Shadman Sahil Chowdhury
Posted: 21 January 2021
Everywhere else we go, our voices are ignored, we as Generation Z and the young people. Everyone thinks that we don’t know anything, or we haven’t a lot to offer. CGS gives us assurance that whatever you say, whatever you do, it won’t go unheard and you have equally as much of an opportunity to change the world as everyone else.
Shadman Sahil Chowdhury, a recent alumnus (2020) from Chittagong Grammar School (CGS) in Bangladesh, is passionate about leadership and service. Attending a school committed to character education has given him the confidence to affect positive change in the lives of others.
“CGS gives us assurance that whatever you say, whatever you do, it won’t go unheard and you have equally as much of an opportunity to change the world as everyone else.”
When Shadman talks about his school, the pride and warmth in his voice are unmistakable. His whole academic life has been spent at CGS and he continues to work with the school as Chair of the Alumni Team. For Shadman, it is more than just a job. It is about maintaining the connection to the school.
Fostering student voice and encouraging initiatives is an aspect of the school ethos that has had the most impact on Shadman.
Noticing how access to education is affected by the pandemic in Bangladesh, he wondered about the difference he could make. CGS has its own community school that provides education to deprived children, free of cost. Students from CGS adopt the roles of student teachers and support with instruction of English, Mathematics, Bangla and Science. During his previous visits, Shadman had developed strong relationships with the students, “bonding with them was the best part of the project. It brought so much perspective in my life.”
In June 2020 Shadman and his friends took action. They designed and taught a programming course to 70 people. With the profits from this venture, they were then able to purchase and donate rickshaws to families in dire need. He explains that this access to transport opens additional income for families and enables them to provide basic needs during the pandemic.
Access to safety and security is important to Shadman. To counter prejudice on rape and sexual assault, he has created a community space where rape, rape culture, and sexual assault are discussed openly. His hope is that this community will be, “a go to place for the victims, so that they can come in and share without being judged.”
And for his final reflections on his engagement in service, Shadman brings the conversation back to the opportunities he feels he has been given from attending a school dedicated to the development of character.
“Taking these initiatives, taking on these leadership roles. I wouldn’t have been able to do them if CGS had not provided me with the assurance that whatever I do is going to matter.”