Hawladar, Abdur Rahaman

Hawladar, Abdur Rahaman (1901-1974) businessman, industrialist, educationist and philanthropist. Son of Haji Chobiruddin and Haji Majeda Khatun, was born in a Muslim family in the village of Panchkhola, sadar upazilla of Madaripur district in 1901.

Abdur Rahaman had no opportunity to receive academic education. He started his career as a jute broker in 1927. At that time there were hardly any jute traders among the Muslims. Because Marwaries, rich Hindus and the English regulated Jute trades in Bengal at that time. But in a short time Abdur Rahman became a successful jute trader by his own merit, intelligence, wisdom and labour. He started selling jute in Calcutta Bazar with his own trade mark. From 1942 he started trading cotton threads, rice and clothes along with jute. He was appointed as the Jute exporter in international market in the newly created Pakistan, After the separation of India in 1947.

Abdur Rahaman launched a cargo service named 'Popular Water Transport Co.' in 1958. He initiated a jute mill in Madaripur to create job opportunities for the unemployed youths of the district. He set up 'A R Khan Jute Mill' on the bank of the river Arial Khan within an area of 43 acres with the assistance of EPIDC. Around 5,000 labours got the employment opportunities in the jute mill and they could change their life with the help of their earnings. Simultaneously, Madaripur city also came in a developement stream because of the jute mill. Abdur Rahaman took initiatives to remove unemployment problems as well as for the development of the city.

Abdur Rahaman was a great patron of education. He patronized almost all educational institutions in Madaripur district to promote education in the society. He helped to establish Najimuddin College in 1948. He also contributed to a lot of clubs and socio-cultural organisations for their development as well. He was politically attached to Muslim League till death since its inception. He earned respect from all religious communities of the country. In fact Abdur Rahaman was a guardian of people from all levels.

Abdur Rahaman lived a very simple life. His accomplishments have been described in Bangladesher Koekjon Shilpauddogir Jibon Kahini; (Life Stories of some Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh), a book published by the Bangladesh Byabsha Banijjya Parishad (Bangladesh Trade and Commerce Council). Abdur Rahaman Hawladar died on 24 November 1974. [ABM Shamsuddin Ahmed]