Members of British delegation yesterday said the success of Bangladeshi origin community in the UK is much encouraging, especially the new generation have been playing a laudable role in a big way in the British society.
The six-men British-Bangladeshi team of the successful individuals said this while addressing a press conference in Sylhet in the afternoon. Some officials of British high commission were also present.
They came to the country on May 24 on a five-day visit. The foreign and commonwealth office of the UK sponsored the tour to focus on the role of the British Bangladeshis in the UK and their relationship with the government there.
Stressing the importance of the diversity in the UK, highlighting the achievements of the expatriate community in several spheres, projecting a liberal outlook of Islam as held by the Bangladeshi community in Britain, dispelling possible misconceptions related to the community and acquiring more in-depth knowledge about the country in general are some of the points of the visit, they added.
Coming from a varied background, the delegation has an author, a BBC presenter, a sports organiser and educationist and a successful British-Bangladeshi entrepreneur.
“We have already made our way into the mainstream British society. Braving all sorts of racial discrimination and other social barriers, by now people are well set through their tireless efforts and merits. Our people are ready to contribute for further development in the education sector in Bangladesh too,” they said.
“We are now much more confident and yet many things are to be done here,” said Rubina Khan, a member of the delegation.
Author and owner of a publishing house, Rubina said there are initiatives to stop any sort of racial discrimination. The British authority as well as the community itself is also sincere to achieve the goal. Bangladeshi origin Rubina's novel was critically acclaimed 'Rainbow Hands' which was based on her experiences as a community worker in London during the racial turmoil. She is proud of her Bangalee roots.
She said it is possible for Islam and the west to be compatible.
Mohammad Bilal Abdullah, one of the founding directors of Ebrahim Community College, said, we are proud to be a British and a Muslim too, having root in Bangladesh. We are already in the mainstream of the British society, he added. Abdullah is a member of the UK-Indonesian Islamic Advisory Group too.
The other members of the delegation include Mesba Ahmed, who is the chief executive of London Tigers Football, a sports club, and Konnie Huq, Cambridge University graduate, was the presenter of a popular children's magazine show 'Blue Peter' on the BBC for long.
Abdul Quaiyum Jamal Khalique is a leading Bangladeshi entrepreneur, who also has a range of other businesses. Khalique and family members have charities in Bangladesh. They had helped the Sidr victims in a big way.
Oxford University graduate Tasmin Lucia Khan is a presenter and producer in BBC television.
The group reached Sylhet on Tuesday and joined a number of programmes. They talked to the Sylhet mayor and visited different institutions, including Sylhet Govt Alia Madrasa. Besides, the team joined a view exchange meeting with the cross-section of people in the evening.
Over a half million Bangladeshis have been in the UK for long. Most of them are from the greater Sylhet region.