Bangladesh is known as a land of calamities. But the people of this nation are also known for their solidarity, cooperation and empathy. There is a desire among the people to extend their hands in assistance to others whenever disasters strikes at a national or even, a personal level. Prothom Alo works in the media, diligently providing information to the people. To provide a voice to the same people who want to help others in distress, the Prothom Alo Trust was established.
Maintaining its 'non-profit' stature, the Prothom Alo Trust looks forward to working with people whenever mishaps, tragedies pose a threat of a ruthless end to their hopes, dreams and aspirations. The Trust aims to work with hapless victims of Acid Violence; it works towards raising awareness against substance abuse amongthe youth.
To the young meritorious minds who struggle to balance their desire to excel in academics along with leading a poverty-free life, the Trust extends a stipend program. And for the dedicated band of journalists who face perils of their profession and have faced torture and abuse, the Trust comes as a ray of hope.
We envisage a nation where Acid Violence is unheard of, a society where the youth shuns away from drug abuse and march forward in full vigour of youthfulness; a nation where poverty stricken children can have access to education without having to think of their financial backing.
Prothom Alo Trust strives to put a smile on people whenever tragedies strike so that their dreams do not die in the face of tragedies and they can regain hope, self-confidence and resume living life.
Endowments from individuals and various organisations form the basis of the Prothom Alo Trust Fund. Their involvement however is not limited solely to financial assistance. They are a source of inspiration and a guide to the functioning of the Trust. We are forever in debt to them.
The activities of the Trust are spread across all districts of the country. Staffs at the Prothom Alo Head Office in Dhaka, regional correspondences and members of "Prothom Alo Bondhu Shobha" also assist in smooth functioning of all the programmes.
The Trust comprises of ten trustees from different segments of society. They are-
The Trust is maintained by Managing Trustee, who is also the editor of the Prothom Alo, and the Trust coordinator. Matters are discussed with the Trustees in meetings and decisions taken. 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 and Syed Mahbubur Rahman is the Vice Chairman of Prothom Alo Trust. Matiur Rahman is the Managing Trustee of Prothom Alo Trust.
With a view to change the prevailing high rate of women's abuse through acid violence, the daily Prothom Alo makes a deliberate effort to highlight cases as they happen throughout the country. Thus fund was established based with the motto "Let no more face burn in Acid" on 19 April, 2000 and has been working to alleviate the plight of women victims of this heinous crime. The Fund is run based on generosity of the readers and well-wishers of Prothom Alo. Till this date we have rehabilitated 300 acid victims under Prothom Alo Trust / Fund for acid victims.
To all students – male and female – who have attained GPA 5 in the School Certificate Examination and are financially weak, the Trust extends their help through a Scholarship Programme. In the quest for broadcasting information, journalists roam around the country and may act as scouts for enlisting students for whom the programme is designed. Through this scheme Prothom Alo provides the encouragement these brilliant minds need to attain their dreams. Till date the fund has supported 1133 indomitable students.
To prevent drug trafficking and to lower the rate of drug abuse in society the government has taken some steps with assistance from the UN. To make significant change the effort however must come from all strata of society and the level of awareness amongst the general population must increase. To curb the vicious influence of drugs, the Trust maintains a separate Fund which works toward raising social awareness.
One of the vital operations of the Prothom Alo Trust is the maintenance of the "Prothom Alo Relief Fund". To combat the effects of cyclones, drought, monga (prevalent repeated phenomenon of poverty and hunger) the Fund distributes food, drinking water, oral saline, clothes etc. The Trust made significant contribution to the victims of cyclones Sidr and Aila.
This project aims to spread the light of education even in remote areas by providing education and mental development of children and adolescents. In collaboration with Summit Group, six (6) schools have been established in such areas under the initiative and management of Prothom Alo Trust. These schools are known as 'Alor Pathshala.' There is one (1) school in Kurigram, two (2) in Rajshahi, one (1) in Bhola, one (1) in Naogaon, and 1 in Teknaf. There are 1300 students in six schools.
During the Rana Plaza disaster (April 2013), the Trust raised more than BDT 22 million for its ‘Meril-Prothom Alo Savar Support Fund’ that donated BDT 10 million to 100 victims. Another BDT 5 million was donated to the organisations involved in emergency medication and initial rescue operation including Centre for the Rehabilitation of The Paralysed (CRP), Enam Medical College and Hospital, Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital. Besides, BDT 5 million scholarship fund is being run by the Trust for 20 children to support their education who either lost his/her father or mother or both.
Mr. Kutubuddin Ahmed (Chairman, Envoy Group ltd) and Prothom Alo Trust jointly have initiated a social welfare project at Dori Hairmara of Raipur Upazilla in Narshingdi. The project at present is providing monthly free healthcare services to an approximate 400 under privileged people from nearby areas. The project has also established a 'Shishu Bikash Kendra' where children get an opportunity to spend fun time and explore their potentials through activities like drawing, reading, playing etc. A library has also established where people from different age groups can spend their leisure through reading.
The path of providing free flow of information is still not free of predicaments in this country. However, as torch bearers of democracy,journalist work hard to bring decisive and essential information to the people. In their line of duty, these journalists often face torture and injustice. Prothom Alo feels a moral obligation to come in aide of these brave souls.
When journalist Tipu Sultan was victim of ruthless torture by Zainal Hazari of Feni, to ease his burden of medical expenditure a fund was formed where staffs of The Daily Star and the Prothom Alo voluntarily handed over equivalents of their one day's salary. Formed on 7 April, 2001 over Tk. 27, 00, 000 was additionally collected from donors at home and abroad.