Rural education for development


Someone has said it right – ‘Education is the backbone of a country’. It is such an aspect which can take even the poorest of societies to the height of privilege and welfare. The examples are not few. Taking a look at the world’s most developed nations, we can see similarities in how they emphasize on education as a core factor which stirs their nation toward success. Owing to heavy investment behind educational sector, not only have they transformed into knowledge societies but also managed to attract thousands of students and workers from underprivileged corners of the world – all migrating with the vision of a better future for themselves and their loved ones. But why is it an issue? Where have we, as a nation, gone wrong?

Today, our beloved Bangladesh is strolling towards success. However, we are still placed in the ranks of least – to – medium developing countries with our per capita swinging in the range of $800 – $1000. Being poor and dependant on foreign aid has been an obstacle to many of our potentials as a nation. Authorities have, therefore, advocated that we should take a serious look into the education system which can be a viable solution to our existing problems. Education, in general, has a broad definition and hence, we need to pin-point on exactly what we are talking about. In my case, it would be rural education – the very basic schooling given to deprived communities in many villages and remote regions in our country.

According to statistics, a high proportion of the world population lives under poverty or have limited access to basic necessities of life. This reflects on our country as well. Lack of education has therefore, created a big literacy divide among our society which has led to many negative factors like poor living standard, discrimination and so on. It is of paramount importance that we shrink this divide as much as possible, for the sake of a developed and healthy generation. We as a nation should meld our efforts and work towards attaining it – societies, industries and government alike.

Even though our government and concerned authorities have planned ideas to spread and enhance the quality of rural education, lack of incentives, relevant contents and policies have barred its progress. Many teachers, schools are reluctant to move into these regions and do their job. Lack of infrastructure, unavailability of necessary living standard could be few of the reasons. Moreover, our state policies have comparatively favored education in city centers and major towns around the country, owing to which only privileged citizens get access to such service. In addition, many young people start work at a very early age in these rural regions due to shortage of family income and hence, do not get to attain the light of education. A prime reason for all these could be the lack of affordability to undertake such a large project for a population of 160 million, out of which at least 40% live in remote areas.

The causes, as we can see, have been adverse. Many of our countrymen travel to other countries and does intensive labor work. Moreover, they do not get paid that well to afford even a mediocre lifestyle which leads to health, physical and mental issues to which many of them don’t have a solution. An epitome could be UAE itself. It would be tough not to find a Bangladeshi worker in any construction site in this country. With millions of workers flooding in Middle East simply shows what lack of education can bring days to. Whereas, had they been schooled back in Bangladesh and given access to necessities, these people could have worked for the country and together we could have gone much further as a nation.

Nevertheless, all is not lost. We can still conjoin different aspects of our economy to boost rural education and related services. With a vision to transform Bangladesh into a knowledge-society someday, I can advocate our industries and academic institutions to come forward and implement technology as a very feasible method of achieving it. With the aid of experts, such move will not only stimulate learning but also dawn an interactive environment where users can learn, have fun and also penetrate into their technology skills. Related IT Systems can be developed to foster teaching in collaboration with local and international partners, which can also overcome issues of corruption, terrain, climate and bureaucratic barriers – factors that are predominantly existent in our part of the world. In addition to making an educated country, we can also make strides in the field of technology and develop professionals who may later catalyze their expertise to provide a concrete foundation on which we can make an ‘Innovation Economy’.

By: M. Redwan Hasan

A peek into our serials, series and telefilms, Is it really worth it?

