Maybe I’m too young, but I shouldn’t wait.
In the mellow mornings of September, I met one promising Teen during the Glocal International Teen Conference (GITC). He was tall and sleek, moreover, a calm and quiet, an affable personality. Meet Tanzeel Rashid- a teen Entrepreneur, Social Activist, Cadet, Debater, Writer and Journalist from Bangladesh. Like every other person, I was also awe-stuck at his achievements as he was being introduced to speak in the entrepreneurship panel at the GITC. Well, at a very tender age, he stands out as an exemplary teen who is working to create a ripple effect in the society.
Tanzeel founded ‘Ogrograhi Foundation’ way back in 2014 when he was just studying in class 9. It is a social venture working for the underprivileged community by empowering teenagers. Today, Ogrograhi is recognized by Ashoka (the world’s largest social entrepreneur’s community) and is a recipient of Joy Bangla Youth Award making it a top teen-led social organization of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
He started Ogrograhi challenging the stereotype that teenagers are too young to do anything. He says,
I was very passionate about doing something for my country. Before Eid 2014, I was watching a video about underprivileged community. That video touched the core of my heart and that pushed me to start Ogrograhi.
The world today focuses ‘Youth’ but teenagers are not given the opportunity and liberty to start early as they belong to the most underrated age group. He explains, “Everyone is talking about youths and youths are performing too. They are given ample of opportunities and platform but what about teenagers?”
Ogrograhi is led by the basic objective of ‘Teens for Teens’. It works for the underprivileged community through empowering teens and make them the active change makers. The core work areas include empowerment of teenagers, assistance to the underprivileged community as to food, cloth and education, relief distribution during disasters, Economical support to cancer patients, child-friendly creative media and creation of awareness against the violence of all kinds.
The works of the organization are carried out through Executive Committee, Extended Committee and College Ambassadors. The executive committee is the governing body of the organization and the extended body works under it. College Ambassadors work in their respective campuses in event promotion, fundraising and arrangement of campus-based workshops and competitions.
He describes Ogrograhi as a social platform for the young minds for being a Changemaker. There are hundreds of teenagers who are actively involved in the organization. Currently, they also completed a project to feed 20,000+ Rohingya refugees.
Tanzeel is a mere example of what the teenagers are capable of doing for shaping the future of country. Their enormous energy is what drives them incessantly. Given the good platforms for them to sow the seeds of their ideas and creativity while also encouraging them to follow their heart and dream is what is needed to bring out the best in them.
By Anusha Kadel