Visit to Embassy of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, Gulshan-2, Dhaka, 23 October 2014.
October 25, 2014, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

On 23 October 2014 a meeting was organized at Dutch Embassy with Dutch Deputy Head of Mission, Ms. Martine van Hoogstraten, and Bangladesh representatives Abu Mokeram Khondaker, Executive Director, AFEAHRD, Chairman-AMK Associates ( and Managing Director-ATIS Limited (, Fazle Mir, former Deputy Director National Archives of Bangladesh, Elias Kanchon, textile engineer and representing Friends of Archives Bangladesh and local branches, and Ms. Fatema from AFEAHRD. Object of the meeting was to share ideas and introduce projects about:

  1. Improvement of archives & records management (ARM) and use of Right to Information Act (RTI)
  2. Improvement of labor conditions in garment industry and how the garment industry relates with ARM & Compliance issues (compliance with building regulations, safety regulations, workers registration)
  3. Improvement of education system / training archives & records management

After a first mutual introduction and explanation of the Bangladesh link with Dutch Bangladesh Archives & Records Management / BARM (especially Florus Geraedts and Sigfried Janzing, yearly visiting Bangladesh as BARM – delegates), Ms. Van Hoogstraten told about her previous experiences and the Bangladesh representatives explained their activities with ARM development in Bangladesh so far.

Mr. Abu Mokarem Khondaker informed mrs. Van Hoogstraten on the level of ARM-development in Bangladesh, which is actually very low, and the efforts by SEW, BARMS, Friends of Archives, etc. to bring it on a higher level. He submitted plans for better recordkeeping in the garments industry and for the Study Circle on Environment and Health Project and Learning for Earning Project (an alternative education program) which is actually running by own sources at Parashuram, Feni. This Study Circle on Environment and Health can contribute to building awareness in garment industries.

Mr. Elias Kanchon shared his ideas about garment labour conditions, need of good record keeping in garment industry and  compliance and told about some visits to garment factories to see the actual state of compliance and the fysical aspect of workers in action on the factory floor. For example he took Florus Geraedts and Sigfried Janzing in January 2014 for a visit to “Orix Washing Projects” in Uttara, Dhaka. He shared his experience as a young textile engineer and finally talked about the building system in his country. Elias Kanchon provided mrs. Van Hoogstraten with the blog information (bangladesharchives) and blog address and gave her a first impression of the activities, trainings, visits posted on this blog and told her about the translation of ICA “The Records of NGO’s, memory … to be shared” in the Bengal language, a project funded by Dutch BARM.

Finally mr. Fazle Mir explained the overall condition of Bangladesh archives, use of archives, storing conditions, the need of ARM and weak implementation of RTI Act and poor use of this act which was established by actual government in June 2009. His recently published book “The Eminent Families and The Zamindars of Bengal” was handed over by him to mrs. Van Hoogstraten as a gift.

Mrs. Martine van Hoogstraten emphasized the need of higher education in ARM and asked about the actual existence / level of training / education on the subject in Bangladesh, “is there any University or Higher Degrees of education in Archives?”. Besides ISLM departments (3 in Bangladesh, general education in information and library sciences) there is no specific archival education in Bangladesh. The establishment of ARM training is very much needed and related to this issue she was very much interested in her participation in the Archival Conference at IUBAT on 31 January 2015. She also emphasized her interest to be informed about all future activities related to ARM as for further plan and projects, follow up meeting in the future, visits to projects and coming events. Dutch Embassy can actually provide no funding for projects but can serve as an agent to other possible sources for funding. She asked if Dutch BARM has some funding? Indeed small  amounts of funding were and are delivered by Dutch BARM for training, travel costs and small-scale projects.

This first meeting was considered much successful by both parties, Dutch Head of Mission and Bangladesh representatives. It was very encouraging mrs. Martine van Hoogstraten showed her deep interest and commitment to ARM, translated in her wish for participation in future events, continued information supply and especially her wish to be guest at the IUBAT Archival Conference on January 31!

Fazle Mir handing over his recent publication "The Eminent families ..." to mrs. Van Hoogstraten

Fazle Mir handing over his recent publication “The Eminent families …” to mrs. Van Hoogstraten


Dutch Deputy Head of Mission, mrs. Van Hoogstraten, with v.l.t.r. Elias Kanchon, Fazle Mir and Abu Mokeram Khondaker


Elias Kanchon, mrs. Fatema (AFEAHRD) and mrs. Van Hoogstraten

Training on archives, records management and RTI at Hossaindi Adarsha Degree College, Kishoreganj, 16 Oktober 2014.
October 21, 2014, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

On 16 Oktober 2014 Elias Kanchon (Bartic, FAB, BARMS) visited HOSSAINDI ADARSHA DEGREE COLLEGE, District: KISHOREGANJ to give training on Archives, Records Management and Right to Information Act. See the picture of banner. This visit is much important to raise awareness of Right to Information Act and need of good record keeping. Elias was welcomed by Library Head & Record Keeper Mrs. Saidatun Neasa, Md. Homayun, Lecturer of Geography and Principal Md. Mosayer Hossian. Elias Kanchon is aware that knowledge and application of the RTI Act is very low in Bangladesh and so he is much energetic and successful in spreading awareness of the act in local communities, local government, colleges and schools. DUTCH BARM WISHES ELIAS VERY MUCH LUCK AND WE SUPPORT HIS ACTIVITIES!

Library head and record keeper Mrs. Saidatun Neasa of HOSSAINDI ADARSHA DEGREE COLLEGE

Library head and record keeper Mrs. Saidatun Neasa of HOSSAINDI ADARSHA DEGREE COLLEGE, Elias Kanchon standing beside her.

Training RTI

Banner of the training.