Few days back I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and I asked him whether he watched the Valentine’s Day special natoks or not. He looked at me very bizarrely and started laughing. He thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. He said I am still old schooled and should start watching western TV-series and serials. Surprisingly, he then started mocking our Bangladeshi natoks comparing them with typical Indian ‘saas bahu’ serials. I won’t say that there aren’t any of such types in Bangladesh but we have some great natoks too.  Now a day’s people are so busy following the western culture that we overlook what is good in our local culture. Decades ago it was a common scenario in every Bengali family to watch various types of natoks with their family, genres of which range from drama to entertainment. Moreover, this was how they used to spend time with each other as well. But in this modern generation people are so occupied that family members hardly get to interact with each other on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, if they do manage sometime, Bangla natoks would most certainly not be in their watching list. They would rather watch popular western TV-series and some of them would even opt for the Indian soap operas. We do have great directors and producers in our country who make excellent natoks and believe me when I say this, they are much better than those Indian soap opera makers. We have many talented actors as well. As a matter of fact, our industry is growing immensely than our film industry. One of my all time favorite natok was AJ ROBIBAR. It was one of the best natok produced by a legend in Bengali media – Mr. Humayun Ahmed. In addition, it was one of the most admired comedy natok in earlier 90’s. Even when the show ran its course, it was telecasted on a regular basis. Zahid Hasan played a powerful role in this serial. One of his most famous dialogues from this natok was – “titli bhaiya titli bhaiya amar shob kichu hijibiji mone hocche”. The tone and expression from his face were simply amazing. There were also other famous actors in that natok and they were: Abul Hayat, Shuborna Mustafa, Ali Zaker, Assaduzzaman Noor, Shaon and Sheela Ahmed.

Zahid Hassan, however, is the comedy king of bangla natoks. His recent work which is truly praise-worthy is the ‘Arman Bhai’ series. He along with Tisha did a splendid job. The concept of the natok was very much appreciated by the viewers. He really pulled off the character very well and portrayed with true dialects of a guy who belongs from the Dhakiya origin. On the other hand, one of my favorite actors other than Zahid Hassan is Mosharraf Karim. He is extremely talented. I loved his work in GHOR KUTUM, RONGER MANUSH, VHOBER HAAT, and HAAR KIPTA, by Salauddin Lavlu. Having proved his talents as an actor, he successfully established himself as one of the best director and producer in Bangladesh. Noteworthy though, his natoks never fails to make the audience laugh! The best thing about his work is that he accentuates the local culture perfectly. His work has the flavor of Bangladesh’s rural areas and its traditions. All the characters of his serials speak in different dialects we have in Bangladesh which actually helps to make our generation aware of Bangladesh’s cultural roots. The stories are all related to villagers and their primitive lifestyle. His natoks not only brings out the essence of our country but also shows the originality and hospitality of our people. All of his work concepts are different from one another and when I watch these natoks, I really find the same joy when I watch ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ or The Big Bang Theory.

Apart from natoks, also we have some excellent telefilms around. Eid is landmark time of the year when we get to watch new telefilms. Now-a-days having so many local TV channels have made it really hard for viewers to decide what to watch and what to ignore. In one of the Eids, Airtel sponsored the telefilm named ‘IMPOSSIBLE 5’. The concept was pretty amazing. We have never had sci-fi or fantasy genres used in our telefilms prior to this one. The ending was very shocking and it had received criticisms. However, I was highly impressed that someone actually took a step forward and came up with a concept quite opposing to the mainstream serials and series. It feels great to see that people of our country are actually thinking of such concepts and putting them to use. Moreover one of the romantic telefilms, also by Airtel, was BHALOBASHI TAI BHALOBESHE JAI. It had multi cast and the story was incredible. The idea was not like any other drama or romantic serials but was very much different than the usual romantic stories. An epitome on how telefilms are attracting good casts in Bangladesh is shown by Tahsan, a heartthrob of our music industry, who acted in many telefilms. Some of them are NILPORI NILANJONA, LOVE LANE, MONFORINGNER GOLPO and MONSUBA JUNCTION. He has done a fantastic job and maintained the personality of a romantic hero very effectively in the telefilms.

Finally, I am stressing on the fact that we should watch bangla natoks and telefilms over western tv-series everytime. But it would be a good idea if we could at least try to watch one or two of our local productions once in a while. After all we are all Bangladeshis and it is our duty to appreciate what is good in us, and help the makers of these natoks and telefilms to even succeed more. Without even knowing our flaws we are comparing us with others. Everyone has different qualities and I believe our quality is being best in our own ways and style.

