As the first foretaste of an upcoming winter began to seep into the villages of Bangladesh, one location became the scene of much excitement. Ruchi, a popular food brand, organized a 10-day regatta based on the traditional ‘nouka baich’ format, around the Chiknai river that runs through Gorri village, of the Atghoria upazila in Pabna.
Managing Director of Square Group, freedom fighter Anjan Chowdhury Pintu was present as the Chief Guest, watching from the riverbanks as the contending boats rowed away for the glory. Inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate of Pabna Md. Asaduzzaman and presided by Convener of Nouka Baich organizing committee and mayor of Atghoria Shahidul Islam Ratan, the event also welcomed the presence of former municipal mayor Kamrul Hasan Mintu; President of Pabna Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Convener of District Jubo league Ali Mortuza Biwas Sony; Joint convener Shibli Sadiq, Atghoria upazila chairman Tanvir Islam; and Additional Police Super Masud Alam along with Local dignitaries.
The competition attracted over one lakh spectators, hailing from various areas across Pabna, Natore and Sirajganj.
It is worth mentioning that this lively event has been an annual feature in Gorri village since 2003, thanks to the generous sponsorship by Square Food and Beverage Limited. The Square Group has always been a patron of local culture, and the boat races are a traditional heritage.
During monsoon, the Chiknai river swells in size and gains flow, which makes it the perfect setting for the races. The arrival of this Baich competition engages all inhabitants across the village within a festive aura, as the rather quiet village awakens with the festive celebrations. 20 Baich teams from Pabna and Sirajganj participated in the competition this year.