Bangladesh Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust

Bangladesh Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust (Bangladesh Muktijoddha Kalyan Trust) a welfare organisation under the ministry of defense. It carries out different programmes for the well-being of the of freedom fighters and their families who died or got wounded in the war of liberation. The government of Bangladesh established the Trust by a Presidential Ordinance (The Presidential Ordinance No. 94 of 1972) in September 1972. To finance various programmes aimed at rehabilitating the families of martyred and wounded freedom fighters, the government handed over the ownership of 19 industrial and commercial concerns to the Trust.

At present, the income generating establishments run by the trust include 5 industries (Tabani Beverage Company, Mimi Chocolate Ltd, Eastern Cables Industries Ltd, Multiple Juice Concentrate Plant, and Model Engineering Works); 4 cinema halls (Gulistan, Naz, Moon, and Delwar Pictures); a film production firm (Gulistan Films Corporation); an advertisement firm (Durbar Advertising and Publications); and a filling and servicing station (Purnima Filling and Services Station). Other than income from these enterprises, the trust also receives financial support from the government. The fund thus raised is spent in implementing welfare-oriented programmes for about six thousand insolvent families of martyred and wounded freedom fighters registered with the trust.

The most important programme drawn by the Trust is that of providing these families with a monthly state allowance. Under this head, the Trust is granted a yearly budgetary allocation of over Tk. 160 million from the government. The enlisted freedom fighter families are provided with medical services, educational stipends for their wards, and grants for holding marriage ceremonies of their daughters. Various programmes for the recreation of wounded freedom fighters are also being implemented. Moreover, on national days, the trust arranges special programmes for freedom fighters. All these activities are managed by the trust head office located at the Swadinata Bhaban (Independence Building) at Motijheel in Dhaka with a total manpower of 207 headed by a managing director. The policy issues are regulated by an eleven-member board of trustees under the chairmanship of the head of the government. [M Saifullah]