 By: Sumaiya Akhter Nitu

By Student Express Posted in Articles

Printed Books will Always Exist

eBooks-vs-booksSaima was rigorously searching for Stephen Hawking’s ‘A brief history of time’. She almost searched every possible place where she could find it and finally she found the book. She clicked a button, the PDF file opened and she started reading the classic. That’s how Saima and many others search for books on their computers and over the net instead of going through stuffed bookshelves of the library or buying printed books. They just sit with their machine in the corner; find their ideal web page where the desired book is just one click away. With this emerging widespread of gadget usage, the question that comes along is, ‘are gadgets replacing physical books?’ Maybe they are, as technologies have reached to a higher level. So anything is possible. But still there are many things in this world which will never fade away. Same goes with printed books. They have been around the world for ages and there are more printed book lovers than any other e-book lovers. People still love having their libraries filled with printed books. Readers can truly feel the printed books because they are physical books and no matter what happens it’s easy to visualize an image more vividly while reading a printed book rather than e-books or other electronic device used for reading books.

There are many people who love to collect books. Whether they have a library or not, they just want to increase their collection of books. With e-books or tablets, you cannot simply do those things. With printed books you can read whenever you want to read; but in case of E-book, you are unable to read or use it once the battery is down, you will need to wait until its charged up. There are many book lovers who want to own the original edition of books to their collection. Though it’s true, that the books which used to decorate the huge shelves of one’s library are now easily found in the pockets of the people copied in their pen drives, but still printed books have its own advantages. According to, researchers found that it’s better for children to read printed books rather than advanced e-books. “The enhanced e-book was less effective than the print and basic e-book in supporting the benefits of co-reading, because it prompted more non-content-related interactions. The print books were more advantageous for literacy-building co-reading, whereas the e-books, particularly the enhanced e-book, more effectively engaged children and prompted physical interaction.”

Readers love printed books because they can feel the books. They can smell the crisp pages of the printed books. Nowadays one can easily download books for free but still there are readers alive who would give all their money away to buy a book which they can feel and touch. Printed books can be signed by its authors or any other person. Also there are readers who love buying old books and love the old smell of the pages. If for instance a book falls down from hand there won’t be any chance for it to break down but will cause a lot of damage if an e-book or kindle falls from one’s hand. One can also read printed book if it falls down into the water. But if it happens with e-book it will stop working. According to Fenlon, some studies show that our brains react differently when reading printed words rather than digital words. It can retain better information. Some scientists believe that “The physical presence of the printed pages, and the ability to flip back and forth through them, turns out to be important to the mind’s ability to navigate written works, particularly lengthy and complicated ones.” (Fenlon, 2013).

Printed books can be heavy and sometimes it’s difficult to carry, but still readers of printed books don’t mind carrying some extra weight. Maybe it has become an old school in this new generation full of gadgets. Readers can actually imagine the vision of the tale while reading printed books. Reading physical books truly seems like one is actually reading a book. One needs to be very cautious when handling an e-book or a kindle but it doesn’t happen when it comes to physical books. According to Royal, “Physical books do not have any legal restrictions when it comes to using them. According to Amazon’s website, there are certain rules regarding lending out e-books. The publisher chooses which titles to make eligible for lending and the books may only be loaned once for a period of 14 days.” (Royal, 2013). But with printed books one doesn’t have to face so much hassle. They can write, underline or circle in the book if they want to.

If we go on and on we can find many more pros and cons about printed book and e-books. But there are still certain readers in this world who are not use to the digital devices. They still believe that no matter how much science has advanced; traditional books will still be there. Maybe the craze will be less but it will be there. Just like as human beings will die one day but still they will remain the best creation of GOD. So, I truly agree with Douglas Adams. As he once compared physical books with sharks. And sharks were there before dinosaurs and they still exist because sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is.

By: Sumaiya Akhter Nitu

Sumaiya is currently perusing B.A. in English from North South University, Bangladesh. Apart from writing, she also loves Painting, writing, watching movies, listening to music & travelling.


Student Express Super Bowling Championship 2014


Student Express has organized and took part in almost 35 events in recent years. Under Student Express group, we have organized an art competition named “Ekusher Angon” in order to celebrate International Mother Language Day. Just like every other event, this time Student Express organized a Super Bowling Championship 2014, at Dubai International Bowling Center.

With a very limited amount of time, all the arrangements were made. Within boundary of two weeks we made all the arrangements from advertising about the event and team registration process, everything went smoothly. The response was enormous for taking part in the event. However we had limited space for teams, only 15 teams were allowed to take part in the tournament. Many teams felt disappointed as they could not make in time to register first and take part in the tournament.

