Bangladesharchives


Right to Know Day, 28 September
September 5, 2017, 7:32 pm
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Wouldn’t it be a good idea for tbe Archives Movement Network Bangladesh to prepare the celebration of the 28 September 2017: Right To Know Day? Archives are basic tool for Right To Information and Right To Know.

See for example: IID celebrated the International Right to Know Day on 28 September 2016 with a RTI awareness rally. The Institute of Informatics and Development
(IID) joined the Information Commission and other organisations to celebrate the day with a morning rally in Dhaka. Honorable Minister of Information Hasanul Haq Inu MP, Chief Information Commissioner Professor Dr. Md. Golam Rahman, local government representatives, NGO representatives and common citizens attended the rally. IID colleagues attended the rally that was held at the National Museum in Dhaka. IID is a public policy institute promoting evidence-informed inclusive policy. IID is registered as a nonprofit institute in Bangladesh under Section 28 of the Companies Act 1994.

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Visit 21 August to Bhola, Barisal Division, by Elias Kanchon and Shahedul Chowdhury for Archives awareness programme
August 29, 2017, 10:59 pm
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1. Visit to Fozilatunnessa Government College
We started our program at Fozilatunnessa Government College meeting shortly with College principal Samsul Alam for a discussion on archives and archives management. College Principal introduced us with the College record-keeper to learn more about management of College’s archives. What we discovered after meeting the record-keeper was:

There is still no awareness about ARCHIVES and Record Management systems. There were some files, which files had no date and no file access code. The Registrar and Record keeper wanted to know from us more about the system of Archives Management. This is an important step because expressing this wish by the registrar is the same as expressing the need for training in Archives and Archives management which is the start of awareness!

College Principal suggested us for next programmes to bring with us a Government – given letter of introduction or certificate.

2. Visit to Bhola Municipality
As our next step we went to the Municipality of Bhola in order to meet with staffs of the so called Room of Certificates (Birth registration, Tax collecting, Land registration) and documents service. We saw their documents systems and talked about storage of original documents, specially in hard copy form. Our first findings of this visit:

There was no real Archives Room (repository), they just were using a room as a sort of “store house” to put in their Documents. There was still lack of awareness about system and method of Archives & Record Management. And important to note: there was no connection with the National Archives of Bangladesh in Agargaon, Dhaka to transfer records in the future.

3. Meeting with members and journalists of the Bhola Pressclub
After the programme at Municipality of Bhola, we went to the Bhola Press Club and met and discussed with Mr. Khoslo. He is working as Press Club Office Assistant. We collected the cell phone numbers of Pressclub President, General Secretary and the Prothom Alo
Journalist Mr. Niamol with whom we had a meeting of 30 minutes. After that, he shared all Pressclub members names, pictures,  e-mail adresses and contact cellphone numbers. We got a complete list of key-persons.

4. Meeting at the Bhola Pressclub with Umme Ema’s youth group
We met with all members of Umme Ema’s youth group at the Pressclub Hall for meetings for a first training / discussion about the need of archives and archives management:
Explaning essential archival questions:
1. What are Archives?
2. What is the relationship between Archives and Good Governance.
3. How can we preserve our documents as archives
4. Importance of  archives for government, Non-government organization (NGO), as well as for our Personal Life.
5. Why to use Archives for Right To Information of citizens, for research and writing decent / reliable history, for planning hospitals and schools, for environment control, producing reliable original and powerful archival documents for these reasons.
6. Elias gave 3 practical examples:
1. Archival documents in Netherlands about the building of the Jamuna Bridge.
2. Cricket as started in Kishoreganj.
3. Touhid Hasan Moyna Bhai in bogra, about his Family Archives and feelings.
7. The amount of Archivists needed in Bangladesh as well as according to international standards.
8. Bangladesh Medical & Dental Council (BM&DC) requirement that all Medical Colleges & Hospitals must have their own Archives Repository and Archivist staffs. Without this the BM&DC will not give any permission for establishing such a hospital & medical college. We know this information also from Florus and from Shamim, since 2 years archivist of the Dr Gazi Mizan Medical College and Hospital in Khulna
8. Especial lecture about the importance of archives as tool for the RTI Act. How helpful archives are as tool for RTI for giving power to the citizens.

