Ghashful started its glorious journey in 1972 with a keen philanthropic motive and devotion towards building a liberation war ravaged nation.
With the support and inspiration from family and friends, Late Shamsunnahar Rahman Paran got engaged in social work and rehabilitations of War heroines (women freedom fighters). Later, in the year 1978, with strong commitment to serve the vulnerable communities, Ghashful began an integrated program approach in Family Planning as the first registered non-government development organization in Chattogram. In 42 years of program operations, Ghashful reached the most marginalized poor people, prioritizing women.
Paran Rahman was a role model, inspired the youth and ignited the dream to establish NGO especially in Chattogram in order to work in social development sector.
From the very inception, Ghashful always prioritized the focus of its programs according to the needs of the vulnerable communities. The impactful activities of the organization made it unique and a pioneer organization in the development sector. Some of the trailblazer activities of the organization are as follows:
- Bay of Bengal Project: Ghashful implemented this project as a pilot project with the assistance of FAO and SIDA under the United Nations on 1st April of 1982. Through this project Ghashful trained local fishermen living in various parts of South bank of the river Karnaphuli, such as Charlakshya, Dangarchor, Dhayd, Jaldha, on how to do deep-sea fishing, weaving, mounting nets, how to work as a team during natural disaster, etc. Ghashful attracted the attention of many national and international researchers and donors, and many development organizations came forward to work with these marginalized fishermen in Chattogram with the guidance and support of Late Shamsunnahar Rahman Paran.
- Shishu Bikash Kendro (Early Childhood Development Center): An unprecedented history was created by Paran Rahman in Chattogram by founding a small school in East Madarbari Shebok Colony in 2002, as the children from this sweeper community never went school and it was beyond their imagination to do so. Later, City Corporation established a school. But, visionary Paran Apa to stop school drop out of marginalised children, in 2005 with self-financing, the school was transformed into anEarly Childhood School /Child Development Center (Shishu Bikash Kendro) due to having overlapping problem with a local primary school (S. Colony Govt. Primary School). Besides, nurturing the children at pre-school level, Primary School children are also given free tutorial education support till now.
- TBA (Traditional Birth Attendant) Service: Since 1978 Ghashful started family planning services for urban slum dwellers through TBA. In 1993, Ghashful provided training to midwives to dedicatedly serve the poor and marginalized women who are urban slumdwellers. With the rapid population growth in the country these TBA workers were trained to raise awareness on significance and methods of birth control, sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, immunization, prevention ofmalnutrition among pregnant and lactating mothers, reduction of mortality rates of mother and child, etc.
- Training and Health Services for Garment Workers: In 1978/ 79 Late Paran Rahman through her own innovation, prepared a Tailoring/ Basic Stiching Handbook (Shelai Shahayika) and trained young girls and women of Chittagong slum and helped them to provide job in Desh Garments, thefirst export oriented ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. Later, Ghashful started working for the wellbeing of the garment workers back in early eighties during the development of Garment Industries in Bangladesh and was the first non-government organization to take the initiative. Currently,Ghashful are working on healthcare, nutrition, and training for the garment workers through Community Health Program. Under this project emergency healthcare and essential medications are provided to the garment workers at their workplace. Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, TB, and SRHR (Sexual and reproductive health and rights) among the workers are also part of this project. Ghashful’s CHP staffs visit at least 4 garments industries each day to provide healthcare and nutrition services as needed.
- Mothers’ Club: The Founder of Ghashful, Late Paran Rahman did social innovations and formed a club named “The Mothers’ Club” in 1986 to raise awareness among the women of low income families and keep them united. Ghashful conducted awareness programs on education, health, and environment in order to make these marginalized and poor people aware of the importance of wellbeing and education in one’s life.
- Free Books for NGOs from the Government: In 2013 Ghashful was the first NGO to receive 690 sets of free books from the Government of Bangladesh. It is challenging for the poor parents to afford text books for their children every year for which they cannot send their children to schools. Ghashful believes in “education for all”, and through this initiative Ghashful as well as other NGOs and non-formal educational institutes could obtain free books from government for the needy children to continue their education.