The genesis of the HBHB Tournament
Shefat Baishakhi, a junior on the Lewis-Clark State College women’s tennis team from Dhaka, Bangladesh, has started a Bangladesh relief effort in response to the devastating tropical typhoon Sidr that hit her home country on Nov. 15 and has been blamed for more than 3,500 deaths and large-scale evacuations.
The death toll is expected to continue to rise to between 5,000 and 10,000, officials have estimated.
Baishakhi has collected more than $750 so far, including a $500 contribution from the LCSC International Club. Baishakhi also has raised money at the LCSC Craft Fair held earlier this month at the LCSC Activity Center.
Baishakhi, 22, was the Bangladesh national tennis champion from 1997-2005 before joining the LCSC tennis team for the 2005 Fall semester. She lived in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh for 20 years.
Baishakhi says that parts of Bangladesh flood every year. In 1998, a big flood hit the country when she was 13 years old.
“I felt so bad about the people in my country so I wanted to do something for them and I asked my dad about it,” Baishakhi said. “He told me that I was too young and could not do anything. Then I told my dad that I can play tennis and raise money to give to the Prime Minister Relief fund.”
Baishakhi says she played tennis as a fundraiser that year and gave all the money she earned to the relief fund.
“Now that I am grown up, I think I have some duties and responsibility for my country,” she says. “When the typhoon hit my country and thousands of people died or don’t have a home to live in or food to eat, I decided to help them.”
Baishakhi says her family and friends were not hurt by the typhoon, but considers the people of Bangladesh as one big family.
“I just want to tell everyone that people from the other side of the world need help and are waiting for your help,” Baishakhi says. “They are hopeless now so please help them.”
Baishakhi is majoring in Information System Analysis at LCSC.
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