Dishika Zaman Tasnim
BTS, Bangtan Sonyeondan, a septet boy-band from South Korea, is renowned for dominating the records and is capturing the attention of the world with an outstanding presence as artists. Their music and spirit have not only captured the hearts of millions, but also reflect their artistry in the music itself.
BTS uses their music to openly voice sensitive issues like mental health, suicide, politics, and the cost of fame, and conveys messages of self-love and self-importance. BTS has been able to amplify the voices of millions of people and prompts to bring a change to society. These people are now inspired to spread love, positivity, and motivation by sharing the same value as the band, and are advocating for a positive change in the community.
ARMY, the fandom of BTS, has been jointly contributing to various social causes worldwide. BTS fans in Bangladesh haven’t failed to show support for different causes as well. Despite being relatively small, the fandom has contributed to various projects initiated by the BTS ARMY of Bangladesh (Official), a group dedicated to Bangladeshi BTS fans. Ever since its foundation back in 2015, BTS ARMY of Bangladesh has organised various charity and donation projects to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays.
Most Bangladeshi ARMYs are not affiliated with volunteer activities. Yet, they understand that nothing is bigger than humanity. Passion for a change and willingness to share common values made these young supporters stand up for this cause. BTS ARMY of Bangladesh stepped forward to help fight against the global pandemic. Two organisations — “Bidyanondo Foundation” and “Shunte Ki Pao?” received a fan-donated amount for their Covid-19 relief effort.
BTS fans are answering by stepping up to improve the lives of those who need help the most. “Shunte Ki Pao?” created a source of income for marginalised farmers by purchasing their vegetables. The vegetables went into the iftar boxes distributed every day among the low-income and homeless people during Ramadan. The remaining uncooked food was donated to the volunteers who took the responsibility of feeding street animals.
This philanthropic devotion of “Shunte Ki Pao?” brought forth an initiative for what seemed to be the biggest concern — the flood. On 22 July, BTS ARMY of Bangladesh started a flood-relief campaign, the group’s first large crowd-funding project to lessen the struggles of the people stuck in flood on the occasion of Eid.
This collaborative event “Relief for Hope: Eid Er Hashi” has been able to raise approximately 65,000 taka in its first week of announcement. The joint partner, “Shunte Ki Pao?” was in charge of overseeing the whole project, from the management to the execution of the distribution of the flood relief. About 350 families from Sirajganj, Kurigram, and Sunamganj have received flood relief under this project. A BTS Army came forth with a donation of 2,000 packets of biscuits supported by “Star Line Food Products LTD”, and “Chhinnomulder Pashe Amra” contributed financially to the project’s first distribution. This ongoing relief project has received support from BTS fans all over the country. With continued donations, it is set to reach out to more districts.
Much like BTS’s social convictions to raise awareness through their platform, BTS ARMY of Bangladesh has utilised their power to be louder advocates, just like their idols. Earlier this year, ARMYs from Sylhet raised a donation of Tk11,000 to contribute to “Alokito Pathshala” in February, an organisation dedicated to providing education to street children and educational materials to 14 street children back in March.
In 2019, they got together to donate warm clothes, fruits, stationery, and vitamins to an orphanage twice to celebrate the birthdays of two BTS members. In December, an animal shelter for dogs and cats in Mohammadpur, Dhaka, was also financially supported for the food and treatment of these voiceless animals.
All the projects organised are contributed in the name of BTS. As the majority of the fandom lives in the capital city, oftentimes collectives are made through social meetups, online fundraising, or even through selling unofficial BTS merchandise. In 2019, the group raised donation for an abandoned dog, Lio, rescued by “Robinhood The Animal Rescuer” to bear the cost of the surgery for his lost leg and tumour removal.
In 2018, educational materials and food were provided for the students in the “Independent School for Underdeveloped Children”; meals for 70 homeless elders and children at Dhanmondi Lake Park; a donation was made for a student suffering from leukaemia, etc. A tree plantation project was also initiated, where ARMYs planted trees to support a green environment.
Internationally, the ARMY has organised several projects for supporting social causes within their environment and goodwill campaigns, like rice donation projects, animal adoption, child education, Covid-19 relief efforts, green earth programmes, Syrian relief donations, ocean conservation, and many more.
According to research, there are over 630 projects worldwide conducted by these remarkable fans over the span of five years. They work together to promote the values BTS teaches them, coming together to take action for the sole reason of showing support and admiration to the group’s messages and rare honesty.
Time and again, BTS and their fans have proved that stereotyping and xenophobia will not stop them, as they continue to shine not only in the field of music but also in various philanthropic causes. BTS are not called “Next Generation Leaders” for nothing, as their artistry leaves positive messages for the world to follow. BTS has become a name of a movement, and millions are now speaking up for what is right, standing up to bring a change, and becoming advocates of peace in the community.
Dishika Zaman Tasnim is an avid fan of ramen, rainy mornings, and a believer of humanity. If you have a knack for helping people in need, she’s all ears.