About the Trust

Prothom Alo is a little bit more than a newspaper. Despite publishing a daily newspapers and being active in the online media, Prothom Alo is doing various social work out of responsibility towards the country, its people and the society. From the very beginning of its inception, Prothom Alo has been engaged in works like putting smile on the faces of the poor people, eradicating acid attack and drug addiction from the country. All these initiatives of Prothom Alo have been further integrated through the establishment of Prothom Alo Trust. Trust runs its activities throughout the year.

Establishment of the Trust

In 2005, Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman received Ramon Magsaysay Award. He divided the prize money of 33 lakhs taka into three equal parts and allotted it to the anti-drug movement, female victims of acid attacks and to support the fund for victimized journalists. Prothom Alo employees got involved in such social activities by donating from their salaries. After four years, Prothom Alo Trust was formed on May 23, 2009 in accordance with the Trust Act of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Following the formation of the Trust, all funds and social activities of Prothom Alo were included under the Trust. Prothom Alo Trust is the collective form of all the social activities being done by Prothom Alo. The daily Prothom Alo is the main promoter of the Trust.

Prothom Alo Trust is a non-profitable organization. It is run by the financial support of the public and various other welfare organizations. The income and expenditure statement of Prothom Alo Trust is accounted regularly every year.

Prothom Alo Trust TIN (Taxpayer’s Identification Number) No is: 173585938341.

Activities of the Trust

1. Adamya Medhabi Tahabil: The Adamya Medhabi scholarship has opened doors of opportunity for the poor but talented students across the country. A story of an indomitable talent has become a source of eternal inspiration for others. Prothom Alo Trust has been providing this scholarship since 2007. It is done regularly since the formation of the Trust. In 2010, its scope increased with the addition of the BRAC Bank. Initially, Prothom Alo's own funds, Summit Group, Transcom Group, and American Alumni Association provided institutional support to the students. In 2007, Prothom Alo officially started giving scholarships to indomitable talents. In the same year, 21 indomitable meritorious students were given scholarships around the country. When the Prothom Alo Trust was formed in 2009, an initiative was taken to bring the talented students to Dhaka to felicitate them. With the support of BRAC Bank and other donors, a total of 1,370 indomitable talented students have received this scholarship till 2023. Among them, a total of 1,040 students received scholarships with the support of BRAC Bank PLC. Other donor organizations and individuals have given scholarship to 330 students through this fund. Currently 257 students are getting scholarship and continuing their studies.

Selection process of Adamya Medhabi Scholarship:
Every year after the SSC exam results are released, the news of disadvantaged poor students gets published from all over the country through Prothom Alo correspondents. Later on, from those news make a primary list of meritorious students for selecting HSC level scholarship. Adamya Medhabi who have received scholarships at HSC level who again achieve GPA of 5 are also awarded scholarships at graduate level if the donor or donor organization agrees.

Things to consider for scholarship:
  • Minimum GPA 5 in SSC.
  • Children of poor families in remote areas.
  • Men and women belonging to minorities, disadvantaged and backward communities.
  • Handicapped and physically impaired or disabled.
  • Parent's monthly income is ten thousand or less.

2. Odditiya Scholarship:

With the aim of empowering women, since 2012, Asian University for Women and Prothom Alo started providing scholarships under the name "First Female in the Family Scholarship Award". Every year, Prothom Alo Trust started giving scholarship to Asian University for Women with the help of Transcom Group to 10 women who are the first women in the family but are not well-off and are interested in building society by getting educated in higher education. 42 students have received this scholarship till 2016 with the support of Transcom Group.
From 2017, IDLC Finance PLC took up responsibility for this scholarship. The scholarship program was newly renamed as ‘Odditiya’. Including 66 students with the support of the IDLC Finance PLC, a total of 108 students have received this scholarship till 2023. The Asian University for Women offers them various opportunities including accommodation and tuition fee concessions.

Selection Process of Odditiya Scholarship:

Every year 10 women who are the first women in the family but are not well-off, who are interested in building society after receiving higher education, are given this scholarship for studying at the Asian University for Women.

The selection process for Odditiya Scholarship is as follows:
  • The first daughter of a poor family who is interested in pursuing graduation.
  • As per the published advertisement, she will have to apply through the Website of the Asian University for Women.
  • Must pass the admission test of Asian University for Women.
  • Asian University for Women sends list of prospective students for scholarship nomination from among the successful candidates to Prothom Alo Trust.
  • A list of 10 students is finalized from the list sent by the Asian University for Women after being verified by Prothom Alo Trust and the donor organizations.

