Esrat Karim: Paving the way towards an equitable future.

Written by Arpita Mayesha

August 22, 2020

The story of Esrat Karim Eve is that of a small town girl with a big dream of empowering the underprivileged communities. She is the Founder and Director of Amal Foundation, a nonprofit which is dedicated to bettering the lives of the deprived. She is undoubtedly one of the most humble people we’ve come across.

I’ve had to prove myself over and over through my work

How has quarantine been for you?

I entered quarantine with a lot of enthusiasm, just like everyone else. I was trying a lot of things. But now I am extremely busy with work again. We’re working to provide necessities to those affected by the pandemic and the flood.

Whenever I am free, I try to spend time with my family practice my hobbies.

Let’s go to the very beginning. What is the story behind initiating Amal?

There is no particular story on Amal’s inception. It was a long process. Initially, we only had 5 members and no physical office. Back then we couldn’t create much of an impact in the community through our events. But my team and I never gave up. We continuously planned events and executed them. We have since worked for millions of people.

We have worked with refugees along with many other local underprivileged communities. We believe in empowering them through healthcare, education and skill development. We also provide people necessary commodities in times of any crisis. Our dedicated volunteers have played a huge part in bringing us this far.

What was the first thing that popped into your head when you got the news of getting yourself into Forbes 30 under 30?

My first reaction was shock. I didn’t expect to make it to the list. When the shock settled, I thought of all the sudden limelight I’ll be put under. Suddenly people started to scrutinize my every move. They asked about my work, my projects. It was a lot of pressure to work knowing that so many eyes are judging you.

As a woman in this field, what are some of the hardships you’ve had to overcome?

I think compared to other women; I do come from a place of privilege. Yet there were barriers. I come from a conservative family. So when I first started social works, there was a lot of judgment.  My family and relatives were concerned about my security and rightly so. The society is skeptical regarding a woman leading in the frontline and working directly in the field. I’ve had to prove myself over and over through my work.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?

That’s a difficult one. I absolutely love traveling and I travel a lot for work as well. I have so many favorites! But if I had to name one….there’s something so authentic about char areas that attract me so much. They are so effortlessly beautiful!

Colorado is also special to me since I’ve completed my Masters from The University of Colorado. The mountains of Colorado are so serene, especially during the winter when it snows.

Can you describe yourself in three adjectives?

I would say humble, resilient and generous.

We think that describes you very well. I’ve read that even as a child you were extremely empathetic, to the point where you once brought a homeless man inside your house and served him food in your dining room. Who/what restored these values in you as a child?

I’ve always looked up to my mother and she is as generous and kind as they get. So I think it’s genetic.

Who/what is your inspiration to wake up every day, push yourself further and keep on working?

Knowing that my work will bring a smile on people’s faces is all it takes for me. I push myself further every day because I know that through Amal’s work we will be making the underprivileged’s lives tad bid easier.

How many lives have you impacted through Amal to date?

We’ve impacted about 150,000 lives with our social projects.

How does one get to be a part of Amal?

Anyone interested can directly contact us through our Facebook page or email us at esrat.karim@amalbangladesh.org or hr@amalbangladesh.org 

Any last message for our readers?

Please be empathetic. Acknowledge your privilege and recognize their misfortune. Be generous to everyone you come across.

Share this article on your social media if you liked it

error: All contents of Entreur are protected.

Pin It on Pinterest