[Bangladesh] Mostak Ahmed, Beijing Institute of Technology
"There is a dragon in the far East." With a curious yearning, I came to China in 2013. I graduated with a master's degree with a good command of Chinese, and am currently doing my doctorate at Beijing Institute of Technology.
Over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, drastic changes have taken place in China. I have really felt the changes in the past few years when I studied in China. More importantly, I have understood the Chinese spirit, that is, “help each other.”
The COVID-19 epidemic broke out around the world in 2020. While actively responding to the domestic epidemic, China offered a helping hand to other countries, including sending anti-epidemic medical experts to help Bangladesh carry out the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic.
"The Chinese friends have helped us in the time of difficulty." This is the common voice of many countries.
I have to do something, too!
I returned early to Bangladesh in the winter vacation, when I hadn’t heard of the COVID-19 virus.When I got home, I learned of the gravity of the situation from the media and began to search the internet for more information.
Purchase of masks
When the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 epidemic an "international public health emergency", there was a temporary shortage of medical supplies in China, so I quickly collected available medical surgical masks from the local market and all neighboring cities in Bangladesh and sent them to China.
Transportation from Bangladesh to China was not easy, and many flights and freight services had been delayed. So, we shipped the goods from Dhaka to Hong Kong and then to Chongqing. I provided more than 70, 000 masks for Chongqing and also sent some to Beijing Institute of Technology, my alma mater.
The first case in my country was confirmed on March 8, after which more people were confirmed within a month.There was already a shortage of protective equipment in Bangladesh. I then managed to buy masks, gloves and protective equipment from abroad and gave them to hospitals, prime minister's offices, local governments, banks, relatives and friends, and so on.
Try to make masks for the first time
Gradually, the whole world was affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. I realized that in Bangladesh, a country with a large population, it would be very difficult to control the epidemic. I wanted to do something for my country and people. I was neither a mechanical engineer, nor had any experience in making machines. But I believed that “where there is a will, there is a way.”
So, I began to try to make mask machines. I wanted to distribute the masks among people for free. It's not easy for me. First, I collected relevant research and design, and then I started purchasing and manufacturing all the parts.
Thinking that maybe a lot of people around the world were struggling to make mask machines, I made another decomposition video and uploaded it onto the social media. More than 300 companies from more than 50 countries contacted me for advice and support.
I not only helped them and shared my experience with them, but also provided some parts for many countries. I realized that the little thinking and the few efforts I did were meaningful, not only to my country, but also to people in other countries. It is a great feeling to do something useful for human beings, and it is the true value of life.
Teach people the method
Due to the spread of the epidemic, many people lost their jobs and were unable to support their families, so I donated the living expenses I saved while studying to more than 100 families and told them, "If you are in trouble, please feel free to contact me." In my opinion, donation is only an expedient measure, not a permanent solution.
Many energetic young people were out of work. I called them to my house and taught them how to do business quickly. Then I started a company and recruited 15 people so that they could support their families. I am trying to expand short-term training through the Internet in order to create more jobs across the country.
Take advantage of my expertise
In addition to helping others as much as I can, I have also made some useful attempts on the basis of my computer expertise, such as online education and making health videos. I have made a complete online learning platform (www.banglatraining.com), which includes video lessons, real-time chat, homework submission, quizzes, automatic assessment, accreditation and many other functions.
Some courses have been released and more courses are on the way. I hope to help more students. I have made some videos to raise public awareness in an attempt to build a correct public understanding of the novel coronavirus on the Internet.
The epidemic has taught us more about the value of life and what is more important to us. China has helped many countries fight the epidemic together. As international students, we sincerely appreciate and admire the great efforts made by the Chinese government, and we are especially grateful to the Chinese government for its help to Bangladesh in difficult times. We will never forget these helps.
I will always remember the "Chinese spirit" of helping each other. I will also rely on my professional knowledge to help more people. I hope that more people will contribute their love and strength to protect the beautiful earth together.
"The sun always shines after the storm, there is a clear sky above the dark clouds, cherish all that moves you, every hope lies in your hands ..."
Let's keep moving. Come on!
The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).