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DU IBA Team Runner Up at Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition 2014

Online Desk | April 22, 2014
Aiman, Sabira and Parashar

Aiman, Sabira and Parashar

Aiman Absar, Sabira Mehrin and Parashar Saha from the 21st batch BBA students of IBA, Dhaka University (DU) brought home glory as runners up in the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) 2014.

The desire to win a global competition and make a difference arose when we saw all our seniors and friends bringing in so much acclaim for the country and the institution every year, said Sabira Mehrin, one of the team members of 'Bhitti'.

Undergraduate students from around the world participated in GSEC with their social business plans to create solutions for some of the world's most challenging issues including poverty, health and development. The semi-finalist students from around the globe were invited by the committee to visit University of Washington, Seattle to present their ideas to mentors and win prizes. The yearly competition is sponsored by a number of notable benefactors such as Microsoft, NCIIA, and Seattle Rotary.

The idea of Bhitti focuses on utilizing sugarcane bagasse (fiber) to make affordable, durable and environment friendly housing material for the rural population of Bangladesh. Bagasse is the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice.

শিক্ষা সংক্রান্ত খবরাখবর নিয়মিত পেতে রেজিস্ট্রেশন করুন অথবা Log In করুন।

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Bhitti combats all these problems by themselves. Their current plan is to employ local people from Dinajpur to make these products, they will first be trained by experts. The process would be labor intensive and would consume less energy. Since the bagasse is also burnt for power, the ash produced can be mixed with clay and other components which can, in turn through a chemical process, be used to manufacture bricks. This way, instead of being burnt, the bricks will be dried in the sun.

Fortunately, there won't be any deforestation or emission of harmful toxins in this process. With a zero carbon footprint adding value to it, the working conditions would also prove to be healthy for the workers. And the prime raw material is sugarcane bagasse which is an agricultural by-product mostly considered to be waste. So, Bhitti is actually turning this waste into something useful by recognizing its unique properties which make it an alternative to fly ash.

Bangladesh's youth is fast growing and fast rising. We can safely hope for similar breakthrough ideas in the future courtesy of the country's youth who are eager to help combat social problems.
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