Bangabandhu started as a young volunteer from a village: Saima Wazed
Centre for Research and Information (CRI) Vice-Chairperson and autism expert Saima Wazed Hossain has called upon everyone to create space for the youth to take the country forward.
Recounting how Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his prime immersed himself into the political landscape out of his call to protect the interest of his community and finally founded a nation, Saima spoke for breaking the stereotype that age alone indicates one's depth of knowledge.
"Let's change this mindset 'being minor in age means being minor in knowledge'. Rather the history of our country is studded with examples of youths holding ample knowledge and bearing the torch for others," she said.
Saima, granddaughter of Bangabandhu and daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, made the remark at the closing session of 'Let's Talk' yesterday, organised by Young Bangla, the youth wing of Centre for Research and Information (CRI).
With her speech, curtain fell on the seventh episode of the programme held over three days.
Saima, also a thematic Ambassador at Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), said, "The life of Bangabandhu did not start with politics. He didn't start with any big organisation. That part came later. He started with observing the gaps in his community. He observed his fellows and pondered on how he might help them."
"There began his journey. His leadership quality was developed with that, from his youth, from his community activism. He had some moral values. He had his drive. He followed that compass. There were a lot of challenges in his way. He faced those obstacles. Still, he created his own space and it's from there that his leadership qualities developed. That is how we established ourselves as a nation," she said.
Saima said, "We need to learn these at an early age and if we wholeheartedly desire the progress of our country, we must make it a responsibility to create these scopes for our youth."
Saima talked about the recommendations arising from the discussions of 'Let's Talk' in the last couple of days.
She said, "One of the biggest issues talked about was the education sector. What are the youths learning at school? Are they simply studying or are they learning values? How can they contribute to the country? How will there be community involvement?"
"Are they learning about how they can make their surroundings better? They want it and we should work on that front," she added.
Young Bangla's 'Let's Talk' featured seven episodes to create a bridge between what the youths are thinking of to advance the country in the post-Covid-19 period and what the policymakers are thinking for the youths.
Young Bangla has been organising 'Let's Talk' since 2014 to connect the country's policymakers with the youths.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina graced the programme with her presence before the 2018 election.
Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy also interacted with youths in a handful of episodes of 'Let's Talk'.
Apart from the opening and ending sessions, 'Let's Talk' also featured discussions on five themes.
The recommendations from those sessions were also discussed in the closing programme.
The ending session, conducted by Nobonita Chowdhury, was also attended by Planning Minister MA Mannan, Convener of Young Bangla Nahim Razzaq, MP, and Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office Ahmad Kaikaus.
Addressing the youth, the planning minister said, "We have the eighth five-year plan ahead of us. Youths will leave their bold recommendations for that. We will incorporate your opinions in our plan."
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed youths on the highway of development. Now youths have to march forward," he said.
A new world is in sight and we must be equipped to access that, he said, adding, "Our youths will be able to harness that scope through technology."