My wife, Runa Khan and I, created the Friendship NGO and transformed that barge into the “Lifebuoy Friendship hospital” which has already served over a million persons. Having done the demonstration of the efficiency of the service of mobile floating services, Friendship decided to equipped itself with more boats.
I then, started a boat building sector which already built 2 service catamarans of 17 m, another Floating hospital, “Emirates Friendship Hospital”, and 2 riverine glass fiber catamaran ambulances of 12m. For this purpose, Mr. Marc Vanpeteghem, one of the most famous naval architects, joined us on voluntarily basis for the conception and designs.
In the meantime, Runa and I, had also created the concept of ecotourism on traditional boats that I started to overhaul or recreate, with the “Contic” tour company.
Becoming aware of the dramatic fast and irreversible disappearance of the most traditional fleet of the world, we created the concept of protection of the national naval heritage of Bangladesh and started the project of a “Living Museum of traditional boats of Bangladesh”. We rebuilt a few life scale crafts and several hundred of models of all types which have been exhibited, both in Bangladesh and in several exhibitions abroad.
These sailing and boat building activities over the last 15 last years, made me totally aware and concerned by the fate of the people of the river and the sea. The situation of the fishermen, particularly after the bad gales and cyclones, lead me to commit to help the crew risking permanently their life on their unfit boats.
I created the TaraTari shipyard to answer the challenge of reducing the risks at sea for the fishermen, with unsinkable crafts and helping them emerging from poverty with long lasting and well thought equipments.
In order to be ‘self sustainable’, I am seeing this type of venture as a ‘social entrepreneurship’.
It has to commit in conceiving products of excellence and insure it workers and collaborators a decent life in which they may express the best of their abilities. It has to keep an eye to the so fast evolving ‘future’, and run in the meantime, a Research & development Center.
In order to answer the challenges that are accumulating on Bangladesh I could only address the best and most experimented specialists and bring technologies of the future to alleviate the knowledge and experiences of the local craftsmen and sailors.
This is why, I called again Marc Van Peteghem, and some other western expert friends to team up with a Bangladesh Navy Officer, the naval carpenters of Bangladesh and their colleagues, fitters, welders, composite technicians and the boatmen of the river and the bay of Bengal to add and share their expertise in the TaraTari shipyard…”