Nazma Ara Begum Popy lost her visual power completely at the age of six, but she did not choose to lead a secluded life. Rather she was determined to make a difference in the society.
After obtaining graduation and post-graduation from the University of Dhaka, she joined Jatiyo Protibondhi Forum in 2008.She is one of the founder members of Bangladesh Visually Impaired People’s Society (BVIPS), which work to assist the visually impaired graduates.
Having overcome all the barriers, Nazma is now working as the general secretary of the organisation. Nazma has overpowered darkness and she has shared her success story with daily sun.
Asked about the uniqueness of BVIPS, Nazma said, “The main difference is that our organisation works only for graduate blind people. Our organisation assists in developing skills necessary to get a person established. It provides legal advice and information, creates software, translates computer documents in braille language and conducts training for visually impaired people.”
“We do not provide any financial support as other organisations also. Rather we help visually impaired people build their career. This is a complete volunteer service as people working for this organisation do not take any kind of salary or remuneration which is another uniqueness of us,” she added.
Describing her initial experience, Nazma said, “Before establishing this organisation, we conducted a series of workshops and meetings for the well-being of visually impaired persons.
We had to face several problems at that time due to a large number of members and multifarious intentions. Then we thought of gathering all the educated persons in a single platform and we established our society in 2005.”
Though there were some barriers, Nazma was satisfied with her twelve years’ journey with the society.
Nazma expressed her pleasure, saying, “I had to struggle a lot to reach today’s position in our male dominated society. At the beginning, a small number of women got involved with us. There are four reserved posts for women in our organisation.”
“I was the first woman who came out of those pre-fixed four posts and was elected the joint secretary earlier. Later, I decided to participate in the election for the post of general secretary and won it for the first time in 2015.
After completing my first tenure, everyone, even who discouraged me initially, was impressed by my works and motivated me for being elected for the second time. And I elected won for the second term in March, 2017,” she added.
Nazma Ara Begum was born in Anwara upazila of Chittagong district. Her father was a Bangladesh Bank official. Since her childhood, she has been living in Dhaka.
She considers herself very lucky as her family has been supporting her at every stage of life. She can remember only one instance when she faced a little problem. “After the completion of my education, my family asked me to go back to Chittagong, but I refused to do so. I was sure that it will be difficult for me to adjust there.
Moreover, the job opportunities I had in Chittagong were not suitable for me. At that time my uncle supported me and convinced my parent. Except for this incident, my family has always supported me and I also didn’t go against their decisions,” Nazma concluded.