Lawmaker Nahim Razzaq, also member of the Parliamentary Caucus for Children Rights Development, has urged the media to play an active role in guiding policy decisions towards making Dhaka child-friendly.
“The media is already giving good attention to children and youth issues. However, there is so much more that can be done,” he told attendees at a daylong workshop held in the capital on Thursday.
“There is lot of positive advocacy to be done through your works and government officials should also be more open to receiving them.”
He stressed the need for a comprehensive children and youth policy and action plan.
“The media can play a big role as they are strong voices in our communities, strong platforms to spread the message and can handle massive campaigns to this end.”
Nahim also urged the private sector to step up and adopt more child-friendly projects.
Syed Matiul Ahsan, deputy director of Save the Children, gave the welcome address in the event the INGO jointly organized with the Daily Star. The newspaper’s Associate Editor Shahedul Anam Khan also spoke on the occasion.
Speakers at the workshop highlighted various issues, such as the grabbing of playing fields and lack of open spaces and recreational places, which are contributing adversely to the wellbeing of children. They also urged the authorities concerned to take feedback from children when drawing up plans for towns and cities.
Speakers said that without a child-friendly environment, the physical capabilities, social efficiency, mental development, and sense of discipline of Dhaka’s children were being significantly hampered.
They also urged parents not to provide mobile phones or electronic devices to their children for proper development of their offspring.
A number of sessions with titles such as the “Convention of the Rights for Urban Children”, “Existing Policy Framework and Planning Standards for Making Child-Friendly Cities in Bangladesh”, “Child Sensitive Urban Space Design”, “Healthy and Green Cities for Children: The Role of Urban Ambassador”, “Designing For Urban Childhood: The Role of Planners and City Leaders”, and “Interactive Session for Reporting of Children’s Perspective in the Bangladesh Urban Context” were held throughout the workshop.
Save The Children Partnership Defined Quality (PDQ) Director Reefat Bin Sattar, Narayanganj City Corporation Urban Planner Md Moinul Islam, Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon Joint Secretary Iqbal Habib, Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust Project Manager Md Maruf Hossain, and Bangladesh Institute of Planners Vice President Prof Dr Akter Mahmud spoke at the program.
Shaptahik Editor Golam Mortoza moderated the workshop while Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam spoke at the closing session.