The Man who Built Floating Schools

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In Bangladesh, seasonal flood is, well, seasonal. It arrives every year drowning houses, hospitals and schools, which mean about 1.5 million students every year in Bangladesh, cannot attend school for months. A young architect Mohammad Rezwan saw this extremely complicated problem and solved it simply. His solution was simple – if water wants to rule, let it rule, we will build schools over it!

And so he did! He opened up an organisation named Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha (Sidhuail Self-reliant Organisation) that built schools on boats that floated around the flood-affected areas. The floating schools collect students from their houses since the students could not make it to school through the floodwater.

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The boats are not ordinary boats nor are the schools on them. Each boat is a classroom equipped with a library, computers and electronic devices that Mohammad Rezwan had bought with his own money. Although he was the only one bearing the expenditure at the beginning, he started receiving donations and funds later on from various national and international organisations and his endeavour quickly became a success.

Mohammad Rezwan now is an international figure spreading his brilliant idea worldwide. Many countries such as Cambodia, which are also suffering from flood every year, are following Mohammed Rezwan’s example. It is needless to say, Mohammad Rezwan has earned countless honorary awards for his work worldwide. He has also been covered in international media including the New York Times and BBC and a documentary has been made based on his work that was called ‘Easy Like Water”.

They say, when you do good to the world, the world does good to you. Mohammad Rezwan had a dream, to take education to students. He did not have enough money to start a huge project with but he started a small one anyway and he never had to look back. His dream pushed him forward and now he is planning to make floating vegetable gardens and poultries projects to help the parents, of his schools’ children, earn their living during the flood.