Hindu Welfare Trust
Hindu Welfare Trust was established by the government in 1983 for the welfare of the Hindu community of Bangladesh. The trust began with a capital of Tk 10 million; in 2000-2001 the amount stood at Tk 90 million. The trust is run by a board of 22 trustees, appointed for a period of three years. The minister in charge of the Ministry of Religious Affairs is its ex-officio chairman. The other members are nominated by the government.
The main purpose of the trust is to promote the religious activities of the Hindus and help them maintain their religious institutions. There are more than 20,000 Hindu religious institutions throughout Bangladesh. The trust, which receives funds from the government in the annual development programme, gives these institutions financial support for their welfare and maintenance.
Every year the trust gives grants for various Hindu religious festivals and for the renovation of Hindu temples. Among the important works undertaken by the trust are the preservation of the historic statue of Basudeva in the village of Maniknagar in manikganj district, the renovation of the dhakeshwari temple and the kantanagar temple in dinajpur. It has also helped to promote the historic festival of Yashomadhava in dhamrai. In 1998 the trust sent a delegation of Hindus to the famous Kumbhamela in India.
The trust has started a temple-based educational programme in order to help the overall development of the Hindu community. It also has a small library. [Manoranjan Rajbanshi]