Who We Serve

Who We Serve

KEHSF serves a special category of Bangladesh people called the Char People, who lives isolated in the Char Land/Areas and are deprived of the advantages and benefits of living in the rest of the country. The are further disadvantaged because the Char Areas, by nature, are infested with devastating high tidal bore, tornado, flood, cyclone, and salinity.


The Char Land are formed when the fertile silt carried by swift currents of the rivers, flowing mainly from India and the Himalayas, are emptied into the Bay of Bengal. These rivers, however, before reaching the Bay of Bengal, merge into the Meghna River of Bangladesh at different points, and then the whole load of silt of all rivers are emptied into the Bay of Bengal. Importantly, the emptying of silt in Bangladesh occurs mainly in the Greater Noakhali watercourse, which is the estuary of the Meghna River.


Obviously, the constant supply of silt and the associated tidal waves overwhelms the Bay of Bengal. The silt is tossed all way around to create the Chars, big or small, attached to the mainland or at far away forming islands. But, in next year or the year after, the chars of this year might vanish forming the chars at a different location. And this is a situation some Char people sometime might be unlucky to face.


The land worth a gold in a densely populated country like Bangladesh, specially for those who became landless in the mainland. Since the partition of British India in 1947, the government of Bangladesh (East Pakistan 1947-1971 and Bangladesh since then), plotted the Char Land attached to the Noakhali South shore into 2.5 acres and distributed those to the landless farmers of the mainland. By accepting this gift of the Bay of Bengal, the mainland people turned to be the char People, as well as, what the Founder of the KEHSF called, the ‘Children of Bay of Bengal.’   


“Born in early 1950s, I grew up with them, only 20 miles, or may be 30 miles, apart. I was in the Noakhali city living in the comfort of a safe home. Attended the best schools and moved to the capital city to attend the best University. Moved even further to USA to attain more education.

They lived out in the open, miles and miles of wetland, nobody around. They didn’t have any school to go to and no roads to walk on. They were deployed there to fight the Bay of Bengal with a couple of pages of legal-size papers (the deed of 2.5 acres of land), empty-handed, not even with a backpack of emergency supplies. But they are not afraid to fight the Bay of Bengal. They have a strong faith on God, the Almighty, as their protector. They are adding more hands by multiple marriage and by early marriage. They are building their house way high from the ground, at least 3 feet high, the 5 feet is the best. They built another barrier of mud wall, all-way around the outer boundary of their homestead built on .5 acre of land. They planted fast-growing banana trees on the boundary wall, all way around. This is their final defense, with grown up banana trees on the boundary wall, 8 to 10 feet high, against the Bay of Bengal. 

But in no time, the inevitable happened. The Great Cyclone (or Bhola Cyclone) of 1970, with its 30-feet-high water surge, entered into their isolated homes and grabbed everything, the humans, animals and the livestock, all included. Nobody knows how many lives lost, but the best estimate points to up to a million, perished into the Bay of Bengal.

However, the Bay of Bengal made mercy to some, as if they were its children, the loved ones, left behind to start a new generation of Char people. It has been a long time now; the new generation is back to millions again. As I approached them, they asked, as if they knew me from the past, ‘where have you been all this time.”

Dr Khan

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