Finally the day arrived, all the participants ready to fight for the Championship trophy and the Silver COIN.  We started the venue registration and by the time we were done with it, our chief guest arrived, Mr. Kiriti Chakma (Vice Consul, Bangladesh Consulate – Dubai & Northern Emirates). The opening of the tournament was performed by our Chief Guest, throwing a bowl to hit the pins. As soon as the opening, all the team got down in the battle to become the Super Champion Team of the Super Bowling Championship.

The battle finished and the time to announce the Super Bowling Team. All the teams were quite competitive and the results were astonishing. The title Super Champion for the Super Bowling Tournament was won by “The Bowling Boys”, team made by students of Ibn Seena English School, Sharjah. Following them the runners up was the Heriot-Watt University Dubai’s Team name “Metric Fate”. The winning team was given champion trophies and Sapil Perfumes gift bags. The runners up were given the runners up trophies and gift bags as well. The Top Scorer was from the Champion Team, Mr. Danish who grabbed the title of the Top Scorer and took home the 60 grams Pure Silver Coin.

On behalf of whole Student Express team we would like to thank all our Sponsors, participants and volunteers for the smooth running of the event. We have tried to make all the participants feel good. During the event we captured events in the form of photos, which are posted on our Facebook page. [ ]

Jamuna makes its way to final : Wal​ton-Rtv Independen​ce Day Football

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The first Semi Final of Walton-Rtv Independence Day Football tournament held yesterday. Jamuna a Team Managed by Student Express a Student group of Expatriate Bangladeshi’s made its way to final after a head to head fight with Padma (Team from Umm Al Quiwan) Both the team scored 2 Goal each for a Tie.

Organizer’s decided another 10+5+10 minutes play to decide. Goal less 2nd phase pushed the match into Penalty shoot outs. Thousand of spectators holding their breath witnessed another tie in shoot out.

This was the first semi final of the tournament which was decided by a SUDDEN Death goal. Padma Captain Missed the GOLDEN Goal while Jamuna scored and qualified as the First Team into Final. Jamuna will play against the winning team of next Semi final (Surma vs Dholeshwari). 2nd Semi final date yet to be declared. Thousands of spectators turned up to watch the Match.

Tournament Advisors, Community leaders and large number of family also were present to watch this match. Dr. Mahmudul Haque, Commercial counsilor was present as Chief Guest and gave away Man of the Match Prize to Padma Goal Keeper Masum. Mr. Mahmud Mamun, Managing Partner of Mohd. Moqbul Trading llc was present as special guest with Engineer Mr. Zafar and Mr Sayeed of Jabal Noor Printing Press.

By Student Express Posted in News

Dubai International Academic City Successfully Concludes First Winter Week of Welcome

Dubai International Academic City Successfully Concludes First Winter Week of Welcome

Event Serves as Creative Platform for Students to Experience University Life at DIAC

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), the region’s premier destination for higher education and a member of TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster, successfully rolled out its first winter edition of the Week of Welcome, bringing together students and faculty members from across the universities based at the academic destination. Aimed at welcoming students to the DIAC campus and introducing new students to the university lifestyle, the winter initiative was organised by the DIAC Student Hub from 22-23 February as a prelude to the signature Week of Welcome held annually in October.

The Week of Welcome serves as a perfect platform for new and existing students from diverse cultures and backgrounds to interact with one another and gain a glimpse of student life at DIAC. It is also open to high school students to enable them to experience campus lifestyle and understand the importance of a balance between academic and personal excellence.

Dr Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster, said: “At DIAC, we acknowledge the importance of extracurricular activity as an essential contributor to the overall advancement of students. In addition to making students feel instantly at ease and helping them integrate into the larger student community, the event enables universities to introduce their services, facilities and faculty to their students.” Key attractions at WoW included stage performances featuring singers, dancers and musicians in addition to competitions, a fashion show and a flea market. Dr. T. R. Venkatesh, Academic Head, Amity University Dubai, said: “Amity University has received tremendous support from Dubai International Academic City. The plethora of benefits and services that it extends to students is truly commendable.

“Initiatives such as the Week of Welcome play a crucial role in creating an ideal work-play balance and encouraging students to explore their talent. These are key essentials that contribute to enriching the student experience and ensure their overall development. In addition to striving for academic excellence, Amity University prioritises the participation of its students in the activities organized by DIAC’s Student Hub. The Week of Welcome is looked forward to with great interest as an ideal ice-breaking event for new joiners.”

