You have to agree that many of us took going to school for granted. Even though we were provided with education free of charge, sometimes we still slacked off, didn’t do our homework or simply skipped classes. But not everyone in the world gets to experience the luxury of going to school. Just take Bangladesh for example – over four million children living in the country are forced to work from an early age instead of going to school. However, Dhaka-based photographer GMB Akash wants to change that.

For the past 15 years, the photographer has been using his own money to send working kids to school. So far he has helped change the lives of 30 children, and he’s not planning on stopping anytime soon. In a recent interview with Bored Panda, GMB Akash said that he regularly visits the children’s homes and schools to assess their situation. “Hopefully, in a few months, I will be able to admit another 10 child laborers to school,” said the photographer. “Therefore, in just a few months, there will be a total of 40 working children going to school instead of to grueling jobs. I have taken the responsibility for their complete education for my entire life.”

More info: Instagram | Facebook | twitter.com | gmb-akash.com | patreon.com

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Image source: gmbakash

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“From the beginning of my photography career, I wanted to change the situation and raise awareness of this suffering. However, I was not at all happy seeing these changes happening so very slowly in our society! Therefore, I decided to change people’s lives directly and I started with those people who I had photographed and those with whom I was already working,” explained GMB Akash. “I started giving training and gifted businesses to people in need; especially the parents of child laborers. With these businesses, I arranged for each of the families so that they could earn more money and send their children to school instead of to factories. So far, I have given 150 different businesses to 150 families.”

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The photographer says he’s not sponsored or paid by any organization. He’s a freelance independent photojournalist and has no hired staff to help him with his campaigns. “I do everything myself and take full responsibility for it. This includes collecting stories, taking photos, filming videos, interviewing people, writing stories, organizing charity campaigns, managing and distributing donated goods to unprivileged people, and maintaining my own social media accounts, which I use only to find ways to help the people I encounter and to try to improve something in their lives, ” said GMB Akash.

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GMB Akash says that helping unprivileged people make positive changes in their lives is the mission of his life’s work. “I try to focus on getting as many children as possible out of the factories and fields where they must work to survive and into the schools,” says the photographer. “I personally sponsor hundreds of children’s education with my own income because educated children are our only future.”

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The photographer says that in order to get working children to school, he has to go door to door many times and request that their parents send them to school. “Finally, I have been able to convince some of the parents about the importance of education. I motivated them to send their children to school. It was not at all easy,” explained GMB Akash. “For that, I had to take full financial responsibility for these kids with expenses such as their admission fees, tuition fees, daily food, books, clothes, and also to financially compensate their parents for the entire amount of money they would have earned each month if they had worked instead of going to school. I will also have to bear all the children’s expenses to ensure that they will continue to go to school!”

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Image source: gmbakash

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The photographer also gives out scholarships to students, and says he has given out up to 200 so far. “Without this funding, it would have been almost impossible for them to take part in their SSC and HSC Exams and to continue with their education. Many of them are studying in recognized institutions like Notre Dame College and Dhaka University!” said GMB Akash.

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