Return to Aila | Stamford University

The month long awareness campaign about the rehabilitation of the Aila affected people of Bangladesh organized by the AUTUMN Foundation started off on July 21 at Stamford University, Siddeswari campus. The entire campaign will focus on the long term rehabilitation issues of those people through Photo Exhibitions in several different public and private universities.

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At Stamford University, the Photo Exhibition opened for the general students at around 1pm in the afternoon and remained open till 6pm. The exhibition had twenty selected pictures of the area Dacope; still one of the worst affected due to the cyclone Aila. Muktadir Irtiza Miraj is the young photographer who took those pictures during his trip to Dacope along with Fazle Abed and Saad Hussain. All of them are the members of AUTUMN Foundation and they made the trip on June 19 this year. The images projected the difficult lives of the people who are still suffering the brunt of the catastrophe.

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At around 3pm an interactive seminar was held at the premises of Stamford University. The Photo Exhibition and the seminar went on simultaneously. The seminar discussions focused on the details of the campaign and the issues regarding the rehabilitation of those 100,000 still affected people in the different areas of Khulna and Satkhira. The distinguished speakers from Stamford University talked about what is the current situation, what can be done and what can be the role of the youth of Bangladesh in helping those helpless people.

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One major attraction of the exhibition was a Big Square Water Box in the center of the exhibition. The pictures were arranged in a square formation so that people can go around and view all of them. And the box stood right in the middle of that formation. A young member of AUTUMN Foundation, Rubayet Ahmed stood inside the box which was filled with muddy water and which rose up to his knee. This demonstration was done to symbolize the fact that the people of the Aila affected areas have to remain inundated in similar manners most of the times. The aim of this demonstration is to provoke the thoughts of the viewers.

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The young students of the university expressed great concern after being informed of the facts. They signed a petition to show their support for the proper and long term rehabilitation of the Aila affected people. The program ended with the declaration of its continuation within a very short time, but the details of the next venue was not discussed right then.

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