School of honesty

Ershad Ali, From BARCIK, Dhaka

One room of the school, big three plastic baskets are placed on the table and educational materials such as pens, pencil, slate, scales, copy, Neil cutter, eraser are serially set on the basket with their price written in a white paper placed nearby the table. There is a small box near those goods. The school children come to the shop and take whatever they need from the shop according to the price. They pay the price of the taken goods by inserting the amount in the hole of the small box. There is no shopkeeper in this shop and school children buy the goods putting the price money into the small box.

A shop is crowded place.There are always goods, stationary, buyers and sellers center round it.The buyers bargain to get the goods within their expected price while the sellers publicize their goods for a good price. This is very common scenario of a shop in any place and market. But the shop we are talking about in this article is a unique one and exceptional. There are goods and stationary in the shop and buyers come to buy things from the shop but there are no shopkeepers or sellers. This shop is called “Honesty shop” in the area. This “Honesty Shop” is activated in Dumuria upazila of Khulna division. The shop was opened in 14 December, 2011 in Dhamalia union of Dumuria upazilain Little Flower Kinder Garten located at Jamidar Bari. The founder of the shop is M.A Kamrul Islam, a police official (Additional police Super). Presently his duty station is in Manikgonj district. However, Shahana Begum, teacher of the school explained the objective of opening such shop in the school. She said, “Mr. Kamrul Islam visited our school in 2011 to have a meeting with teachers and guardians. While having discussion with the teachers and guardians he declared to open ‘Shonamukh Sotota Shopping’ using one room of the school with the objective to teach and give school children a platform to practice honesty. Based on his declaration, we bought goods and stationaries that needed for school children and started the shop.” She went on saying, “All the goods and stationaries in the shop were bought with the personal money of Mr. Kamrual”.

‘The Shonamukh shop’ does take any benefit from selling the goods and stationaries. All goods and stationaries are sold with its purchase price. Every weekend (Thursday) the price box placed near the goods and stationaries is opened and accumulated money is calculated. The goods and stationaries are again bought from the market with those accumulated money in the small box. However, it is really interesting that in the weekend when the authority calculates the money against the sold goods and stationaries, they found that the accumulated money is not short against the sold goods and stationary rather they found some additional money left in the box compared to fixed price.A standard three student named Subid Sundor Tarafder who comes to buy scale from the shop said, “The price of the goods sold in this shop is comparatively cheap from the shops in the market. Besides, no one asks money from me when I buy some goods. This brings me immense happiness.”

It is through this shop that honesty and truthfulness is taught to the students of the school. This objective of teaching and letting school children practicing honesty and truthfulness will guide them to become active, honest and ideal citizens of the state. This is a good example to teach students in Bangladesh to become honest and practice honesty in their life.

(This article has been prepared based on the article titled “Sototar Dokan” published in daily Prothom Alo on 7 November, 2013. The pictures used here also have taken from the same source)

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