It was a personal tragedy that moved Amina to think about caring for all: both her sons are physically handicapped.
By Zaidul Haque
Mother Teresa’s love for humanity is both well-known and well-documented. Even today, the Missionaries of Charities continue her work, and it would not be wrong to say that Mother Teresa’s name is etched forever in the history of Kolkata and its people’s minds.
Amina Hossain has not achieved the heights of Mother Teresa, but within minutes of meeting her, you realise that she is not even remotely interested in chasing fame of any sort at all, and does not like comparisons with historical figures. A resident of Malda (in West Bengal), Hossain has for the past two decades helped street children and orphans join the mainstream and seek a better life for them by enrolling them into schools by paying from her own pocket. Ask Sanaullah, Sukanta, Zakir, Manojit, Rezina and Firoza.
Some of these children begged in the streets and at the Malda railway station. But thanks to Hossain, they are all enrolled in schools now, apart from taking care of their expenses too. No wonder, everyone in Malda refers to Hossain as the “Mother Teresa of Malda”.
Amina, who is trained as an acupressure diagnostic, lives with her husband Ekram Hossain who works as a senior telecom officer and two sons, Imran Hossain and Iftikar Hossain. It was a personal tragedy that moved Amina to think about caring for all: both her sons are physically handicapped: “My youngest son was handicapped at the time of birth, and I travelled across the country to find a treatment, but to no avail. I faced harassment during my time and realised that unless more common citizens come up to help the less privileged people, nothing will change. It has to start from us, and so I decided to do the same,” she says.
For Amina, her life’s mission has always been that no child faces a handicap in his/her road to education and a respectful life. Amina also tries to the best of her ability to provide medical aid to all the children who are in need of it, but cannot afford to pay for it. The money for this too comes from her own pocket. “Serving people, especially children, has become a passion over the years. When I see children from streets move to schools, the happiness I experience is something I cannot express in words. I pray daily for their success, and hope that when they become successful, they too help children who are in dire need of help,” she adds.