PM listens to youth aspirations, speaks about future plans

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Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the youth to take the country forward and uphold its image in the international arena through their patriotism, willpower and honesty.

“You have to love the country, love its people. If you move forward with confidence, you will be able to give your country something alongside doing something for your own life. There’s no scope to get frustrated. You have to face many obstacles but it’s possible to overcome these hindrances if there’s strong willpower,” she said.

Hasina said this while speaking at an interactive session titled “Let’s Talk with Sheikh Hasina”, organised by think-tank Centre for Research and Information at her official residence Ganobhaban here on November 23.

Terming the youth folk the future of the country, the Prime Minister put the onus on them to take the country forward. “I am handing over the responsibility to you,” she said to a diverse group of youths as she listened to their dreams, hopes and aspirations about future Bangladesh.

The Centre of Research and Information (CRI)-sponsored interaction “Let’s Talk with Sheikh Hasina” was premiered on television on Thursday simultaneously broadcast on state-run Bangladesh Television (BTV) and private TV stations Maasranga, RTV, Channel 24, Channel i, ATN News, Gazi TV, DBC News and Somoy TV.

The programme was also made available for online streaming at the same time on the Facebook pages of CRI and Young Bangla, along with a number of newspapers and news portals and agencies.

They include Daily Ittefaq, Kaler Kantho, Samakal, Daily Jugantor, bdnews24.com, sarabangla.net, Bangla Tribune, banglanews24.com, Bangladesh Pratidin, bdmorning.com, United News of Bangladesh (UNB), barta24 and radio station Radio Dhol.

Responding to a question of a participant over preventing corruption, Sheikh Hasina said ‘Zero Tolerance’ will be announced against corruption. ”We launched drives against terrorism, drives against drugs are on. We’ve arranged income for government officers. Then why they will be involved in corruption? It’s possible to stop corruption if people stay away from unhealthy competition.”

Replying to another participant’s question over scrapping the quota facilities for freedom fighters and ethnic minorities in government jobs, she said the system was abolished in the face of demand. However, new guidelines will be given over the issues of people with disability, ethnic minorities and freedom fighters’ children.

Regarding her government’s efforts for development of marginal people, Hasina said, “We have been working. Villages will be turned into cities. While taking development programmes, city or capital-centric programmes are not taken, rather the issues of marginal people are also considered.”

Talking about her personal life, Sheikh Hasina said she has dedicated her life for the people of the country and she sleeps only for five hours at night while in the rest of the time, she tries hard to complete her tasks as quickly as possible, she said.

Hasina also shared with the participants how she passes time with her grandchildren, what she does for keeping herself fit and her favourite childhood memories.

She also talked about the struggles she had to endure throughout her life, including the tragic event of August 15, 1975, her days as an opposition leader and her time in prison during the 1/11 era.

Demonstrating a strong sense of enthusiasm and vigour, around 150 young people selected from across the country, including entrepreneurs, students, sports and cultural personalities, and representatives of various youth groups and associations took part in the discussion.

For the first time in Bangladesh’s political history, the Prime Minister directly talked to the youth and asked the participants to share their ideas and thoughts on the development of their country.

Meanwhile, CRI also announced that its docudrama “Hasina: A Daughter’s Tale” will premiere on TV on Saturday (December 15). The docudrama on the life of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be aired on Maasranga, Gazi TV and Channel i at 3pm that day.UNB.

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