Bangladesh has always been a pioneer in fighting against calamities, minister says
The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (LGRD Ministry) are leading efforts to develop a national volunteer framework to foster volunteering in Bangladesh, LGRD Minister Md Tazul Islam said on Saturday.
The minister made the remark while addressing an event at the Hotel InterContinental Dhaka as the chief guest. The event, titled “Volunteering for achieving SDGs in Bangladesh,” was organized by the LGRD Ministry, Department of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, WaterAid and UNV Bangladesh to mark International Volunteer Day (IVD), according to a press release.
Volunteers from several organizations took part in the event, which included the award ceremony for the IVD Bangladesh Volunteer Award 2020. Winners of the award received prize money up to Tk1 lakh, as well crests and certificates.
LGRD Minister Tazul discussed the national volunteer framework after panellists in the second session highlighted the need for a structured policy on volunteerism. The panellists also stressed the need for a volunteer database and to ensure safety, recognition and training for volunteers.
Earlier, the LGRD minister said: “The Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) was first initiated in 1973. Bangladesh was the country that took the lead. We have always been a pioneer in fighting against calamities. Once again, this is visible during this global pandemic. During coronavirus, volunteers have done a tremendous job to raise awareness of handwashing and personal hygiene. As a result, we as a nation are thriving in this dire situation.”
Helal Uddin Ahmed, senior secretary of the Local Government Division, said: “We have seen how Mother Teresa changed so many lives by volunteering. She is such an inspiration to the younger generation of this country to help people in need at an unprecedented time like this.”
UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said: “I’m very much impressed by how Bangladesh values and promotes volunteerism. I appreciate the efforts given so far in this sector, although I think there is still some room for improvement. Various sources are interested in facilitating Bangladesh with funding and infrastructural assistance. If the inner abilities are developed, Bangladesh will soon see an even mightier force of volunteers who could conquer the tougher challenges lying ahead.”
Hasin Jahan, country director of WaterAid, said: “Since the very beginning of Covid-19 pandemic, volunteers have played a tremendous role in keeping the community safe and functional, putting the utmost priority to the humanitarian cause. This award [IVD Award 2020] is a humble attempt to thank them for the incredible effort they have put for the country and its people, so far.”
Aktar Uddin, country coordinator of UNV Bangladesh, said: “The indomitable spirit of volunteerism is celebrated through such initiatives as IVD. The core message is to inspire all the volunteers across the world and encourage unity, because unity is strength. The world requires dedicated volunteers to attain and maintain the sustainable development goals. Bangladesh currently has the greatest number of UN volunteers, and nothing could make me prouder than this accomplishment.”
Md Akhter Hossain, Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports chaired the event.
Dipak Chakraborty, additional secretary of the Local Government Division, Sultana Afroz, secretary and CEO of PPPA under the Prime Minister’s Office, Aminul Islam Khan, secretary of Technical and Madrasa Education, and Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, director general of Department of Youth Development under Ministry of Youth and Sports were also present, among others.