It was in 1968. Md. lmamul Kabir Shanto was a student of class VIII. This area was plunged into the ideology of Marxicism, Leninism. As a teenager going through the autobiography of Che Guevara he got himself associated with leftist student movement. Later, in 1971 when Shanto was in his teens he took active part in the freedom fight of Bangladesh at the age of only 17 years.
The country is independent now, but the objective of the common people was partially achieved. Due to the post liberation leadership crisis of the leftist front and the merciless oppression of the leaders in power many leftist patriots had to lead a miserable life at the dark prison cells. Many patriots even sacrificed their lives. Mr. Shanto was also confined. New born Bangladesh was passing through extreme chaos, unrest resulting in famine and tyranny. Finding no other alternative under extreme depression and disappointment Mr. Shanto had to leave the country for Germany in 1977 under extreme pressure from the military rulers. He was determined not to back to his motherland again.
In Germany, he was influenced and enlightened. The Germans were warriors. They were defeated in two World Wars but still thrived as a great nation with dignity. The secrets of their prosperity were patriotism, appropriate & job oriented education, proper utilization of natural resources, hard labour and immense respect for native culture and heritage. He observed that the youth in Germany enter into productive work at the age of 18 to 19 years completing 12 years of basic education. On job, they go for higher education to distance learning and online education. They enter into job market early unlike ours at 25 to 26 years and offer productive skills and energetic hands for the development of the country as well as the nation.
Mr. Shanto understood that Bangladesh is full of natural resources and manpower but they lag behind due to defective education system, lack of job-oriented education, degree-culture, session jams and above all misinformation about distant education. Engaging time in higher education our nation has been deprived of innumerable hours of productive labour from youth force.
Mr. Shanto returned to his motherland with emotion and realization that the war is not yet over. He abandoned the idea of staying abroad and leading a luxurious life to implement his desire and devote himself to a socio-economic and cultural development of his country and establish service-oriented business organizations namely Sundarban Courier Service (Pvt.) Ltd., Subdarban Express Transportation system Ltd., Sundarban Marine Products, Reliance Industrial and Trading Corporation Ltd., Sundarban Telecom etc. Thus the Sunderban Group of Companies has been playing significant role in the socio-economic development of the country, Bangladesh.
Mr. Shanto started implementing his plan one by one. He established Shanto Foundation in order to encourage underprivileged class for job oriented, creative and cultural education. This foundation is a non-political organization with a view to humanitarian assistance. This foundation has established an independent and self supported Educational Complex named "Shanto Niketon" in Sinaboho, Gazipur to improve and assist job-oriented art and design education.
Mr. Shanto took Germany as the model for planning and development of the nation and the country as a whole. At this time an ambitious and accomplished lady got influenced with his works and joined hands with him. She is Tahmina Chowdhury Mariam who came forward in support of Mr. Shanto leaving aside her American citizenship and luxurious life of comfort and riches. They worked together for sometime and she devoted herself to the work plan along with Mr. Shanto. Later on they decided to get married and started working for the numerous poor people who needed guidance and directives. They also decided not to have their own kid and to confine themselves to family bondage and rather work relentlessly for the emancipation of those unprivileged people. Since then the Shanto Foundation turned into Shanto-Mariam Foundation. This foundation has been working day and night and functioning for basic principles.
Mr. Shanto believes that the economic, socio-culture and even major political problems could be mostly resolved through the implementation of the programs performed by the foundation. Mr. Shanto established Shanto-Mariam Centers in each and every corner of the country to expand job oriented, creative and cultural education.
In order to make the dream true at first Mr. Shanto established the Shanto-Mariam Academy of Creative Technology and Bangladesh Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Present name Shanto-Mariam Institute of Creative Technology). To fulfill his dream then Mr. Shanto made a giant step to establish Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology- the first design university of this region. This university is considered to have unique curriculum that is, both campus as well as Distance education to make it a perfect educational institution fulfilling the need of the country and its people.
As a model to the nation Mr. Shanto has started Education in exchange of work. Through this program he has been arranging employment for the helpless and distressed meritorious students under different organizations established by him and thus he has been showing a dimension to all.
Mr. Shanto has not completed his activities merely by running a University. He has integrated education to meet the need of the prevailing world market and has given an international status through the creation of a Creative Destination. This organization is propagating the creative works and products of the students far & wide in order to make it known to the would market. Simultaneously, by utilizing our natural resources the
arrangements has been made to sell them to the world market. In addition, he has very recently established Shanto-Mariam Centre for Creative Media. Primarily through the Media Centre a national daily "The Daily Ajker Prattasha" is under publication and the process of broadcasting a community radio "Banglar Kontho" is also progressing. Over and above, in order to integrate the students with creative works the Production House has also started functioning.
The gallant freedom fighter Mr. Shanto is confident that the greatest achievement is the independence of the country while the freedom fighters who were committed to sacriflce their lives are the greatest children of the nation. So he wants that the freedom struggle should be documented to the present generation. As an example to do so he has established the foundation namely the "Shahid Mukti Jodhya Smrity Foundation" commemorating the death of the Co-fighters who fought for the liberation of the country and sacrificed their lives. Meanwhile the welfare activities of Shanto-Mariam Foundation as well as the educative programs pointing towards appropriate line of action has been acclaimed widely by different classes of people from high & low and from within & outside the country, Those who visited the university have spoken very high of that Among those who visited the university were Ministers, Secretaries, Ambassadors and Educationists at various levels.
This Foundation also celebrates the national and religious programs with due solemnity and religious fervor, Shanto-Mariam Foundation, in addition to its normal activities extends services to people in distress and affected by natural calamities, The foundation has constructed 10 houses for permanent living of those whose houses have been devastated by the cyclone 'Sidar' at Shoronkhola Shanto-Mariam Foundation is determined to elevate the laval of job-oriented, creative & cultural education of the country to international standard. In order to implement these objectives the foundation has accomplished agreements for co-operation and exchange with various institutions & universities, Among them are Edexcel International, UK for job-oriented education, Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, Germany for Textile & Design Education and Pearl Academy of Fashion, India for Design Education, Very recently, the foundation has started Confucius class room for teaching Chinese Language and expansion of education & culture through a cultural exchange agreement with China Radio International (CRI).
Shanto-Mariam Foundatioin has received wide acclamation from the people of this country as a centre for job-orientation, creative & cultural education, Shanto-Mariam Foundation is determined to create enlightened people & to make the nation happy & prosperous through creative and job-oriented education, in addition to creative system of education so that the country can be proud of its education system in the world & they believe that the country will stand erect with ita head high in the global community of nations & brighten its flag with the green & red colour.