All participants were quite happy about the lectures of Elias and Shahedul which were finalized with an important OPEN FLOOR DISCUSSION with the young leaders with remarks like:
1. Archives management and Right To Information and Good Governance is a very much sensitive matter, we should know more and more about it.
2. While acquiring more knowledge about Archives and Information in Society and Government the young persons like in Umme Ema’s group and other local groups of the Archives Network should visit schools, hospitals, health care centers, local government offices etc. and start discussions with the staffs about use and management of the Archives.
3. These visits will enlarge the awareness of the importance of archives and records and the GROWING NEED for taking BETTER CARE for these archives and records.
4. Connection is needed of the members of Archives Network with Local Government on Archives and discuss use of Archives by the media (local newspapers and TV channels) and specially with local Pressclub.
5. Archives are tool of real development of our country Bangladesh, archives are needed for real use of the Right To Information Act of all Government officials and VERY IMPORTANT, of ALL Citizens. Archives will be the sources for good quality of Research and writing of our History. Archives as a tool also will help and improve general management by government, schools, colleges, private enterprises and specially improve the planning.

If our Archives Network members find any problems in Archives management and use they can get in contact with coordinating persons in Archives Network. Elias gave the participants the book “60 Questions on NGO – Archives” and the  RTI leaflet, explaining about the Right To Information, RTI act 2009,  written by Lutful Haque and Azizul Rasel.
Meeting finished at 03:15 PM

After the Program we returned to our Hotel, took rest and went to the restaurant for taking our lunch. In the evening we started our return journey from Bhola to Dhaka by launch.

By: Elias Kanchon & Shahedul Chowdhury



Preparing awareness programmes on Right to Information & archives management with local groups in Rajshahi, Bhola, Kishoreganj, 26 July 2017.
July 30, 2017, 10:07 pm
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Elias Kanchon visited the National Archives of Bangladesh (NAB) to talk to Deputy Director of NLB, Jamal Uddin and Ali Akbar and Elias Miah, NAB archivists. Elias discussed with Ali Akbar an Archives Awareness Program in Rajshahi in August or September. Ali Akbar, when invited by Elias Kanchon, told that he is interested to accompany as trainer the archives team (Elias Kanchon, Fazle Mir, Shahed, Hasan Mahmood) while going to the Rajshahi Archives Programme. Elias Miah also showed interest in such a programme.

In afternoon Lutful Haque received Elias Kanchon at Prothom Alo office for delivery of banner and posters to use for local Archives Programmes. Lutful supports, stimulates and inspires Elias Kanchon. Elias also met with Khair Millat, Matin and Meher Afroz in the Library and documentation department of Prothom Alo. Khair knows a lot about Right to Information, archives management and history and supports local archives programmes as Matin and Meher also do. They showed interest in joining these local archives programmes in Kishoreganj (with Himo Paribahan), Bhola or Rajshahi. In August or September such a local programme could be arranged was their conclusion.

Elias also discussed this with Shahed. Florus advises Elias to invite also (at least informing about these programmes) Motalib of Bangladesh Police Academy in Rajshahi, Shamim of Dr. Gazi Mizan Hospital in Khulna, Niher Roy in Kishoreganj, Halima Afroz of the NAB Reading Room, Tofael Ahmed and Yousuf Shikdher (both have got archives experience in Prof. Mahabub’s  Heritage Archives in Kazla Gate, Rajshahi).

In the evening Elias met Shahed to discuss about organizing the Bhola Archives programme in August. Also Elias and Shahed had contact with Umme Ema in Bhola.  Furthermore Elias and Shahed discussed about preparing of the Skype meeting in August, with Sharifuddin, Lutful Haque, Sigfried Janzing and Florus Geraedts for organizing this Bhola programme.

