NEW YORK: Any good job can be done keeping politics aside, but once must keep political ideas in his mind. It is possible to extend the hand of cooperation towards the community keeping once concentrated within his/her own arena of work. Only the thing one needs is a good intention. Kabir Ahmed Chowdhury, a favorite face in Bangladeshi community in New York told all these to Banglanews.
Kabir Ahmed is not in the list of those people who are crazy with the politics of Bangladesh in New York. Still he is a community leader.
How? Banglanews asked.
I am serving the community offering them supports in their small but important needs in migration process, job seeking, availing green cards or citizenship and also in many other areas, Kabir Chowdhury answered.
He is solely managing a community helpdesk- a service oriented organization situated at Ozone Park, one of the major concentration of Bangladeshi people in New York.
A noble intention worked behind the opening of the community help desk by Mr Chowdhury, Banglanews came to know while inquired about the reason of such an initiative.
“I have my own business on tax filing, loan, immigration related and other services. But often sometimes people come who need small helps like filling a form, writing a letter or just to know a telephone number or address. I always feel unethical to charge for all these small supports. To avoid charging I opened up this help desk so that people can walk in and just can get supports easily free of cost.”
The community help came into existence in December 2012. Every Sundays of the weekends the desk remains open for general people, Kabir Chowdhury informed.
The community where we live, where we do our business and earn livelihood should get some support form us and from that point of view I opened the community help desk, said Kabir Chowdhury.
“The most important thing is, the Bangladeshi community living here can express their problems in their own language, and they can ask questions and get their problems solved with satisfaction.”
Kabir Chowdhury thinks that there should be one helpdesk at every place, where the Bangladeshi community is thickly populated in New York and many other states and cities in USA.
After doing own job Kabir Chowdhury passes his time on Sundays from 12 noon to evening 7 at the helpdesk.
He said that the expatriate life style is almost unknown to us. Some simple information can make our life easy going. We generally provide suggestions, instructions and motivations from the help desk.
Kabir Ahmed Chowdhury describes his colorful life with Banglanews. Hailed from Barhal union of Zakiganj of Sylhet district, Mr Chowdhury came to USA in 1991 after passing the SSC examination. He started his journey as a delivery boy in a fast food shop owned by a Lebanese. For his devotion and skill he was given the charge of the shop as Manager in six months only.
Devotion is an important factor for making fortune, said Kabir Chowdhury.
Kabir Ahmed counts his late father Hafiz Shafiqul Haque Chowdhury’s contribution for building his fortune. He told that he tried to follow his father’s instructions in every step of his life. Accordingly he got the result.
“As per father’s instruction I switched over to studying leaving my job. I got admitted in Technical Career Institute (TCI). From there I obtained associate degree in computerized accounting in 1999. Simultaneously I started a small business to meet the expenditure of study,” said Kabir Chowdhury.
Italian ice cream and coffee used to be sold from his shop ‘Sorbet’. In 2000 though he purchased ‘Carmelita’ styled two ice cream chain shops but he could not continue for the new rules of department of consumer affairs. At this stage he left the business and again joined the job. He got appointment as clipping Hud Homes and Loan officer. Simultaneously, he started working as a Bar Tender. From 2001 to 2003 he worked as a mortgage broker.
During this time he helped many Bangladeshis in getting mortgage loan for purchasing house. From here Kabir Ahmed’s involvement with the community started increasing. He also got some business within the recess of job. After purchasing some old houses of Hud Housing and Urban development he got those repaired and sold.
“I took many types of initiatives for earning and accordingly I could earn but my father’s aim was that I do a job in the mainstream and I again joined the job in 2003,” said Kabir Chowdhury.
A meritorious Kabir Chowdhury got the job in Washington Mutual Bank as mortgage banker. He got the job at the home loan center of Park Avenue. In a short time he got the responsibility of home loan activities of six branches of Washington Mutual Bank of Park Avenue. He moved himself as personal banker from credit and interest related responsibility.
In 2008 Washington Mutual Bank was merged with Chase Bank. He also worked there for two years as personal banker. In 2010 he left the high salaried banking job against the will of many and switched over to business as profession again. His institutional learning, experiences as a banker and his position in the community he started two business concerns namely Care Brand Products & Services and Mecca Multi Services Tour.
Through these two organizations services for tax filing, loan related services, immigration counseling and notary public. He is providing services from the helpdesk side by side with business. He has taken an enterprise of bottled water under the name of Benevo Premium Natural Spring.
Charity minded Kabir Ahmed is donating 20 percent of his income to the community from this business.
Kabir Ahmed was more interested to talk about helpdesk. He said that if other business concerns and community people join us then our community will be strengthened. It is our moral duty to provide services to the people.
Kabir Ahmed told that everybody should be aware of it. We try to bring smile on everybody’s face through this endeavor.
Kabir Ahmed is equally most regarded for his humanitarian and devotional activities in the mainstream of Ozone Park. In 2008 he was elected PTA president in PS-214. Next in 2009 he was elected president of community education council of Brookline district 19.
He worked successfully in that post till 2011. Besides, he maintains good relations with the councilman, borough president and assembly man of his own area. In any work he is to represent the community as desired by the community people. In this election he has also earned the confidence of the candidates.
Kabir Chowdhury has engaged himself with the task of campaigning to ensure the Bangladeshi community and other community’s presence at the polling centers. His aim is to enhance the importance of Bangladeshi community spending own money and time.
Though he has set up a solid and sound footing abroad his mind is always with his motherland. After all we want that our country goes well, told Kabir Ahmed.
Kabir Ahmed is already providing services in his home land in the form of giving stipends to the school students, bearing the education expenditure of the meritorious, supplying pure drinking water by sinking tube -wells in the villages, giving treatments to the poor by setting up eye-camps, setting up libraries, developing reading habits for the youths and old, health awareness campaign(particularly for the diabetic patients), giving dresses, gifts and food in Eid festivals are the welfare oriented services. After the name of his son Towsif Kabir Chowdhury born in 2002 he has been carrying on all these welfare activities as a special education project.
It is true that we are away from Bangladesh but our hearts do not leave it. First I am a Muslim, then a Bangladeshi then an American, said Kabir Chowdhury.
However as an American I am no less than any American, he added.
BDST 1307 HRS, Nov 15, 2013