Mandeep Kathuria, an undergraduate student of Mechanical Engineering at BITS Pilani, said: “The Week of Welcome is much more than an event – it is a celebration featuring a number of cultural activities that are organized and performed by the students of DIAC. More importantly, it gives students a chance to interact and enjoy as one cohesive unit. Personally, as a student representative, I look forward to the WoW experience and enjoy participating in events such as the Talent Hunt and Fresher’s Night. I look forward to many more such initiatives in the near future.”

Mandated to act as the liaison between the student body and DIAC Management, the Student Representative Council that falls under the guidance of the Student Hub offers services that facilitate an enriching student experience. The Student Hub organises sporting, social and community events and activities including the DIAC Career Fair, Graffiti Art and the DIAC Sports Tournament. The team additionally provides students with guidance on numerous issues including immigration and visas, internships and career placements. Personal development seminars and workshops are also permanent calendar events at DIAC.

By Student Express Posted in News

Dubai Bangladesh Consulate celebrates International Mother Language Day on 21st February 2012

লুৎফুর রহমান, দুবাইঃ ২১শে ফেব্রুয়ারি সকাল ৮ টায় মহান শহীদ দিবস  ও আন্তর্জাতিক মাতৃভাষা দিবস উপলক্ষে সংযুক্ত আরব আমিরাতের দুবাইতে বাংলাদেশ কন্সুলেট এর উদ্যোগে এক আলোচনা সভা কন্সুলেট প্রাঙ্গণে অনুষ্ঠিত হয়। কনস্যাল জেনারেল মোঃ আবু জাফর এর সভাপতিত্বে ও ভাইস কন্সূলার আবু আশিক মাহমুদ এর পরিচালনায় আলোচনায় অংশ নেন কমার্শিয়াল কন্সুলার ড. মাহমুদুল হক, ভাইস কন্সুলার নাসরিন জাহান লিপি ও লেবার কন্সূলার নাসরিন জাহান।

এতে বাংলাদেশ কমিউনিটির শীর্ষস্থানীয় নেতৃবৃন্দ বক্তব্য রাখেন। অনুষ্ঠানে অন্যান্যের মধ্যে উপস্থিত ছিলেন বাংলাদেশ সমিতির সাবেক সভাপতি প্রকৌ. আবু জাফর চৌধুরী, বাংলাদেশ বিজনেস কাউন্সিল আমিরাত শাখার সম্পাদক নূর মোহাম্মদ, সিলেট বিভাগ উন্নয়ন পরিষদ আমিরাত শাখার সম্পাদক এ এম আব্দুল্লাহ,  দুবাই আওয়ামীলীগ নেতা মুক্তিযোদ্ধা কাজী শাহজাহান, দুবাই বিএনপির সভাপতি নুরুল আবছার, প্রকৌ. আবু হেনা, আইয়ুব আলী বাবুল, ইলিয়াস চৌধুরী, মাসিক মুকুল সম্পাদক লুৎফুর রহমান, সাংবাদিক মাহবুব হাসান হৃদয়, সমীরণ বড়ুয়া ও মশকুর আহমদ প্রমুখ। বক্তারা আলোচনায় বলেন- বাংলা ভাষাকে বিশ্বায়ন করতে সকলকে একযোগে কাজ করতে হবে। বিশেষ করে জাতিসংঘের দাপ্তরিক ভাষা হিসেবে রূপ দিতে দলমত নির্বিশেষে কাজ করার আহবান জানান।

এদিকে একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারির প্রথম প্রহরে দুবাই শহরে একুশের আড্ডার আয়োজন করে আমিরাত-বাঙলা পত্রিকা মাসিক মুকুল। এতে কবিতা-ছড়া আবৃত্তি ও আলোচনায় অংশ নেন-মুকুল সম্পাদক লুৎফুর রহমান, সহ-ব্যবস্থাপনা সম্পাদক খলিলুর রহমান খলু, পরিজন মশকুর আহমদ, তুষার মুহিব, তাজুল ইসলাম ও আফজাল সাদেকীন প্রমুখ।

