The youths should be an integral part of the ongoing movement against social menaces like extremism, repression on women and social inequality, Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) said at a programme in Ranishankoil upazila of Thakurgaon yesterday.
She was addressing as the main speaker at a youths’ gathering held on the premises of Bachore union parishad (UP) in Ranishankoil.
In association with MJF, Eco Social Development Organisation (ESDO) organised the programme under Protection, Motivation and Empowerment (Promote) of Disadvantaged Youth of Extreme North-Western Bangladesh.
“Youths should work as change agent and fight against social curses like violence, rape and child marriage,” Shaheen Anam said at the programme.
“The economic progress of Bangladesh is surprising and we are going to be a middle-income country. But social and humanitarian progress is needed for a sustainable development that would include all classes of people.
“We liberated our country with a dream to establish people’s rights, get relief from all sorts of repression, poverty and set up a non-communal society.
“Youths’ active participation in the development of the country and women’s empowerment are of utmost importance to fulfil the dream,” the chief guest said.
The youths can be easily saved from social curses like drug abuse, crimes and religious extremism if the society creates opportunity for engaging in creative activities, discussants said at the meeting.
They urged young people to avail themselves of various facilities under different projects being run by government departments.
At the programme, the youths showed red cards against social curses and showed green cards as a token of their pledge for positive works.
After the discussion, a 21-point declaration of the youths’ gathering was read out at the venue.
Earlier Shaheen Anam inaugurated a roadside tree plantation programme and a library set up at the union parishad complex by Jubo network under Promote project.
The project beneficiaries include 6,600 youths, of them 4,620 males and 1,980 females, in five upazilas of the district, the organisers said.
Of them, ten percent are from ethnic minority people living in plain land, five per cent Dalits and two per cent physically challenged youths.
Among others, lawmaker from Thakurgaon-3 Md Jahidur Rahman, former lawmaker Yasin Ali and Selina Jahan addressed while UP Chairman Jitendranath Roy presided over the meeting.