I met the most amazing little boy today, a lovely 15 year old budding entrepreneur named Bablu. Due to his father’s illness, Bablu had to financially support his family from a very young age. He started growing spinach in small patches of available land near his home and would take the produce from house to house looking for buyers. Over time the business grew and after saving small portions of his earnings over time, he was able to save up enough money to purchase a van which he uses to transport his vegetables to and from the market, thus saving on transportation costs and opening up another stream of income by renting out the van to other local vendors.
He never had the opportunity to go to school but with the help of a local NGO, he was able to learn to read and write as well as some basic arithmetic skills which he has been able to leverage into a grocery business with a total capital of BDT 300,000. Now that his business has expanded, he is able to employ his mother so that she no longer has to work as a domestic servant.
Last month, Bablu was kidnapped from Mirpur and taken to Tongi, where the kidnapper demanded his money and his mobile phone. When he told them that he had nothing, they beat him up and left him unconscious on the street. With the help of a kind stranger, he was eventually able to make his way back home.
If something had happened to him, his family would have lost their main income provider, the children of the local community would have lost a valuable leader and mentor and the nation would have lost a potential future talent.
Bablu has already overcome so much in his life. Yes, he is wise beyond his years but he is merely a child and needs to be protected by someone. It’s ironic that the Police, the ones charged with protecting him from such things, extort money from him on a daily basis. Someone save Bablu! Someone save us all!