After meeting Shahed, Elias Kanchon visited Dr. Sharifuddin in his home in Uttara sector 7,  20.30 – 22.30 PM. Good discussion and Dr. Sharif told about a big company (like Squire) having communicated with Dr. Sharif about their wish and plan to start real Archives Management and to make a complete Archives Developing plan: needed manpower, materials, building, digital archives management and hard copy (paper documents) archives management. Dr. Sharif asked Ali Akbar of NAB to make such a plan for Archives Management Development. Elias Kanchon suggested to Dr. Sharif uddin to make such an Archives Management Development Plan with Fazle Mir and Ali Akbar and specially for DIGITAL Archives with Sarwar Morshed, who is an expert on Digital Archives. Florus suggested also to get in touch with Md Samsur Rahman Tuhin for this reason.

Lutful advises Elias Kanchon to take the 6 weeks Archives Course in Delhi at the National Archives of India School for Archival Studies (S.A.S.). Dr Sharif also suggested to Elias Kanchon to read Salma Islam’s book on Archives.

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Empowering archives network, Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, 21 May 2017
May 20, 2017, 8:09 pm
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PROGRAM PLAN:

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.

REPORT BY SHAHEDUL / ELIAS

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

ADDITIONAL NOTES BY FLORUS AFTER PHONECALL WITH ELIAS KANCHON:

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.

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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.

 

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The Right To Know … forever. Remembering the Rana Plaza disaster, 24 April 2013, killing at least 1134 garment factory workers.
April 23, 2017, 8:03 pm
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“Rana Plaza is a symbol of the inhumanity that belies the promise of progress and the untold possibilities of the garments industry. It brought to the fore the everyday outcries of workers, the reality of their status — or lack thereof — as citizens, and the apathy of the owning class, state apparatuses and international buyers. The collapse was also a wakeup call. But were we really ready to respond to this call? It appears instead that efforts are well underway to erase Rana Plaza killing from our minds and memories.” From: http://www.athousandcries.org/about.html

It appears instead that efforts are well underway to erase Rana Plaza killing from our minds and memories ….

That we will never allow, for this reason our effort to give attention to the disaster 4 years back … today 24 April 2017. Starting with some links to essential information from the Daily Star archive, news clippings: http://www.thedailystar.net/tags/rana-plaza

From these tags this one about the shameful attitude of the west, who stick on procedures and by doing so losing humanity: http://www.thedailystar.net/country/rana-plaza-us-court-scraps-case-against-3-retailers-1219609

Some tags and related stories rom The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/18/rana-plaza-collapse-murder-charges-garment-factory

Florus Geraedts contribution on facebook:

“RANA PLAZA COLLAPSE 2013 — 24 april — 2017. 24 april 2017, we may remember sadly the Rana Plaza Bhaban Collapse 24 april 2013, causing death of almost 1200 garment workers and other women, men, girls and boys. As well as so many wounded and handicapped victims. Suggestion is to to make an exhibition of pictures and paper clippings about Rana Plaza drama, background and meaning for Bangladesh and abroad yesterday and today. National Archives and Library, Facebook pages of BarmS, Friends of Archives, Archives for Life and Bdesh Archives & Right To Information Community Kishoreganj and also BARM BLOG can make exhibitions / presentations for honouring the victims, encouraging their family members. And encouraging every one in and outside Bangladesh to give efforts to prevent these accidents, caused by irresponsible employers and authorities. And to give support to those victims of Rana Plaza Collapse who are still waiting for compensation for their damage and loss.”

Elias Kanchon, garment engineer, makes us aware of a programme Bangladesh Garments Labour Songhoty in Dhaka University “RC Majumder Auditorium” these days. And he refers to https://www.fairwear.org/country/bangladesh/ for Fair Wear Foundations country plan for Bangladesh. He will write a report about the programme.