৩-০ গোলে প্রসাস জিতলো আজকের খেলা

দুবাই প্রতিনিধিঃ আজ সেই ১০ ফেব্রুয়ারী ২০১২। বিগত ২ মাসেরও অধিক সময় ধরে আমিরাতের প্রবাসী প্রতিটি বাংলাদেশী অধীর আগ্রহে অপেক্ষায় ছিলেন যে স্বাধীনতা কাপ ফুটবল টুর্ণামেন্ট এর। ক্ষণ গুনতে গুনতে অবশেষে দোর গোড়ে এসে ধরা দিল সেই দিনটি। শুক্রবার হিসেবে সবাই জুমার নামাজের জন্য প্রস্তুত ছিল। যদিও খেলা শুরু হবার কথা ছিল বেলা সাড়ে তিনটা থেকে; কিন্তু আয়োজক সহ স্পন্সরদের প্রতিনিধিবৃন্দ খাটছিলেন সকাল থেকেই। মূল আয়োজন চলছিল গত ১ সপ্তাহ নাগাত। মরুভূমির এই কুচি পাথর আর ধুলোবালুতে ভরা এবড়ো থেবড়ো মাঠটি কে খেলার উপযোগী করে তুলতে আয়োজকদের মাথার ঘাম পায়ে গেছে।

সকালের দিকে আবওহাওয়া ধুলোময়ী থাকলেও দুপুরের পরে তা স্বাভাবিক হয়ে যায়। নতুবা  হয়তো আজকের ম্যাচটি দর্শকদের দেখার সুযোগ হতো না। কারণ, এ দেশে একবার ধুলিঝড় শুরুও পাশের মানুষকেও দেখতে বড় কষ্ট হয়। তা ছাড়া খেলার মাটটি শহরের বাইরে হবার কারণে অপরিচিত স্থান হিসেবে খুঁজে পেতে দেরী হয় অনেকেরই। প্রচারের জন্য যে ৩৫,০০০ লিফলেট বিতরণ করা হয়েছে তাতে লোকেশান ম্যাপটি প্রিন্ট থাকলে দর্শকদের উপস্থিতি হয়তো আরো  বাড়তো। উদ্ভোধনী ম্যাচ হিসেবে দর্শকের সমাবেশ তেমন একটা আশা করা যাচ্ছিল না। কিন্তু খেলা শুরু হবার কিছু আগেই মাঠের দুই প্রান্ত ভরে যায় দর্শকে।

মাননীয় কন্স্যাল জেনারেল এসে পৌছান বেলা সাড়ে তিনটায়। এর পরপরই সংক্ষিপ্ত আলোচনা পর্বের শুরু হয়। নাজমুল হল (জীবন) এর চঞ্চল ও প্রমোদবাহী উপস্থাপনার মাঝে ঢাকা ষ্টেডিয়াম এর সেই পুরনো ধারা বিবরণকারী নাজমুলকে খুঁজে পায় দর্শকরা।  সকল টিমের খেলোয়াড়দেরকে মাঠের উত্তরে সম্মানিত মেহমানদের জন্য তৈরীকৃত মঞ্চের সামনে সারিবদ্ধভাবে সমবেত হতে দেখা যায়। প্রতিটি টিমের ২০ জন করে দাঁড়িয়ে আটটি টিমের জন্য তৈরী আটটি রঙের জার্সিতে এক মনমুগ্ধকর পরিবেশের সৃষ্টি করে।

বাংলা এক্সপ্রেস সম্পাদক মোঃ হারুনুর রশীদ এর পবিত্র কোরান তেলাওয়াতের মাধ্যমে অনুষ্ঠানের সূচনা হয়। এরপর সংক্ষিপ্ত বক্তব্য রাখেন ওয়াল্টন এর সোল এজেন্ট মকবুল ট্রেডিং এর স্বত্তাধিকারী জনাব মাহমুদ,  সবাইকে অভ্যর্থনা জানান ওয়ার্ড ওয়াইড ট্যুর এর জনাব আহমদ, এবং প্রধান অতিথির বক্তব্য রাখেন দুবাইস্থ বাংলাদেশ কন্সুলেট এর মাননীয় কন্স্যাল জেনারেল জনাব মোঃ আবু জাফর। এরপর নির্ধারিত দুইটি খেলোয়াড় দল ছাড়া বাকী সবাই মাঠ ত্যাগ করেন। মান্যবর কন্স্যাল জেনারেল এর ‘ফার্স্ট কিক’ এর সাথে মাঠের চারিদিক থেকে আসে তুমুল করতালির ধ্বনি… শুরু হয় প্রথম খেলাটি।

