Amrai Pari Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jot (WE CAN)


Arifa Jahan Bithi :

A sportswoman social bindings

Bithi is a person who likes to introduce herself as a sportswoman. However, it was not an easy journey for her to become one as the sports she is interested in is considered a game for men. She is a person who has been very enthusiastic about sports from her childhood. She used to participate in various games since her primary school time and was renowned as a good sportswoman.

When she was studying in the 6th grade in 2010, a cricket team was created in her school, and she was elected as the captain of the team for the upcoming women’s interschool Cricket competition. After she participated in that competition, she also played as a captain for the inter district team. She was praised for her good performance. And then started to gradually grow interest in Cricket.

Unfortunately, the sport that she likes is considered to be a game for men. She had to listen to several demotivating words from her relatives and neighbors. The people around her discouraged her by saying things such as: it is a game for men, girls need to wear clothes like boys, girls look indecent when running, and if played with bat-ball, the hand would become very hard!! Moreover, they quoted: ‘Decent girls do not play cricket! They only play with utensil play sets, Kana-Machi, and Akka-Dokka’! This illogical discrimination, made her feel different from other girls and resulted in suffering from loneliness. She had the urge to prove that it is not a sport just for men and females are also capable in playing Cricket efficiently.

To train herself properly for this, she then enrolled herself in a cricket academy called "Pantho-Kunjo" in Rangpur. She was elected to play in Dhaka Premier league in 2012. Bithi worked as an assistant coach in the National under 19 cricket league and Rangpur team successfully became a champion.

To further inspire females for playing cricket, she took self-initiative and established "Women’s Dreamer Cricket Academy" at her town in Rangur. Women’s dreamer cricket academy provides a cricket training program for females free of cost. Currently, it has 250 trainees, and Bithi works as the coach by herself. She had to overcome a lot of challenges to establish herself as a successful cricketer and a coach.

Bithi also works as a social worker for girl’s guide and scout team apart from her sports related activities. When she was studying HSC, she enrolled herself in a training program called "Girls Advocacy Alliance" regarding female’s childhood marriage and domestic violence, which was organized by "Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jot". At that time, she came to realize that women in Bangladesh face discrimination and violence in several sectors in addition to sports. She then became a change maker for "Amrai Pari" and was ultimately inspired to work for women’s domestic violence.

Due to the nationwide lockdown for Covid-19 pandemic, she stood beside unemployed people. She started a campaign known as "Akti Calle Pouche Jabe Binamualle Gorbhoboti Mayer Khaddo" across Rangpur. Each package provided contained rice, lentils, sugar, oil, milk, banana, soap, and egg. So far two thousand five hundred pregnant women received the relief. Bithi has been using a Scooty gifted by a multi-national company for providing the relief herself.