A further archive, like news clippings, you find with keyword #RanaPlaza on Twitter. There’s a commemoration going on …

The untold stories, “Life nor Germ”. “The idea of this film came when I was confronted with many of the untold stories connected with the Rana Plaza tragedy. The whole world watched in horror as the concrete building known as “Rana Plaza” cracked, buckled and ultimately collapsed on top of the garment workers inside. Though as time passed the horror of the incident faded in the world’s consciousness . Meanwhile for us “Rana Plaza” wasn’t just a concrete building. We didn’t only watch the incident, we felt the tragedy.”  Shakor Ahmed & Valery Knill about “Life nor Germ” http://lifenorgerm.bd.team/

The reality of their status — or lack thereof as workers, as citizens …

fs34-Rana-Plaza-APphoto_of_missing_person_left_in_ruins01_website_image_yesu_wuxga

 



REPORT AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE BINNENNIAL MEETING OF BANGLADESH ARCHIVES AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT SOCIETY AND THE SPECIAL SEMINAR ON ARCHIVES IN BANGLADESH – PRESENT AND FURURE, HELD ON 18 MARCH 2017 AT THE BANGLADESH NATIONAL MUSEUM, SHAHBAGH, DHAKA
April 3, 2017, 10:06 pm
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A. Resolutions with comments

1. BARMS as a voluntary body has undertaken various measures to develop the archival world in Bangladesh during the last 8 years. However, in the future more stakeholders, including the government and private organizations, should be involved in achieving the goal. COMMENT: THINK OF LOCAL GROUPS AND HOSPITALS, COLLEGES, LOCAL GOVERNANCE, PRESSCLUBS

2. One of the key factors which has hampered the growth of archival development in the country is the absence of an up-to-date, comprehensive and effective archival law. It is for some years that the National Archives and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs have been working to frame a law but still without any concrete result. BARMS should approach the concerned authorities to see that the law is framed and enacted as soon as possible. In this regard it was further resolved that BARMS should approach the Seminar’s Chief Guest Dr. Gowher Rizvi to use his good office in enacting the Archival Law.

3. Although there is not an up-to-date archival law, there are however rules and regulations, and even the Archival Law of 2013 which clearly say that all public records and documents need to be regulary classified and which are found to be 25 years old, and which have been classified for permanent preservation, should be sent to the National Archives for permanent preservation. As has been found not even one percent of public records which are supposed to be permanently preserved have been sent to the National Archives for permanent preservation. The hon. Chief Guest, Dr. Gowher Rizvi, took note of that and showed his concern over the matter commenting that he would seek intervention into the matter from  the Prime Minister’s Office. It was thus resolved that a delegation of BARMS should visit the Prime Minister’s Office for intervention in the matter and here also the good office of the Chief Guest should be used.

4. It was resolved that the attention should be drawn to the proper record keeping and development of records management in the divisional and district record rooms. The government should be approached to create permanent records room staff with a complement of technical personnel. COMMENT: ALSO LOCAL GROUPS CAN VISIT DISTRICT COLLECTORATE RECORD ROOMS

5. It was resolved that a review should be made of the utilization of funds of taka 5 lakhs allocated each year since 2015 to each district record room for better record keeping and records management. In this connection a call of representatives upon the Cabinet Secretary should be immediately made appraising him about the state of public records management in the country and seeking his help for its development. It was further resolved that if necessary more funds should be sanctioned for district and divisional records offices.

6. Archival development in Bangladesh is also suffering from a lack of professional people. This is largely because of the absence of archival education and training in the country. The universities do not offer any diploma or degree program in the Archives and Archives Management. Nor there is any Institute of Archival Studies in Bangladesh. BARMS should endeavor to persuade the universities to offer degree or diploma in Archives Studies and work for the establishment of an Institute of Archival Studies in Bangladesh. In the meantime it was resolved that the National Archives should be persuaded to offer diploma in Archival studies as the National Archives of India does in Delhi.  COMMENT: ALSO ASK BANGLADESH PUBLIC ADMINSITRATION TRAINING CENTER (BPATC) IN SAVAR TO DEVELOP ARCHIVES MANAGEMENT EDUCATION AND COOPERATE WITH ASSAM STATE ARCHIVES AND WEST BENGAL STATE ARCHIVES

