla – the two tongues that
should infuse fresh blood in the ongoing status quo
3. To create a platform for bilateral cooperation to help boost trade, economy, education,
social fabric, science and technology, etc.
4. To promote joint entrepreneurship for most effective utilization of the abundant natural
resources of Bangladesh
It offers the following courses:
A. For Bangladeshis
Other services offered:
Following are some of the remarkable achievements CSCC made so far:
BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS UNDER SHANTO-MARIAM FOUNDATION
Sundarban Courier Service (Pvt.) Ltd
Sundarban Courier Service (Pvt.) Ltd., the first and fastest courier of the country, has been playing a pioneering role in the field of courier service in the private sector since 1983. Mr. Imamul Kabir Shanto, the founder chairman of the company, has played the leading role in promoting and legalizing courier service in Bangladesh. He is also the founder president of the Courier Service Association of Bangladesh. The Postal Department of the Government of Bangladesh has given him the honourary title as the “Legend of Courier” to recognize his role in leading and establishing the courier service in Bangladesh. It was not easy to promote this service of carrying information and products to the people, however Sundarban Courier Service has earned popularity and established the service overcoming many hindrances and hurdles. At present, courier service has become an essential element in everyday needs of businesses and consumers.
The goal of Sundarban Courier Service is to expand trade and commerce within the country through establishing communications links and extending fastest service in time, and to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through creating employment opportunities for unemployed youths. Sundarban Courier Service is working to transform them as skilled work force and thus remove the curse of unemployment.
Sundarban Courier Service provides services in the following areas:
1) General Service
2) Express service
3) Super Express Service
4) Non-Document Service
5) Value declared service
6) Parcel Service
7) To-Pay Service
8) Conditional Booking Service
9) International Service
11) Mobile Banking Service
12) E-Traffic Service (for Police)
Sundarban Courier Service is committed to providing secured service at the fastest time to the customers living in all corners of the country. The company has more than six thousand skilled employees who run the service operation day and night. In addition, it has more than two hundred transport/cargo covered vans which move documents/parcels to different routes of the country daily. It also has more than seventy six branch offices at district and division level and more than six hundred agency offices at thana/upazilla level.
A large part of the profits earned in Sundarban Courier Service is used to run the activities of the Shanto Mariam Foundation to carry out different welfare-oriented activities.
Sundarban Express Transportation System (SETS) Ltd.
Sundarban Express Transportation System (SETS) Ltd. is another transport service oriented company under the Shanto-Mariam Foundation. To support our growing export-import related trade in all sectors including the garments and many others, SETS has started its journey in 1998. At present, more than two hundred cargoand covered vans are engaged in this service business. SETS carries goods for shipments by air, sea and land transports creating thousands of employment opportunities.
Sundarban Digital Express
In response to a call from the Government, the Sundarban Digital Express, a new initiative of the Shanto-Mariam Foundation, has become an active partner of the Government’s programme to bring the benefits of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ to the marginal people of the country through utilization of the infinite potentials of the information technology. The Sundarban Digital Express has been established to make contributions in the socio-economic development of the country by offering a wider than the usual urban-centric service networks of the popular Sundarban Courier Service (pvt.) Ltd. and Sundarban Express Transportation Systems Ltd., especially by bringing the people of the remote rural areas under courier and parcel delivery service network.
We believe technology is an important factor in the efforts to establish the Father of the Nation Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s dream Golden Bengal. This programme to expand trade and commerce through establishment of networks utilizing the progress of technology and to bring the benefits of technology to the common people by providing necessary urgent services will move the nation forward and contribute to its socio-economic development. The transportation network that will be created to connect and carry products to the Digital Centres that were established under the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ programme will provide essential service to the people and accelerate socio-economic development. Thus we became an important partner to the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ activities through the Government’s Access to Information (A2I) programme, and we believe this initiative of ours will also earn an affectionate place in the minds of the people.
We request the best wishes and cooperation of people from all levels in our new initiative.
Apart from the above companies, the Foundation established the following business organizations:
Sundarban Marine Products
Reliance Industrial and Trading Corporation Ltd.
(Design, Development & Display Centre)
The latest innovation within the University has been to create a Design Centre named the “Creative Destination”. As a design development and display centre, it carries out its activities with the aim of making contributions in all aspects of design, marketing and culture. Here, research and product development, quality enhancement, the use of latest technologies as well as continuing education such as workshops and seminars, will be conducted.
