One in a 100, or More

 Published in: The Daily Star on March 8, 2014
One in a 100, or More

An entrepreneur, a writer and a mentor, Rubana Huq, in a nutshell, is the perfect person to represent the quintessential Bangladeshi woman. Defining hard work, simplicity and perseverance, last year, Rubana, also considered an expert in the RMG sector, was selected to participate in the BBC’s 100 Women conference.
“I worked myself up, right from scratch,” says Rubana. The Managing Director at Mohammadi Group, not only is she a well known figure in the world of business, but Rubana Huq has made a name for herself in the world of literature as well. “I have been through my share of humiliating moments, burnt the midnight oil and prayed hard to reach my goals. I believe these experiences have helped me to be strong and become who I am today.”
“I was surprised when I heard that I was one of the 100 selected women!” she exclaims. The hundred women, some of the most powerful women in the fields of health, journalism, writing, music and literature came together for workshops, discussions and culture exchange programmes. According to Rubana, the days of exchange and dialogues were probably some of the best. “Each of us was expected to mentor younger women, as part of the whole programme,” says Rubana. “I was lucky enough to meet a young designer, Srey Mom, from Cambodia, who literally grew up around trash cans. She would look for food there and struggle to survive. This young woman was picked up by a Cambodian NGO as a child and given support. Today, she dreams to become a designer, and I was her mentor.” A few weeks ago, Rubana implemented some of Srey’s designs and managed to even have a mini fashion show for the kids in the school, she runs for her factory workers. BBC documented this and will be airing the documentary today at 9:30 AM and 10:30 PM.
Last week, Rubana Huq successfully organised a two-day SAARC Literary Festival at the National Museum, where writers and speakers from Bangladesh and outside, came together to ponder, brainstorm and inspire the younger writers in Banglades. “I just wish I could get done with my PhD!” laughs Rubana, who has been pursuing a PhD in English literature for the last few years, at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata.
“Being a female in the corporate world, is truly rewarding,” says Rubana. “However, being a wife is probably a little challenging.” Rubana Huq speaks highly of the women working in her factory. “They are the ones with the real success stories — of struggle and how to rise up from scratch.”
She begins and ends her day, praying to the Almighty for three things, she says. “I ask God to make me a better person tomorrow, to give happiness and success to my workers and to give me the strength to bear with any obstacle that I may face with hard work, dedication and honesty. If I ever end up as a sweeper, may God give me the strength to sweep with honesty, enthusiasm and commitment.”

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