Empowering archives network, Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, 21 May 2017
May 20, 2017, 8:09 pm
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1.  @10.30 AM Meeting with all participants, Elias Kanchon, Shahedul Chowdhury, members of volunteer group Himo Parihaban, students -> visit Kishoreganj Municipality, Mayor & Record Keepers Nihar Roy and Sodipto Mojumder. Explaining what is record keeping, why is it needed, ARM practice at the Municipality.

2. @12.30 PM Departure to Additional Deputy Commissioner (Overall) – Tarfdar Md. Aktar Jamil to visit and learn about Kishoreganj District Council (or Zila Parishad) Record Rooms and Information & Archives Development.

3. @02:00 PM Lunch

4. @03:00 PM Visit to: A) Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) – office to discuss relations between archives – good governance – ending corruption. SUGGESTION 1: expand the archives network with the Youth Engagement Support Group (YES); B) local NGO’s; C) Kishoregonj Zila Government Hospital & Zila Education Office to learn about their  Record Keeping & receive their opinions on actual training and education programmes for archives and record management in schools & colleges.

5. @08:00 PM Meeting with members of local pressclub “Shatabdir Khonto”: Professor  Pranesh Kumar Chowdhury, MA Pathan, Teacher Asrafali, Abdul Kaiyum and Amin Sadi.

Next day 22.05.2017 return to Dhaka.

SUGGESTION 2: to include Bondhushava Prothom Alo Volunteers and get in touch with the teachers and elder inmates of Kishoreganj Orphanage and teachers and students of Gurudayal College. If this is not possible on 1 day: 21 May maybe at the occasion of 9 June International Archives Day Bangladesh or later on in June or July, this extension of contacts in Kishoreganj can be made.


I am writing to inform you that I attended the kishorgonj program yesterday 21st May 2017. I am glad to share some pictures and some notes for your kind information,

11:11 AM:  We met eight members of Himu Paribahan (Name cell phone was taken)  in Kishoreganj Ghurodoyal College field. 

Interactive session begin with tea. Himu paribahan is a group of fan of Humayun Ahmed and trying to work to establish a cancer hospital, a library besides other social welfare activities like, blood donation and cultural activities. Discussion about keeping proper records of these activities (social welfare, blood donation and cultural activities).

A discussion about the importance of archives and records management took place. Some of the views came out were, necessity of preservation of documents such as certificates, land deeds etc. Maintaining diary is a good way to preserve records. Using phone is also a good way for archive. 

I tried to discuss in brief about basics of archive and record management from the lecture of Sgifired given in DU. But no slides were shown. A structured training could be organized to provide training for the group in future to give them better knowledge for themselves about archives and record management. A fundamental training module needs to be created with the help of Florus and Sigfried. 

12:05 PM: Visit at the DC office meeting

Mr. Jamal (Torofder Jamilil) was busy in conference. Visited  e-center of DC office.

Mr. Shapan Sarkar, an officer working in E-center was delighted to help us with information upon greetings.

He gave us brief tour in e-center of record management. Now they are maintain electronic records in the software.  He identified the problem that changes of software in the DC office every 3 years is problem as it needs records to be transferred, restored and restructured. He also inform to us about Citizen Charter (all kinds of government service / process time / information fee etc.)

He thinks record management is important. For any documents regarding lands or old records for the citizens now they have postal system, instead of letting the citizens come the ensure the delivery of the service to the citizens. Fees are charged according to the charter.

Government organized a country wide Unnayan Mela (Development fair) recently. He thinks it was very helpful to create awareness among citizens.

He is willing to extend his cooperation in celebrating Archives day 9th June. He suggested us to visit old record division.

12:36 PM: Visit at the old record division

The office was surrounded by water, and no sewerage system to drain the water out. People standing nearby said, the whole structure needs to be changed for better management.

Mr. Arifuzzaman Assistant Commissioner showed us the  around the store the record rooms. Very old records of hundred years are available.

Registrar is available for the records but no preservation system is there. Now they are working on electronic recording system through DRR project where 21 people are working as data entry operator. Project started June 2016 and will be finished June 2017. (Data Collector Abdul Gaffer, Jangalia Pakundia: total data enter already = 80788).

The Assistant commissioner is not aware of the allocated taka 500000/- provided for maintenance of district collector rooms. 

The documents are provided to the citizens upon request within 7 days with 74 taka fee.

Mr. Mozammel, record keeper, Kishoreganj Zila record room, is working to maintain the records along with another employee, assistant record keeper Koddos Babu, with 5 days training. .  He is working there for two years, previously he worked in court. He recently had three days training on record management in National Library in January 2017. This record room has: land records, historical records, development budget records, records of the monthly DC meetings.

01:16 PM: Mayor’s Office

Mr.Nihar Roy greeted us nicely and very glad to meet us. He requested everyone of the himu paribahan family contact him for anything. He was also willing to help on 9 June archives day celebration. We send greetings to Mayor before our departure.

After lunch we visited Chandrabati and took some pictures of heritage building of Chandra bati, a first lady poet of Bengal.  

From there we departed for our own destination. 

DRR office old record room KishorgonjChandrabati


1) 21 May  visit to Gurudayal College in Kishoreganj. Elias gave 21 May in Kishoreganj a lecture about archives, why are archives needed and useful for planning, legal proof and generally information delivery for Right To Information (RTI) and Right To Know (RTK)_for all Bangladeshi citizens.

2) Explanation about the governments decision to give every of the 64 districts 5 lakh Taka for archives management.

3) Elias and Shahed collected names, addresses, e-mail ID’s and cellphone numbers of all guests, mainly the Himo Paribahan members.

4) Visit of the whole group under Elias and Shahed to the DC’s office, where they visit the District Collectorate Records Room of Kishoreganj. They discussed with the record keeper who told what his work was. Dicussion about preservation and selection of partially preservation of important archival documents, partially disposing / destruction of not important archives documents. The record keeper told that he got a archives training of 3 days. He also got training on electronic or digital records keeping. They also discussed the relevance of land registration in order to discuss about the importance of archival documents for society, economy and all citizens in the juridical system of Bangladesh.

5) Then the group under Elias and Shahed visited the Kishoreganj Paurashava / Municipality. The mayor of Kishoreganj welcomed Himo Paribahan and Elias Kanchon and Shahedul Alam Chowdhury.


Record keeper Niher Roy gave a lecture to this group of visitors and mentioned the earlier visits of Florus Geraedts and Elias Kanchon in previous years for giving attention and instruction about the preservation and management of archives of Kishoreganj.

6)  Plan:  International Archives Day Bangladesh, 9 June 2017 (IAD) will be a moment and occasion of archives awareness activities and programmes.

7) Himo Paribahan and Elias and Shahed will give attention to the description, preservation and appraisal and disposal of Archives, preparing some kind of archives training, thus preparing Archives Training Institute Bangladesh (ATIB).

8) Elias also told about information given about the first Indian female poet Chandravati and her family house: a Zamindar’s house which is now a governments archaeological monument. Chandravati was the first woman (born c. 1550 AD – died 1600 AD) from the Indian subcontinent to compose the Ramayana in Bengali. She narrated the Ramayana from Sita’s point of view and criticized Rama. Chandravati is a highly individual rendition as a tale told from a woman’s point of view which, instead of celebrating masculine heroism, laments the suffering of women caught in the play of male ego.