This Centre of Excellence will strive to perpetuate design into all commercial and manufacturing industries through providing experienced designers on a contract basis, to “pump-prime” design strategy and produce Innovative product development.
This will also be a venue where ideas generation and exchange between experienced designers can take place, where enhancement of design and quality of product suitable for world markets can be displayed and a data bank of resource information is collated making the “Creative Destination” a “one-stop-shop” for all aspects of design.
The Design Centre Gallery will offer the opportunity for students and artists to display and sell their work. This Display Area will be used to show the students’ collections and as a venue for Innovative product display and small Trade Fairs. As the country’s unique culture is part of our national identity it should be cherished and nourished as has been sadly neglected in the past. The Creative Destination will play a pivotal role and by organizing cultural events, locally and internationally, will try to reverse this trend, by nurturing forgotten talents from throughout the country. By utilizing our abundant natural resources such as jute, bamboo, cane and leather and developing well designed quality products, this sector could supplement” garments” as a prime export. The indigenous local handicrafts can also be developed to become world-class and this can act like a catalytic agent for the rural poor to raise them above the poverty line, while remaining in their local environment. The key to this development is the creation of high quality products, design for world markets and marketed in an international way. The establishment of “Craft Village” in the rural areas, renowned for their specific products, is where workshops on design and quality will be conducted to the local artisan, sample designed products will be reviewed and production will take place.
The “Creative Destination” in Dhaka will act as the focus of all development activities, creating new designs, entirely new products, innovative packaging and ecologically acceptable goods suitable for International Buyers. The Design Centre will also market the products to generate interest of local and international buyers, supervise production, monitor quality and organize distribution and shipping. This initiative will help the rural poor bring prosperity and employment to rural areas, utilize our natural resources and generally boost up the country’s economy. The Creative Destination will establish liaison between market and productive education. As the Creative Destination with the Design, quality, marketing and technological expertise is viewed as a Centre of Excellence where training facilities, design and product development, Computer Aided Module [CAM] and testing facilities are available to business enterprises and thus the Foundation will be fulfilling its prime objectives. The “Creative Destination” will pave the way towards increased national prosperity, to create rural employment and help the nation at large.
Apart from the Creative Destination, the other business organizations under the Shanto-Mariam Foundation supporting creative education are:
Shahid Muktijoddha Smriti Foundation
Mr. Imamul Kabir Shanto, the inspired patriot and valiant freedom fighter, believes that the greatest achievement of our nation is the independence of the country and the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to achieve this victory are the greatest children of the nation. In response to the Father of the Nation’s call for the liberation war, Mr. Shanto, took active part in the war at a young age of 17 years.
After the ending of the nine month struggle and the surrender of enemy forces on 16th December, when hundreds of freedom fighters were returning to Dhaka crossing the river Buriganga in the first hour of the victory on the 17th December, very sadly, eleven of his fellow fighters, which included some of his close friends, died in the water in a dire boat-capsize. This event strongly affected his mind which he could not forget till today. He still remembers his close friends and fellow freedom fighters, including his close friend Amin. This sorrowful incident haunts him and makes him tearful. And this has become an impetus to turn his life and caused a great inspiration in his mind. He dedicated his life and work in the human welfare oriented activities of the Shanto-Mariam Foundation, abandoning the charm and luxurious life abroad. Without having any children, he even disregarded the affection in family life and dedicated his life and wealth to realize the dreams of the martyrs, and established the Shahid Muktijoddha Smriti Foundation.
Young Shanto was greatly aggrieved seeing no proper appreciation of these martyrs in the post-independence period. Their sacrifices have not yet been appreciated, and the great goals for which they sacrificed their lives have not been achieved. Therefore, he established the Shahid Muktijoddha Smriti Foundation to bring peace to the forgone souls, ensure their proper appreciation and implement the aims and objectives of the liberation war. At the same time, he built a mausoleum, ‘Shahid Muktijoddha Smritisthombho’, at their graves in the new Azimpur Graveyard, to keep their memories alive. And every year, he observes the 17th December as the ‘Shahid Muktijoddha Day’.
This foundation provides regular assistance to the insolvent families of the martyrs, injured freedom fighters and to their children for their welfare. Shahid Muktijoddha Foundation does not accept any financial assistance or donation from anyone and all of its activities are run with the finance and assistance of Shanto-Mariam Foundation.
This fellow freedom-fighter of the martyrs, Md. Imamul Kabir Shanto, believes that this country one day will stand high and glorious would be the red and green flag.