It has been almost one year since 1,000 resident students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) started receiving free copies of The Daily Star on the first day of Bangla Noboborsho (the Bangla New Year, April 14) last year.
As part of "spreading knowledge" project, The Daily Star, the country's highest circulated English daily, and Bank Asia had taken this initiative to give copies of the newspaper (1,000 copies per day) to the students.
This correspondent recently talked to at least 30 students who have been receiving the service. They have hailed the initiative as an "education friendly" one.
They also expressed hope that the service would continue in future.
Md Selim Reza, a student of public administration, said, “It has been a great opportunity for us to improve our English proficiency along with gathering knowledge.”
“… the service has greatly contributed to develop my reading habit ,” said Nurul Amin, a student of law and justice department.
Expecting that the service would continue, Obaidullah Al Galib, a master's student of economics department, said he has been able to develop his English skills through reading the newspaper.
Joyeeta Alo of Bangla department has acknowledged the importance of learning English to fare well in the global job market.
Praising the initiative, she said The Daily Star is also trying to bring a "qualitative change" in the society by motivating the young minds this way.
Asked about the particular contents of preference, Eyasin Arafath Bapon said, “I like the 'Business' page of the newspaper." On the other hand, Sharmin Shimu likes reading international affairs covered by the newspaper.
“I think this project should continue as it has been able to make the students realise the importance of reading newspapers," added Bapon.
Another student, Mamunur Rashid, said to students, especially those who are unable to subscribe newspapers every day, have been hugely benefitted by the project.
Meanwhile, some students, who were not included in the ongoing project, expect that the initiative would be extended and they would get newspapers.
Apart from the students, the university authorities have also hailed the initiative.
Prof Kabirul Bashar, provost of Shaheed Salam Barkat Hall, said, “Distributing newspapers free of cost is a great initiative. Some students have personally informed me that they are being benefitted by the project.”
JU Vice Chancellor Prof Farzana Islam said, “We have considered this initiative as a good input to the education of Jahangirnagar University.”
Describing newspapers as an important source of information, she said, students remain updated by reading newspapers.
Thanking both The Daily Star and Bank Asia for the service, Prof Islam expressed hope that the initiative would continue in future.