Chitto Halder met Rose Figtree in 2009 in Dhaka Bangladesh and not long after this meeting Rose formed EchoStars Inc in Australia to raise funds to build Bright Stars School with Chitto. Chitto, who lives in Dhaka formed the Society for Lowest Urban Mass (SLUM), a Bangladesh registered charity that owns and administers the school.
Rose and Chitto both saw the desperate need for help and wanted to find a way to make a lasting change by providing a way out of the poverty trap so many were caught in.
Chitto was born into poverty and through the intervention of missionary school was able to complete a Masters Degree in English. He has since devoted his life to helping other children gain access to this basic human right of a Primary Education. This basic human right first identified in the Declaration of Human Rights (Article 26) was undated in the recent Millennium Goals .
Goal 2; ‘Achieve Universal Primary Education
1. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.’
Prior to meeting Chitto Rose had been travelling to and from Bangladesh was resolved to find a way to help where she could make an impact and a lasting change for the better.
The Vatara area of Dhaka where Bright Stars School is located is one of the most underprivileged areas of Dhaka where an estimated 20,000 people live in squalid conditions, with virtually no family income. Bright Stars School, was set up to provide education to the children of these families
Chitto Halder set up SLUM with the sole purpose of improving the lives and welfare of the poverty stricken children in the Vatara area and has dedicated his life’s effort to this cause. SLUM has worked directly with the impoverished urban community within the chosen work area of the impoverished section of the Vatara district for 11 years. With EchoStars Inc’s support money was now available to make his dream of building a school become a reality.
The school construction has completed four stories with one final storey planned and a roof top playground and breakwater to be completed. Although unfinished the school is operating and has 150 primary school students. BSS is offering first class primary education to children who have no other access to education. These children live in huts or tin shelters, in a cramped environment and often do not even have a tap for water. SLUM and EchoStars are ‘grass roots’ NGO’s that work close to the source of the need and are totally accountable while showing dramatic impact on the lives of the children who are fortunate to be chosen to attend BSS.
The school education program is holistic in approach which maximizes the impact on these children’s lives. Due to the level of poverty of these children each floor has a small kitchen which provides a hot nutritious meal to all students each day. The children receive basic medical and dental checks and school support ensures children are clean and uniformed. The school amenities provide the children with personal privacy and a health and dental care program attends to their basic needs that would otherwise be ignored.