7. The Seminar also resolved that the government be persuaded to further expand and strengthen the National Archives of Bangladesh and make it a true leader and guardian of the Archival Development of Bangladesh. Its budget and staff should be increased and its digitization program be further developed. Staff should be given more training and their personal positions be upgraded and promotions etc. be carried out. More technical hands be recruited at the National Archives. COMMENT: LET NATIONAL ARCHIVES ORGANISE VISITS TO DISTRICT COLLECTRATE RECORD ROOMS AND PUBLISH ON ITS WEBSITE ABOUT INSPECTION OF DISTRICT RECORDS AND CITY CORPORATIONS ARCHIVES

8. It was further resolved that the old District Record Rooms and for that matter the old District Collectorate Offices be preserved as Heritage Buildings. The Ministry of Culture has already endorsed the matter in principle and instructed the Department of Archaeology to take up the matter. BARMS should be in touch with the MOCA & DOA to see that it is implemented. COMMENT: FLORUS HAS PICTURES OF SEVERAL DISTRICT RECORD ROOMS TAKEN SINCE 1995

9. Finally it was resolved that the newly executive members be requested to play a dynamic role in expanding the Society’s activities and strengthening its funding and manpower. COMMENT: LET EVERY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER GIVE AN EXAMPLE FOR LOCAL ARCHIVES AWARENESS WORK. SHARIFUDDIN FOR DINAJPUR, FAZLE MIR FOR HABIGANJ, LUTFUL HAQUE FOR RAJSHAHI

B. Further questions / comments

Can you give EXTRA attention to local work and local groups of Archives Awareness? Think of cooperation with Bondhushava, with Ttransparency International Bangladesh, with Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), with local groups on History and Heritage, like Heritage Association of Rajshahi under Mahbub Siddiqi and Dr Ibne Golam Samad. With Heritage Archives Bangladesh History of prof. Mahbubur Rahman in Rajshahi Kazla Gate.

Give attention to the 11 and 26 february 2017 given ideas in Prothom Alo held meetings about FAB’s chairman Lutful Haque’s suggestions to develop and work on a program of each one’s archives interest for 2017. Family Archives, Preparation of 9 June / 28 september In’l Archives Day / Right To Know Day.



Archives training at Bangladesh Police Academy (BPA), Sardah, Rajshahi on February 09, 2017, report of Shahedul Alam Chowdhury, Teacher on Nursing @IUBAT, Dhaka
March 1, 2017, 9:38 pm
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I feel wonderful to participate actively in Bangladesh Archives and Records Management Society (BARMS) and Friends of Archives Bangladesh (FAB), the Archives Movement of Bangladesh during the recent Bangladesh visit of Mr. Florus Geraedts, Adviser to BARMS and Mr. Sigfried Janzing, Director, Directorate of Archives, Gouda, The Netherlands. I feel more than wonderful for visiting different parts of the country, meeting different people of different walks of lives, visiting different public and private organizations, attending different trainings and discussions at community level to share views on archives and records management, observing and learning from different perspectives of people living in our society. Finally being able to reflect on the experiences makes me feel emotional for the re-realization that awareness of Health Care Archives, Archives and Records Management, Right to Information Act (RTI) are actually the necessities of significant importance for the great numbers of impoverished communities of our country.

One of the recent and very effective programmes on archives was my participation in visiting Bangladesh Police Academy (BPA) Archives, Sardah. Especially to me the recommendation of BARMS training “involving community people for archives awareness program” at BPA will be very useful to create impact on lives of the people living in the community and overall community development. I am very happy to share brief about the visit and hope to write more about archives activities in the future.

In general, hearing the word ‘Police’ can easily make someone a bit cautious, perhaps a little scared too. My feelings were no different. But, visiting BPA to attend archives training, gave a different impression! Indeed, I felt so humbled by the greetings. Especially when we were welcomed by the Principal and the team of the Academy in style I certainly felt overwhelmed, I was fascinated.

