Eminent citizens yesterday urged the young generation to be imbued with patriotism and work with devotion and honesty aiming to contribute to the country's advancement.
Speakers at the award-giving ceremony of second essay competition of Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation also said students should have relentless effort to know the country and work for betterment of society and gaining knowledge.
Razzaq Foundation awarded six winners of essay competition through a virtual programme yesterday evening.
For school and college-level students (first to 12th grade), the topic for the essay competition was "Bangabandhu's dream and the achievements of Bangladesh" and for university level students, the topic was "The role of students and teachers in the emergence of Bangladesh".
Presiding over the ceremony, Chairman of Bengal Foundation and founding trustee member of the foundation Abul Khair said if one does not have patriotism, they cannot progress in anything.
"If you have patriotism, you will have interest in learning your language, knowing your country and practicing your culture. If anyone has these virtues, they can become a humanitarian. If someone is humane, they try to do something for the country", he said.
Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, said patriotism has a deeper meaning. "Wherever we are, whatever we are doing -- an engineer, a doctor, a writer, a journalist -- we can express our patriotism by doing the work with excellence in the profession".
"Your patriotism will be showcased from your thoughts on society, your humanistic approach and by getting deep knowledge and skill on your subject your are reading," he said.
Students should have a minimum level of interest about history, political science, science, physics, and they should have intellectual curiosity, he said.
Rights activist Sultana Kamal said everyone should strive toward acquiring knowledge. "We should respect our work. We should not work for getting anything or for just doing it. If we do not work with devotion, we will not be able to reach the target," she added.
Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation Director General Ahrar Ahmad, in his welcome speech, said it was inspirational that 110 students participated in the competitions.
Three Dhaka University students Shurid Sadik (first place), Arju Afrin Kathy (2nd place) and Md. Akmal Hossain (3rd place), won the competition in university category.
Barishal's Amrita Lal Dey College student Ayon Chakrobarty, the capital's Willes Little Flower School and College student Nazifa Tarannum Ruhiya and Cumilla's Kalai Gobindapur Mahila Dakhil Madrassa student Sharmin Akhter won the first, second and third prize in the school and college category respectively.
Jury of the competition and award winners also spoke at the programme.