Staff Correspondent ;
Dhaka – The head of charity organisation quit under pressure from Islamic bigots who accused him of trying to convert his target group into Hindus in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, the organisation said Tuesday in its Facebook page.
Kishore Kumar Das, the founder of Bidyananda Foundation, stepped down as chairman of the organization, but it will be effective after the current nationwide food aid programme for people hard-hit by the COVID-19 shutdown ends, Salman Khan, Dhaka coordinator of the charity said on Tuesday.
He added that Das belonged to the minority Hindu faith and quit after being targeted by different Islamic groups.
“They have targeted a large section of population in Bangladesh to turn to be the devotees of Krishna (a major Hindu deity) offering free meals like what the [Christian] missionaries did in the past,” reads a piece on a Facebook page named “Srabon Ispahani.”
Das, a Bangladeshi expatriate based in Peru, founded the charity in 2013 to provide free education for the under-privileged children.
But gradually the organisation’s activities expanded to other areas including, publications, free food among poor children and destitutes and the current emergency services for the vulnerable people during the Covid-19 shutdown.
The free education and free food schemes have caused criticism from certain quarters, including the Islamists who say the organization was alluring poor Muslims to convert into Hindus.
Ninety per cent of the volunteers, who carry out the organization’s operation, are Muslims, yet many have propagated against the religious identity of its founder, a statement posted on Bidyananda’s Facebook page said.
The origination has provided food support to more than 180,000 families across Bangladesh since it began the emergency operation in the face of Covid-19 pandemic since March.