আজকের খেলাটি ছিল প্রবাসী সাংবাদিক সমিতি প্রসাস (সুরমা দল) ও বাংলাদেশ সামাজিক ও সাংস্কৃতিক সংস্থা আজমান (পদ্মা দল )এর মধ্যে। মাঠের বালু আর কুচি পাথরের মধ্যে খেলোয়াড়দের প্রচন্ড কষ্ট হওয়া স্বত্তেও পরপর চারটি গোল টারগেটে ব্যর্থ হয় পদ্মা দল। সবাই সুরমা দলের ভাগ্য গুনছিল। প্রথম ৩০ মিনিটের মধ্য কোন গোল না হওয়ায় মাঠের চতুরপার্শে দাঁড়ানো হাজার দুই দর্শকদের মধ্যে খেলা গোলশুন্য হয়ে যাবে বলে হতাশার ভাব বিরাজ করে। মাত্র দশ মিনিটের বিরতীর পর আবার শুরু হয় খেলা।

এবার খেলার গতি ফিরে যায়। মাঠটি  লেবার ক্যাম্প এলাকা হওয়ায় দলে দলে দর্শকদের ভীড় বাড়তে থাকে। খেলোয়াড়দের মাঝে দেখা যায় চরম আগ্রাসী ভাব। দর্শকদের মূহুর্মুহু করতালির মধ্য দিয়ে খেলার ঠিক ৪১ মিনিটে সুরমা দল পদ্মা দলের গোল পোষ্ট দিয়ে এ টুর্ণামেন্টের সর্ব প্রথম বলটি পার করার সফলতা পায়। সুরমা দলের সোহেল রানা এ গোলটি দিয়ে ঘোষিত হয় ওয়াল্টন এর পক্ষ থেকে একটি মোবাইল বিজয়ী বলে। গোলটির বদলা দিতে মরিয়া হয়ে ওঠে পদ্মা দল। কিন্তু ভাগ্যের নির্মম পরিহাস মাত্র আট মিনিটের মাথায় আরেকটি গোল করে সুরমা দলের নুরুল আলম টুটুল।

এবার দর্শকদের মধ্যে দেখা যায় একদিকে ক্ষোভ আর অপরদিকে উৎসাহ। দলের সাপোর্টারবৃন্দ ধীরে ধীরে হাত গোটাতে শুরু করে দেয় পদ্মা দলের পক্ষ থেকে। চারিদিকে টান টান উত্তেজনা। সবাই নড়ে চড়ে বসে। হয়তো এবার কিছু একটা ঘটাবে পদ্মা। কিন্তু সবাইকে তাক লাগিয়ে আর মাত্র ১৩ মিনিটের মাথায় আরেকটি গোল ছুড়ে দেয় সুরমা দলের নুরুদ্দীন আহমদ  টিপু।

আর মাত্র সাত মিনিট বাকী। সুরমা চেষ্টা করে আরেকটি গোল করে হালি পুরো করে দিতে; কিন্তু ইতিমধ্যেই বেঁজে ওঠে রেফারীর বাঁশীর লম্বা টান। ৩-০ গোলে বিজয়ী বলে ঘোষিত হয় প্রবাসী সাংবাদিক সমিতি প্রসাস এর দল ‘সুরমা’। শেষ হয়ে যায় আজকের খেলা। ম্যান অব দ্য ম্যাচ ঘোষিত হয় সোহেল রানা। মিউনিখ মেডিকেল সেন্টার পক্ষ থেকে তাকে এক বৎসরের জন্য ফ্রী চিকিৎসা কার্ড দেয়া হয়।

ঘরে ফেরার আগেই আবার নাজমুল এর কণ্ঠে ঘোষিত হয় আগামী শুক্রবার ১৭ ফেব্রুয়ারী এই মাঠেই ২য় ম্যাচ।   ২ টি টিমের খেলা হবে সকাল সাড়ে দশটায় ধলেশ্বরী ও কর্ণফুলী এবং বেলা সাড়ে তিনটায় মেঘনা ও পদ্মা দলগুলির মাঝে।