School children must not be confined only in reading textbooks. They need to enjoy themselves by playing, writing and doing cultural performances. Yet our school education is too much bent on pushing children to learn by rote and perform like a parrot. Children are so much burdened with reading textbooks for the purpose of earning good numbers in exams that they hardly get time to engage in creative activities. In contrast to this usual scenario, Chandrabindu, a literary and cultural group working in Kashinathpur, Pabna, has taken various initiatives for improving creativity of children through cultural activities.

Their series of cultural activities with school children came to an end on 28 December 2022 through a beautiful program at Shaheed Nurul Hossain Degree College in Kashinathpur. This program was jointly organized by Chandrabindu and Crescent Hospital, a local private clinic. This Chandrabindu-Crescent initiative is a good example of how local people, businesses, teachers and cultural minded youths can join hands in creating a better condition of society through improving the intellectual and mental capacity of children.

Advocate Sheikh Golam Hafiz and I along with Mr. Tarit Kumar Kundu, Mr. Akkas Hossain, Mr. Mikail Hossain and other local distinguished persons and educational and cultural personalities were present as guests in the program. Mr. Anwar Shahin, Mr. Tofazzal Hossain, Ms. Sharifa Khatun, Mr. Jahangir Hossain, Mr. Jeebon Kumar and Mr. Maruf Chowdhury were also present with their great support for organizing this program, The program was presided over by Md. Humayun Kabir, a local theatre personality and president of Chandrabindu. It was moderated by Md. Mahbub Hossain, Assistant Professor of Bangla at Shaheed Nurul Hossain Degree College and general secretary of the organization.

Children of Class VIII, IX and X belonging to Kashinathpur Digital School and College, Kashinathpur Collegiate School, Syedpur High School and College, Dhobakhola Coronation High School, Paikarhati Shahid Nagar High School took part in activities like debate, recitation and speech delivery. The topic of the debate was: Dusty books in the library are more important than the shining monitor of the computer. The topic of the debate was: Heart is more important than riches. These topics are quite important in the present social and educational condition of the country, when children's mobile phone addiction has reached an alarming level and a large number of people are running after mere riches at all cost throwing ethical and moral consideration to the wind.

Children presented the issues in the debate and speeches very well. Listening to the school children talk on so serious issues with such confidence and strong logic was amazing and full of hope. Their recitation of poems was inspiring as well. Children were presented with books and crests for their remarkable performances. There were also awards for good reading and writing. This program will go a long way in inspiring children of other schools in the area.

Advocate Golam Hafiz in his speech praised the participants and organizers for such an important program in the month of victory when Bangladesh became independent in 1971. He discussed the dedication of Shaheed Nurul Hossain, a freedom fighter who laid his life along with 30 lakh other souls for freeing the country from the jaws of the Pakistani occupation force. Advocate Hafiz said, it was due to the highest dedication of Shaheed Nurul Hossain that we are sitting here for having such a good program with our children. Our children showed their amazing capacity of thinking, speaking and writing so clearly and boldly that we are hopeful of a good future for our beloved country, he said.

Attending this program celebrating talent of local school children in various cultural fields with so many cultural minded people at Kashinathpur in Pabna is an enlightening experience. This Chandrabindu-Crescent initiative of promoting creativity among local school children has a good prospect of building a talented generation for the future Bangladesh.

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