3. Alor Pathshala:
Prothom Alo Trust is bringing the light of education to some of the neglected areas in the remote areas of Bangladesh. Children from these neglected areas got involved in various manual labors for their living at a young age instead of getting educated. Apart from lack of awareness, a major reason behind this was lack of educational institutions in these areas.
At present, a total of 7 Schools in collaboration with Summit Group and Anjuman & Aziz Charitable Trust are being initiated and managed by Prothom Alo Trust. A total of 1,350 students are studying in these seven schools. These schools are situated in the remote areas of the country, one in Kurigram, two in Rajshahi, one in Bhola, one in Naogaon, one in Teknaf and one in Bandarban.

4. Anti-drug movement:
Prothom Alo has been working to create awareness against drugs since 2003. After the formation of the Trust, the anti-drug movement was intensified. The work of the anti-drug movement is progressing through various programs. These programs include anti-drug online counseling support, anti-drug concert, monthly counseling support, monthly telephone counseling, organizing school based anti-drug programs, etc.
Till now, 17 anti-drug concerts have been held. Apart from this, telephone counseling support has been arranged 58 times. At the same time, 6 journalists have been awarded the best anti-drug report eight times for creating awareness. The anti-drug sticker design competition for teenagers has been held four times. Several other such programs are being held regularly. Every month, specialized doctors provide online counseling and off-line treatment for anti-drug and various mental problems at WVA Auditorium in Dhanmondi.

5. Relief Fund:
A relief fund has been formed to deal with any calamity in the country. Prothom Alo Trust stands by the side of of the people affected by Sidor, Aila, flood and other natural calamities or cold prone area in the country. In 2007, Sidor hit the southwest coast of the country. Three crore eight lakh 42 thousand and 512 taka has been deposited in Prothom Alo Fund for relief works. The entire amount was spent for the affected people. In 2009 when Aila hit the country, an amount of 46 lakh 37 thousand and 294 taka was deposited in the relief fund which has been spent for the victims. In cooperation with Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, Prothom Alo Disaster shelter has been established in the coastal area of Shyamnagar, ​​Satkhira. The Shelter house is used for affected people during natural calamity and in normal times it is used as a school. A pond has been dug adjacent to the shelter house so that people living in the area gets safe water. The shelter center is used as a primary school throughout the year. Besides, every year winter clothes are distributed among the cold affected people. Prothom Alo Trust Relief Fund extends its helping hand to the flood victims. Prothom Alo employees have contributed a day's salary to initiate this program and the program is now conducted with the help of various organizations.
During Corona in 2020, with the help of Summit Group, relief assistance has been provided to 1020 families in six Alor Pathshalas in April and June in the districts of Kurigram, Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Bhola and Teknaf. In 10 districts affected by Cyclone Amphan, relief has been distributed to 4115 families for 28 lakh taka.

In 2020, provided relief to the 7800 flood affected families in 26 districts. In 2021, winter clothes were given to the 3925 families and food items were delivered to 1600 families in Cyclone ‘Yaas’ affected area. In 2022, winter clothes were delivered to 4100 families. In 2023, relief served to 470 families to Cyclone ‘Mocha’ affected people in Teknaf and in the 2024 (December 2023 to February 2024), winter clothes were given to the 6551 poor people around the country. Members of Bondhushava helped us in this work over the year.

6. Prothom Alo Sohayok Fund for Aid Victims:
Prothom Alo publishes reports, features and editorials against acid terrorism with special emphasis on the pledge/commitment that 'Not a single face be burnt by acid'. Where there is acid terror, there is prevention. Apart from creating awareness and building public opinion against acid terrorism, Prothom Alo Sohayok Fund helps the women victims of acid attack. The journey of this fund started with one day salary of Prothom Alo family members and the fund runs with the help of Prothom Alo readers and well-wishers.
Through this fund 458 women acid-victims have been helped since 2000. Out of this, 300 victims were given self-employment opportunities, 42 victims have been built shops, 13 victims have been supported with small businesses and capital, 12 women have been given Rickshaw, Vans and 10 women have been given land and houses from this fund. Prothom Alo Trust has provided medical assistance to 100, computer training to 12, beauty training to 20, educational support to 17, and legal assistance to four survivors. Currently, four survivors are getting monthly allowances. The anti-acid campaign has yielded results. In 2002, about 500 women got victimized of acid attacks, but in 2023 this crime has come down to 13. Our goal is to reduce this incidence to zero.

7. Meril-Prothom Alo Savar Support Fund:
This fund was formed and started working immediately for the rehabilitation of the victims of Rana Plaza. The injured victims were provided with food, spray, oxygen and water after the incident. The injured persons were treated at various hospitals. Out of the seriously injured persons, 101 got support for their rehabilitation. Among them100 were given Taka 01 lakh each and one was given Taka 50 thousand. The proportion of victims assisted was 47 injured women, 39 injured men, 5 rescue workers and 10 orphans (children of deceased workers).
Apart from this, scholarships are being given to the children of 20 people who were either seriously injured or killed in the Rana Plaza incident. 20 students are studying regularly under the project. One student has already completed her graduation and one has completed his diploma. Others are studying in different classes. This assistance will be given till the postgraduate level.

