Gopalganj, March 17: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reiterated her firm commitment to give a ‘bright future’ to the children by building Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous one freeing from hunger, poverty and illiteracy.“We have been working with a target to give the children a bright future and shining day by building Bangladesh a developed and prosperous country as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she said.
The prime minister said this while addressing a Children’s Rally and Cultural Programme as the chief guest marking the 99th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Children’s Day on Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex premises in Tungipara.
Expressing her commitment to serve the people until the last day of her life, she said that she has a desire to turn the country into a suitable abode for the next generation.
To this context, she recited from Poet Sukanta Bhattacharya’s ‘Chharpatra’ in expressing her desire to turn the country into a suitable abode for the posterity rendering, “Choley jabo, tobu aaj jatakkhan dehe achey pran, pranponey prithivir sorabo janjal…….. E bishwake e shishur basjoggya kore jabo ami”.
The English lines could be read out as: “I will leave, but I will clear the odds with all my efforts as long as I’m alive. I will make the earth livable for the children; it’s my firm commitment to a new born”.
Highlighting the contribution of the Father of the Nation, the premier said that Bangabandhu had got time only three and a half years and by this time he rebuilt the war ravaged country and shaped Bangladesh as an independent nation.
Bangabandhu made primary education free for all and up to secondary education for women, she said.
She mentioned Bangladesh would successfully celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation in 2020 and golden jubilee of the Independence in 2021.
The government has already declared 2020-2021 as ‘Mujib Barsha’, she said.
Sheikh Hasina added: “Inshallah, we would be able to build Bangladesh as a hunger and poverty free country”.
The prime minister said Bangladesh will go ahead with the ideals of the Father of the Nation who dreamt for a hunger and poverty free country as children of present time would turn the dream of Bangabandhu into reality.
She urged the children to study attentively and take advantages and facilities provided by the government for the education to build them as worthy citizens.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Gopalganj district administration jointly organized the rally of schoolchildren of different educational institutions in Tungipara, the birthplace of Bangabandhu.
Novelist and Chairman of Bangladesh Shishu Academy Selina Hossain attended the function as the special guest.
Members of the cabinet, cabinet secretary, chiefs of three services, senior leaders of the Awami League, government officials, teachers of different educational institutions attended the function.
Lamia Shikder, a class five student of Gopalganj Maleka Academy, presided over the function while Arafat Hossain, a class four student gave welcome address.
Secretary of the Women and Children Affairs Ministry Kamrun Nahar, Divisional Commissioner of Dhaka KM Ali Azam and Gopalganj Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Mokhlesur Rahman Sarkar were present on the occasion.
Sheikh Hasina received a replica of the logo of Branding of Gopalganj District from the deputy commissioner and unveiled the cover of a book on the letters written for Bangabandhu titled “Bangabandhuke Lekha Chithi.”
The best letter written to Bangabandhu was also read out by a class 10 student Suraiya Yasmin at the function.
A video titled “Amar Kotha Shono” was screened on the occasion.
The prime minister also opened a book fair and visited a painting exhibition of the children on “Bangabandhu and Bangladesh”.
Later the prime minister handed over sewing machines to two distressed women named Kona Begum and Tanjila of Tungipara and Kotalipara upazila of Gopalganj district respectively.
The premier also distributed prizes among the children who participated in literary and cultural competitions organized by Gopalganj district administration marking the 99th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation and the National Children’s Day.
She also took part in a photo session with the children and witnessed a cultural program performed by the children.
Referring to UNESCO’s recognition to the historic March 7 Speech of Bangabandhu as the world’s documentary heritage, the prime minister said the speech has been placed in an UN body as an invaluable document of the human civilization, adding, “It’s a great and rare honour for the people of Bangladesh.”
Sheikh Hasina said the military dictators banned playing the speech after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975. “But ignoring all hurdles, the leaders and workers of Awami League played this speech,” she said, adding none can erase the history and suppress the truth.
Talking about Bangabandhu’s visionary leadership, the premier said, “Bangabandhu enacted ‘The Children Act’ in 1974 much before the United Nations formulated the act in 1989. It proves how visionary the Bangabandhu was in his leadership.”
In school life, she said, Bangabandhu used to giveaway his schoolbooks and personal belongings to help the poor friends and fellow schoolmates as he deeply felt their sufferings.
Bangabandhu has dedicated his whole life for the cause of the people as he deeply loved them. He wanted to see Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous nation where people would not be oppressed, intimidated and deprived.
To this context, the premier recalled the contribution of her mother Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, grandfather Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and grandmother Saira Khatun to help Bangabandhu becoming a huge personality.
Sheikh Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, said Bangabandhu used to love the children most. “Bangabandhu always nourished the expectation that every child would be a worthy citizen of the country,” the prime minister said.
Highlighting the projects taken by her government for development of children’s education, the premier said her government has taken many initiatives for their physical and cultural development.
Sheikh Hasina said they (Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana) had to stay abroad for six months after assassination of Father of the Nation along with most of his family members on the dreadful night of August 15 in 1975.
“After returning the country, we (Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana) have found none of my father, mother, three brothers and their wives. We only found a number of graves in Banani graveyard and the grave of our father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman besides our grandfather and grandmother,” she continued.
Despite knowing to face the same fate of Bangabandhu, “I retuned the country to materialize his dream to make Bangladesh a developed and prosperous one freeing from hunger and poverty,” she mentioned.
Now the dreams of Bangabandhu are becoming true as the county is progressing ahead under the leadership of the Awami League government, she said.