Principal Abu Hamed: A great educationist

22 December 2022

Sheikh Shahbaz Riad :
Principal Sheikh Mohammad Abu Hamed was a famous personality and a legendary name of Sarail in Brahmanbaria. He was one of the most talented students in the area as well as an enthusiastic student leader, linguist, self-sacrificing educationist, energetic philanthropist, freedom fighter, selfless politician, believer in simple lifestyle. Above all, he was a man of enlightened philosophy. His life history is the story of a self-sacrificing nation builder and a patriot. He was born in 1928 AD in a noble Muslim family in Akhitara village, a remote village of Sarail Upazila of Brahmanbaria district. He was inspired by his family's piety and independence from his early student days. Although his education started somewhat late due to illness, he was a very brave and brilliant student.
He is involved in all the rational and progressive activities of freedom struggle in Bengal. Apart from politics, he founded numerous social and cultural organizations. When he was student of class nine in 1949, under the ideals of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman he established the committee of Chhatra League in Sarail Annada High School. He secured 17th rank under East Bengal Board of Secondary Education in 1951from Sarail Annada High School. As a student of Dhaka College, he actively took part in the language movement of 1952. In 1953, he formed the Sarail Cultural Association and under whose initiative a girls' school was established in Sarail.  One of the main purposes of this association is to raise funds by organizing cultural programs for Sarail Girls School. Sarail Balika Vidyalaya, established nearly 70 years ago, continues to serve as a beacon for women's education and women's development in his area.
In 1954, he took up various activities with the students while studying in Dhaka University to demand the construction of Sarail-Nasirnagar road. In 1956, inspired by the ideals of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he formed the committee of Awami League in Sarail and was nominated as its president. In 1956, as a resident student of Salimullah Muslim Hall of the University of Dhaka, he received his MA degree in the Department of History.
In 1960-61 session, he received BEd training from Dhaka Teachers Training College and served as magazine editor. On April 18, 1971, he went to Agartala to receive training to join in the Liberation War after taking a risky 40-mile journey on foot and sometimes through swimming. He joined Narsinghgarh Youth Camp as Political Instructor in June. Narsinghgarh Youth Camp was named 'Banga Shardul Youth Camp'. In September, the influential leader of Awami League and the chief administrator of the eastern region, Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury, as the president and Professor Babu Harlal Roy of Brahmanbaria College as the vice-president he formed the Eastern Bangladesh College Teachers' Association. He was elected general secretary.
He started his carrier as Thana Education Officer in 1962 at Kishoreganj. He formed Kishoreganj Sahitya Sangsad with Prof. Narendra Chandra Ghosh. It is noted that like other government employees, he could spend his life comfortably with his family. But as a devoted patriot, he could not accept this lifestyle at all. In 1964 after resigning from government service as education officer, he returned to the area as headmaster of Shahabazpur High School to devote himself to education and other developmental activities in Sarail. He formed an organization aiming to establishing a college in Sarail. He was also a cultural, social and sports organizer. In 1969, he formed Uttar Brahmanbaria Sahitya Sangsad in Kalikach. He was the president, and poet Sudhir Das was Secretary. He was the founder of Ullaskar Datta Smriti Sangsad, one of the brave fighters of Swadeshi Andon. Besides, in 1967 he established a registered sporting club and playground in his village Akhitara.
Among his remarkable contributions, the most brilliant part is the establishment of a college in Sarail in 1970 for the educational and cultural development of Sarail which later became a government college. He primarily served the convener in the committee in 1969 to establish the college, his long-time dream. At the time of establishment, Sarail College had nothing but a name. Principal Abu Hamed himself used to collect funds for the college along with the students. In this way, the work of the college started step by step. It was possible only because of the self-sacrificing patriotic Principal Abu Hamed. He always encouraged the establishment of High School or Primary School or Kindergarten or Madrasa in various villages and unions in Sarail. He was the pioneer and guide of all in the work of education, literature, culture, heritage protection etc. As a student of history, he has brought Sarail's history from darkness to light.
Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni, MP said, "Principal Sheikh Hamed's life is wonderful. He is a person who participated in the language movement, fought the liberation war, established Chhatra League and Awami League in Sarail, and established Sarail College. He was simultaneously a poet, literary and socio-cultural organizer and historian. All in all, Sheikh Abu Hamed had an incredible and colorful life''. Deep homage to him in his 8th death anniversary.

(The writer is the member secretary of Bhasha Shangrami Principal Sheikh Abu Hamed Smriti Sansada).

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