8. Sadaat Smriti Palli:
A social welfare project of Prothom Alo Trust, Sadaat Smriti Palli project started in 2015 at Dari Hairmara village of Raipura Upazila in Narsingdi district. Currently, this project provides free health care service to the poor people of the village three days a week. A total of 60 elderly people are given an allowance of 1000 TK per month. A library has been set up for growing reading habits and increasing general knowledge of the children, teenagers and youth.

In addition, a park called ‘Arzan-Arish Shishu Park’ has been set up for the physical and mental development of the children of the village. For the mental development of the children, the habit of reading story books, painting and moral education classes are taken. Apart from this, various activities including cataract surgery by eye camp, distribution of winter clothes, distribution of sanitary napkins for teenage girls, Computer training, and Tailoring training are going on in this project.

Goal of the Trust:

The Trust works for people whose hopes and dreams are ruined by unexpected calamities or misfortunes. The trust stands for women who are affected by acid attacks. Working with drug addicted youth and poor talented students who are suffering from financial difficulties, to spread the light of education across the country through "Alor Pathshala" and to help the affected workers and their children of Rana Plaza, Prothom Alo Trust is working relentlessly. With the initiative and cooperation of the Trust, acid terrorism has reduced in the country. Trust works with the young group of the society so that they can give up drugs and move forward with renewed optimism. Trust's goal is to prepare the young women and poverty-stricken indomitable talents so that they can win their invincible dreams with its help. Trust hopes that life will flow in its indomitable rhythm leaving the natural disasters behind. Prothom Alo Trust wants to keep the smile on the faces of the people of the country.

Objectives of theTrust is:

  • To stop poverty so that it cannot be an obstacle for talented students in getting access to education.
  • To work for the women education and empowerment of the first female child of backward families who are enrolling in undergrad level.
  • To bring the light of education in the remote areas of Bangladesh where education has not reached for a long time.
  • To eliminate and eradicate acid violence with the motto that 'Not a single face be burnt by acid' attack.
  • To profess 'Say NO to Drugs’ campaign and work towards the goal that teenagers and young persons can grow up for a bright future without drugs.
  • To stand by the people of the country in various natural disasters including floods, cyclones, and monsoons.
  • To work towards the rehabilitation of the workers affected in the Rana Plaza incident and continue their children's education.
  • To provide free healthcare for the poor people in villages and work on education and mental development of children and adolescents.

Apart from these, Prothom Alo Trust is always ready to respond to any urgent need of people of this country.

Executive Board:

The Trust comprises of ten trustees from different segments of the society. Currently on the Board of Trustees are:
  • Rupali Chowdhury, Chairman, Prothom Alo Trust; Managing Director, Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited.
  • Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Vice Chairman, Prothom Alo Trust; Managing Director & CEO, Mutual Trust Bank Ltd
  • Zahida Ispahani, Treasurer, Prothom Alo Trust; Director M.M. Ispahani Limited.
  • Kutubuddin Ahmed, Trustee, Prothom Alo Trust; Chairman, Envoy Textile & Sheltech Group
  • Muhammed Aziz Khan, Chairman, Summit Corporation Limited
  • Tazin Ahmed, Trustee, Prothom Alo Trust; Principal, Sunnydale School, Dhaka
  • Dr. Perween Hasan, Trustee, Prothom Alo Trust; Vice Chancellor, Central Women's University, Dhaka
  • Matiur Rahman, Managing Trustee, Prothom Alo Trust; Editor, Prothom Alo
  • Anisul Hoque, Trustee, Prothom Alo Trust; Managing Editor, Prothom Alo
  • Abdul Quaiyum, Trustee, Prothom Alo Trust; Associate Editor, Prothom Alo

The Trust is maintained by the Managing Trustee, who is also the Editor of Prothom Alo, and the Trust Coordinator. Matters are discussed with the Trustees in meetings and decisions are being taken in consultation with them. The President, the Vice President and the Treasurer are elected for a three year term. Advisors to the Trust also impart and share their knowledge to ensure smooth functioning of the Trust.

Currently, Rupali Chowdhury is the Chairman, Syed Mahbubur Rahman is the Vice Chairman and Zahida Ispahani is the Treasurer of Prothom Alo Trust. Matiur Rahman is the Managing Trustee of Prothom Alo Trust.

Team Member of Trust:

A Coordinator and three other staff manage all the activities of the trust. They are:
  • Mahbuba Sultana, Coordinator, Prothom Alo Trust
  • Md. Nazim Uddin, Assistant Program Manager, Prothom Alo Trust
  • Golam Rabbani, Assistant Program Manager, Prothom Alo Trust