The handwritten diary of a day laborer who gives hope to Patuakhali


Hasan Parvez is an editor, writer, publisher and colporteur. Besides all this, he is also a day laborer.

But Hasan also has many other identities, some of which he shyly embraces.

Foremost among these however, Hasan, who meticulously produces a handwritten diary called Andharmanik in the Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali, is a humanitarian who spends his time capturing moving articles about the people and personalities around him.

In doing so, Hasan has amassed a large following and his posts have brought about real change.

Once he was so moved by a local girl that he took to Facebook. In a poem titled “Rubinake dekhte jodi tomra sobe chao” (If you want to see Rubina) based on “Palli Kabi “Jasimuddin’s”Asmani” poem, he wrote about his sorrows, losses and tragedies.

Little Rubina was a homeless girl who lived with her elderly grandmother and mother who suffered from a mental health problem and remained in chains.

With no one to provide for the family, Rubina used to beg in the village. On days when she wasn’t begging, Rubina went to school.

Poor himself, Rubina’s grief left a deep wound in Hasan’s heart. And so he wrote.

“Rubina’s distress made me feel bad,” Hasan said. “When I posted the poem on Facebook, it went viral. The poem caught the attention of local authorities. And Rubina got land and a house from the government.”

Like Rubina, Hasan’s writings helped many people whose stories he presented in the Andharmanik, that he has published since May 1, 2019.

He releases 300 copies of the journal and so far 11 issues of Andharmanik have been published.

Unlike regular newspapers, Hasan focuses more on people-centric news, especially those that spread positivity in his community. His article does not cover violence, rape, conflict or murder.

It tells motivational and successful stories of ordinary villagers who aim to inspire others. And sometimes he tells stories of struggles in an attempt to get the attention of authority.

“We write stories of hope. Suppose there was a boom in corn production this year, then we write about it. We write if someone bought a cow and now she produces enough milk to ensure the well-being of the widowed woman makes a living raising chickens, we tell their stories,” Hasan said.

“Andharmanik is published every two months. But I couldn’t publish the newspaper regularly because I have to do it between my day job,” he said.

Hasan also works in brick kilns or occasionally goes fishing to make ends meet. Nothing, however, cooled his spirit to continue the work of his journal.

The trip

Hasan had a fondness for writing since childhood. The webs of poverty, however, meant he could not indulge the writer trapped in his soul.

“I was supposed to take the SSC in 1996. But I couldn’t take the exam due to lack of money,” Hasan said.

After almost 20 years, in 2015, he sat for the SSC exam and then the HSC exam in 2017. He is currently studying for a degree at Kalapara Government College.

Despite the difficulties, Hasan’s writer continued to surface.

Photo: Courtesy


Photo: Courtesy

“I received the title of ‘Shobhab Kobi’ (Poet by Nature) from Mass Literacy Campaign, Barishal in 2005. I also have a certificate,” Hasan said.

To stay inspired, Hasan sent his writings to a number of established journals. “I submitted my writing to many places, but never heard back.”

Again, in a show of courage, Hasan persevered and fate finally smiled. In 2016, Hasan met a journalist who praised his writing and inspired him to write even more.

Hasan has maintained communication with the journalist whom he considers his “guru”.

A few years later, the reporter suggested Hasan publish a newspaper to spread news and positivity to his village and surrounding areas.

“My guru told me that you won’t make a profit but the villagers will get to know you and what’s going on around them; it will create positive change,” Hasan said.

“I promised him that my work would continue – without any acknowledgment – as long as I lived.”

And so he began his mission with what he had at his disposal: a paper and a pen.

“Andharmanik is a river in our locality. The characteristics of this river are that if you splash in it in the dark, some kind of light emits from it because the water is salty. It happens because its water is salty .Andharmanik means the ruby ​​that lights up in the dark,” Hasan said. “We named the newspaper after this river, especially because we live in the coastal region.”


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