• Monday, Mar 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:46 pm

Initiatives promised for pandemic-hit young entrepreneurs

  • Published at 06:49 pm September 5th, 2020
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People wearing mask on Dhaka street Reuters

Youths advocate for autonomous organization dedicated to their interests

State ministers of two crucial ministries have promised to launch initiatives for young entrepreneurs and employees who fear losing their sources of income as the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the global economic and business growth.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Dr Md Enamur Rahman, and State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD), Swapan Bhattacharjee, voiced the words of hope on Friday night on the second episode of ‘Let’s Talk’ organized by Young Bangla to discuss the array of initiatives taken by youths to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.

The virtual session, conducted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Special Assistant Shah Ali Farhad, was also attended by Mohammad Zainul Bari, secretary to Social Welfare Ministry, Korvi Rakshand, founder of Jaago Foundation, Israt Farzana Tanni of Young Bangla, Kamrun Nesa Mira, a winner of Joy Bangla Youth Award, and Rafi Hoque Ontor of Volunteer for Bangladesh.

Following the discussion with youths, Israt Farzana Tanni, as their representatives, came up with a handful of recommendations for the youth bearing the brunt of the coronavirus crisis.

The recommendations include the rise in the participation of youths in the National Youth Council, receiving the suggestions of youths into account during the detailed assessment on National Youth Action Plan, incentivizing and recognizing the organizations of young entrepreneurs, and allocating funds for social innovation funds urgently.

She also recommended involving youths, to a greater extent, in social safety net management, disaster preparedness and management, community-based health programs, and national service programs to fight the Covid-19 crisis.

“The scopes of youths in the projects geared towards boosting local and export income must be increased,” said Israt Farzana Tanni.

Youths advocated for an autonomous organization dedicated to the interests of youths in addition to preparing a list of all young volunteers and volunteering organizations in the country.

What the state ministers said

Following the recommendations placed by Tonni, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman said: “I’ll talk about allocating funds for the youths who became jobless. They have to be endowed with loans with low or no interests to reinvigorate their businesses.”

“Youths account for 37% of the country’s total population. We have to formulate fresh initiatives for them. Youths may be offered many scopes of work at the local and social welfare ministries through incentives. We have to go a long way with Covid-19. We have to keep the youth force active. There’s no alternative to complementing their efforts.”

State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharjee said: “There should be required guidelines and training geared towards catalysing and channelizing the efforts of the youths. Financial support should be provided where required. I fully agree with the recommendations.”

Zainul Bari, secretary at the Social Welfare Ministry, said: “We have urban community development projects in city corporations and urban areas. There are many scopes for youths to work for different projects over there. We offer different kinds of training and small loans. Youths can harness that advantage to create self-employment opportunities for themselves.”

“Besides, if we can involve field-level youths to a greater extent… we’ll be able to select underprivileged people appropriately,” he added.

There will be a total of seven episodes taking place until Sunday.

Shuchona Foundation Chairperson and Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Thematic Ambassador Saima Wazed Hossain will deliver her speech in the ending session on the third day.

Ministers, state ministers, lawmakers, government officials, and high officials of the private sectors will interact with youths in almost all the sessions.

Young Bangla has been organizing 'Let's Talk' since 2014 to create a bridge between the country's policymakers and youths.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina graced the program 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'.

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