The civil society on Friday commemorated Father RW Timm for his great contribution to rebuilding war-torn Bangladesh, alleviating the plight of disaster-hit people and the country’s education.
A commemoration event titled ‘Civic Commemoration Meeting’ was held at Caritas head office in Malibagh area, said a press release.
Born in the United States, Father Timm worked for more than six decades to spread the light of education and serve humanity in Bangladesh. Timm breathed his last in the United States of America on September 11, 2020.
Remembering Father Timm, Bangladesh’s Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario stated that “Father Timm is still alive. He is alive in his thoughts, speeches and his works.”
Honoring Father Timm for his great contribution, Aroma Dutta, MP and Executive Director of PRIP Trust, said “Father Timm was the pioneer of our development and the development activities under non-government organisation.”
Bishop Gervas Rozario, President of Caritas Bangladesh, said “Father Timm started various development programmes and served people in far rural areas selflessly.”
The speakers said the people of Bangladesh will remember Father RW Timm for ever for his unforgettable contribution to rebuilding war-torn Bangladesh in 1971 and during various natural disasters.
Ranjon Francis Rozario, Executive Director of Caritas Bangladesh delivered the welcome speech at the event.
Khushi Kabir, Coordinator of Nijera Kori, Dr Fr Patrick Gaffney, CSC, Vice-chancellor of the Notre Dame University Bangladesh, Joyonto Adhikary, President of ADAB, Sanjeeb Drong, President of Indigenous Peoples Development Services-IPDS among others highlighted various important aspects of life of Father Timm.
Aroma Dutta, Member of Parliament and Executive Director of PRIP Trust, Rev. Father Liton Gomes, CSC, Spiritual Advisor of Caritas Bangladesh, Ranjon Francis Rozario, Executive Director of Caritas Bangladesh, Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, CSC among others attended the programme.
Father Timm, one of the founders of Notre Dame College served as the sixth Principal of the college. He also started the science department in the college and in 1955 and later established the Notre Dame College Science Club. The American Father also founded Notre Dame College Debating Club and Adventure Club.
Simultaneously an educator, zoologist, development and human rights activist, his important contribution in establishing various non-governmental development organizations and he is the true friend of Bangladesh who worked to raise world public opinion in favor of the Liberation War in 1971.
This admiring man devoted his life to the relief and rehabilitation activities during the devastating cyclone in the south of Bangladesh in 1970 and during the War of Liberation 1971.
For over six months in between 1971 and 1972, Father Timm was the director of the Cyclone Victims Rehabilitation Project on Monpura Island.
In 1987, Father Timm was awarded Magsaysay Award for his 35 years of tireless work in the development of Bangladesh. In the same year, he was awarded the Abu Sayeed Chowdhury Award for his work in establishing human rights in social service.
He established the Human Rights Council of Bangladesh and was elected its president three times in a row from 1987 to 1993. From 1990 to 1993, he established and served as the convener of the South Asian Forum for Human Rights.
From 2000 to 2011, Father Timm worked in different sectors of Bangladesh. His special tasks during this period were: rights and development of the tribal, rehabilitation of poor and physically challenged women, etc.
In 2008, he became a consultant for Caritas Bangladesh. In 2009 he was honored by the Vatican Pontifical Council for his work as Justice and Peace, Distinguished Academician, Distinguished Writer, Distinguished Scientist, and Human Rights Adviser.
In 2012, the Bangladesh Government rewarded him as “Friends of Liberation War Honour” for his outstanding contribution during the War of Liberation.