Mohammad Abdul HalimChilmari, Karai-Barisal char
Mohammad Abdul Halim’s story
As a young boy, Halim left school to work on his father’s ship as a cook and errands boy. In those days, that was how an apprentice sailor began. He slowly worked his way up until one day the captain decided he was ready to manage his own vessel. Halim’s family came from a long line of sailors but, with the introduction of mechanical engines, sailors lost their income and livelihood as their services were no longer required. Halim’s family were forced to sell their boats and he went to Narayanganj to work on a boat Runa and Yves had acquired. It was also here that Halim discovered his skills at building model replica boats. Halim worries that future generations will not want to continue his craft. However, he believes that the boat-building tradition can be retained if there is a strong training programme and trainees are offered job opportunities thereafter.
“This notion of preservation was not something we really understood before. It was only after we joined this company that we understood the need for it. When we worked before, it was simply to make ends meet, to put food on the table and so on. Now, we see the value in preserving Bangladesh’s boat making heritage”.
Who we fund
We organize exhibitions worldwide to help raise awareness of this traditional craft and to ensure that Bangladesh’s rich, cultural, boating heritage is kept alive for future generations to enjoy.
Every little bit helps
It is essential that we preserve and record what is left of Bangladesh’s boat building heritage. Help us achieve this thanks to your donations.