We entered BPA at around 11:00 AM. The Principal Md. Nazibur Rahman, ndc, Addl. IGP welcomed the Archives team at his office. He said, he felt very happy to meet friends of BPA Mr. Florus and Mr. Sigfried in his academy for the training. He believes that continuous Archives training and discussion for the BPA staffs will enhance the development of BPA archives. He expects their regular visits and trainings is helpful to develop the BPA archives department. He instructed the fellow officers of BPA archives team to be sincere and to pay due attention to the archives development and maintenance at the academy. He wished a successful training on archives for his staffs and thanked the BARMS Archives team for the visit. Keeping the invitation for another visit in the upcoming the principal said good bye to us.

Mr. Hasan, BPM Bar and head of BPA archives committee guided us during the visit to BPA archives repository. He updated us about the progress of the repository which was established in 2014. Later, Mr. Motaleb, archives officer, explained that they are in the process of creating catalogues, directories and digitization of the archives. Documents are collected from different departments of BPA such as the training department, library, reserve office, clinic and so on. The selection committee, consisting of three members, selects archival documents for storing in the archives repository. The remaining documents are sent to respective departments. Very old records and documents (which are of the year prior to 2007) are stored and can be found in storage room.

We attended the training at conference room after the visit. Mr. Florus started the training and discussion session sharing his experience of previous visits and establishment of BPA archives, training and previous discussions. He asked everyone about the progress made in BPA archives and personal archives? Mr. Motaleb provided the briefing about the progress that they are working very hard to organize archives documents by collecting documents from different departments, categorizing them into groups, creating inventory list, storing them into repository. Currently they are working on digitization of the archival documents.

Mr. Florus later provided an overview on archives and its importance for BPA, community and society. The training turned into an interactive session while exchanging views on the importance of archives. Some of the views elicited from the interactions are:

  1. Archives can be of significant importance for the status, history and heritage of BPA
  2. Archives are of importance to decide about the future activities of BPA
  3. Archives are needed for historical research
  4. Archives in general are essential as for health care (health records), for statistics, planning, development of institutions and society
  5. Archives awareness is in fact a necessity at family level in a community.

Mr. Florus suggested publishing the records on the websites to become available as information to citizens, for research purposes etc. He also suggested BPA archives to contact National Archives of Bangladesh (NAB) to transfer collected archival documents for preservations at NAB, along the rules of the Archives Ordinance 1983. He also suggested that Bangladesh Archives and Records Management Society (BARMS) and NAB advisory committee is interested to know about the progress and they can also be contacted for suggestions and help.

In a discussion on how to create awareness about the importance of archives some of the views shared by the participants and trainers were:

  1. Organize more training and discussion on archives
  2. Using mobile phone as an archives tool: mobile phone is an empowering device as suggested by mr. Sigfried, be aware your handy is an archive (with your device you create records, images, store them om google docs or dropbox, make them available by sending documenst, sharing them, to friends and others and also destroy documents to relieve your device)
  3. Organizing exhibition programmes for BPA and Community on Archives involving community people in archives awareness program
  4. Developing and updating websites with information
  5. Writing and publishing articles on archives
  6. Visiting different archives blogs, websites of other countries and organizations
  7. Meeting for discussions about progress of archives activities.

Mr. Sigfried suggested everyone to use collaborative approach for archiving activities. He also provided a little briefing on digital archiving, use of websites, blogs and publishing the documents in blogs. Mr. Motaleb reported 48 out 94 catalogs are already digitized. He suggested to seek guidance and help from BPA archives committee. Motaleb concluded the training by thanking everyone for joining the training.

In the afternoon we were accompanied by Addl. DIG Mr. Bakhtiar for lunch at Urmi (Guest house of BPA). After a short exchange of views with him and others present we departed from BPA. To me it was a very effective program on archives, especially because of the involvements of participants in the training and optimism of BPA Academy for advancing archives awareness and activities through continuous discussion, training and development. I am confident the influence and outcome of the visits and training will add to a great axtent to the advancement of archives movement.