Monday, February 18, 2019 | ePaper

Blind man wants to 'see politics'

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UNB, Dhaka :
With a dream to be a voice for the disabled community in Parliament, a blind man has collected a nomination paper of Jatiya Party to contest the 11th national election slated for December 30.
Having a formidable mental strength, Hafez Qari Esa Ruhullah Asif is probably the first blind man of the country who desires to be a member of parliament.
Asif, 49, who lost his eyesight just a year after his birth, is a joint religious affairs secretary of Jatiya Party central committee.
Involved with politics since 1985, Asif wants to contest the election from Patuakhali-2 parliamentary constituency.
But, Asif awaits a tough fight to be an MP as the ruling Awami League is going to field a strong candidate-chief whip ASM Feroz - from the constituency.
Asif who delivers religious lectures throughout the country said he wants to be a member of parliament to work for the well being of the disabled community, including the visually-impaired ones.
"If blind men can be the Imam of the holy mosque Makkah and a UK Home Secretary why not me?" he said.

David Blunkett who is blind since his birth was the Home Secretary in the United Kingdom from June 8, 2001 to December 15, 2004.
Asif told UNB that, he will advocate for the rights of physically-challenged people so that they have their representation in the Jatiya Sangsad and entry in the government services.
He will also advocate for a provision in tax law so that physically-challenged people do not have to pay value added taxes.
Asif who became joint religious affairs secretary of Jatiya Party barely one year ago collected the nomination form on November 13 and submitted it to the party office on November 15.
Though his ancestral village is under Patuakhali-1, Asif did not purchase the nomination form to contest the polls from that constituency as Jatiya Party Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader is his party's probable candidate from there
Born in 1969 at Paschim Dewkhali village in Patuakhali Sadar upazila, Asif studied up to Dhakil (equivalent to SSC) at Patukhali Nesaria Madrasah. A father of two sons and one daughter, Asif supports his family with the money he gets for delivering religious sermons.

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