Kishore Kumar Das, founder of the charity organisation ‘Bidyanondo’ in Bangladesh, has been recognised as the 223rd Commonwealth Points
The ‘Points of Light’ awards recognise outstanding volunteers every day of the week – people whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to creative innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond. Kishore, aged 40, set up ‘Bidyanondo’ in 2013, which started with only 22 students and now 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 the 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.
As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, the Queen as head of the Commonwealth is thanking inspirational volunteers across 54 commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each commonwealth country every week.
By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
“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,” he said.
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.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 54 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace.
The Heads of Government meeting brought together leaders from all the 54 member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially the youth.
Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty the Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way, said a press release from the British High Commission in Dhaka.