Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought vote for the Awami League from the young generation in the upcoming general election to keep up the pace of development, calling them the biggest strength of the country.
“Bangladesh witnessed tremendous development in the last 10 years of the present government. We seek vote from the young generation, who are our biggest strength, to continue the country's development spree.”
The PM said this while inaugurating 66 Sheikh Russel Mini Stadiums in 66 upazilas, youth training centres in six districts, a multi-sport indoor complex at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) and 73 youth and sport establishments in 38 districts via a videoconference from the Gono Bhaban in the afternoon.
Hasina categorically said there would be no hunger and poverty in the country if the AL was voted to power again in the upcoming general polls.
“If people cast their votes for boat, AL's election symbol, and if we get the chance to serve the country through forming the government, I can tell you, without any hesitation, there'll be no hunger and poverty by 2020.”
She mentioned that the government had been able to reduce the poverty to 21 percent and would be able to cut more in the coming days.
The nation will celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of our independence as a hunger and poverty-free country, Hasina said.
“We'll take the country forward further towards development, including development of communication system,” she said.
Besides, she said the government always gave importance to sports and youth development.
The PM asked the youth to utilise their talents and thoughts for overall development of the country. “We hope they will think afresh for the rapid development of the country.”
Noting that sports are closely related with education, the PM said the government was encouraging the youth in sports and games side by side with education so that they grew up with sound health and mind.
“The more students get involved in sports and cultural activities, the more they will be able to gain courage and get healthier … it'll also help bring more pride for the country and the nation.
“This will also help the youth to refrain from stepping into wrong paths like terrorism, militancy and drugs,” she added.
Hasina said her government had undertaken all necessary plans for turning Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country, particularly keeping in mind the young generation.
“The young generation would get all opportunities for flourishing their talents and thoughts for the beautiful future of the country.”
In this regard, the PM said steps had been taken to establish Youth Development Centres in every area of the country from where youth would get training to be self-employed.
“They will also be able to stand on their own feet by taking collateral loans from Karmashangsthan Bank established by her government.”
She said the government planned to establish BKSPs in all divisions, and the finance minister showed adequate interest in this regard. “We'll provide funds and the students who will come from there will be involved in sports.”
Hasina said Bangladesh made remarkable development in all sectors, including sports and games, whenever her party came to power.
She also elaborated the steps of her government for the development of country's sports and games, including arrangement of various sports competitions and construction of many modern and international stadiums in different parts of the country.
As a result, Bangladesh has advanced a lot in cricket, football, hockey and chess, she said.
The PM also praised Bangladeshi female players for their success in various international tournaments.
Hasina vowed to establish a prosperous and developed Bangladesh by 2041 and said that the government took the farsighted Delta Plan-2100 for establishing Bangladesh as the most developed country in the world.
Later, the PM exchanged views with a cross-section of people, including public representatives, students, teachers, government officials of Nilphamari, Mohammadpur of Magura, Barhatta of Netrakona and BKSP in Savar via a videoconference.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder joined the videoconference from Mohammadpur, Deputy Minister Arif Khan Joy spoke from Barhatta and the BKSP director general from Savar.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel were present at the Gono Bhaban.