The ruling Awami League organized the rally to accord a mass reception to the prime minister for her achievements in various sectors
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that she has dedicated her life for the people of Bangladesh, and she is committed to fulfilling the dreams of her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of Bangladesh.
“I am a people’s worker and I want to work for the people. The most important thing to me is what people are getting. I need nothing else, no reception. I have dedicated my life for the people of Bangladesh and to fulfill Bangabandhu’s dream,” she said.
Hasina was speaking at a reception rally at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on Saturday, organized by the Awami League.
The prime minister said: “I only sleep five hours, and the rest of my time is devoted to working for the people of Bangladesh. We are on our way to fulfilling Bangabandhu’s dream in the way he wanted to build this nation. This is our only motto.”
“My politics is for the exploited and deprived people of Bangladesh, and I am always determined to change the lives of the people,” Hasina said, adding that she would never be intimidated even if her life is at stake.
Awami League arranged the rally to accord a mass reception to Hasina in recognition of her role in achieving remarkable development and achievements in different fields.
Expressing her gratitude to the people for bringing Awami League to power, the prime minister said: “Bangladesh is now moving ahead on the highway to development.”
“There are quarters in the country that cannot see any development. Some are saying that the boat will have to be resisted. Those who want to stop the boat want to bring the Razakars and war criminals to power,” she said.
Bangladesh has graduated from the status of a least developed country (LDC) with a growth rate of around 7.7% and with the launching of Bangabandhu-1, the first ever satellite of the country, Bangladesh has now taken to outer space, she said.
Hasina also highlighted other development projects and achievements of the present government in various sectors, including education, health, agriculture, housing and the social safety net.
Around four million elderly people, 1.2 million widowed women and 1.4 million persons with disabilities receive benefits from the government.
The government is providing stipends for nearly 24 million students across the country. The government plans to produce 20,000MW electricity by 2020.
“We are trying to build modern equipment based agriculture,” she said.
“Before 2041, Bangladesh will be the Switzerland of the east. Bangladesh will be a land of peace and happiness.”
In 2020, the party will observe the 100th birthday of the Father of the Nation, Hasina said, adding that the government is ensuring the nation will be on its way to fulfill his dreams.
“No one will go hungry in Bangladesh. People in remote villages will get the facilities of modern life. I am working towards that goal,” she added.
During Awami League’s tenure in 1996, Bangladesh achieved food autarky.
“We took several projects during that time. Our main motto was that no one would live without food and shelter. People of this country started to get the benefit of those projects. Bangabandhu dreamed of building a 10-bed hospital in every union but he could not finish it. I started to build community clinics in every union to bring all people under health coverage.”
She recalled that in 1975, through the murders of Bangabandhu and his family members, she had lost her family and Bangladesh had lost its dreams.
“All development was stopped and people lost power.”
“In 1981, I was elected the president of Bangladesh Awami League in absentia. I was not mentally prepared to take the charge, nor did I want it. I worked for Awami League while I was in London, formed a commission seeking justice for Bangabandhu’s killing,” she reminisced.
“Killers of the Father of the Nation proclaimed proudly that they had killed Sheikh Mujib. They killed him because they failed to remove him from power several times. They tried to tarnish his image. But people loved him. So they had to kill him as they had no other way to remove him from power.”
She said she was proud to be the daughter of the Father of the Nation.
The prime minister reached the venue around 3:30pm.
Activists carrying colourful banners, playing drums and trumpets attended the program.
The venue, Suhrawardy Udyan, was colourfully decorated. Organizers built a massive L-shaped podium at the venue with 20,000 seats in front of it.
A big gate was erected at the entry point to the venue in front of Matsya Bhaban, while 40 other colorful gates were built along the road from Matsya Bhaban to the Shishu Park area.
Awami League decorated city roads with banners and festoons carrying slogans of the prime minister’s achievements from Ganabhaban to the reception venue.
At the reception, a 30-minute presentation was shown on the history and heritage of Bangladesh.
The reception was arranged for attaining the eligibility to graduate to a developing nation, launching Bangabandhu Satellite-1, Sheikh Hasina’s achievement of Global Women’s Leadership Award from US-based NGO Global Summit of Women, and her receiving DLitt from Kazi Nazrul University of India.
Ahead of the program, Dhaka Metropolitan Police issued directives restricting vehicular movement around Suhrawardy Udyan.
Bangabandhu-1 satellite was launched into its orbital slot in space on May 12 this year.
On March 16, Bangladesh became eligible for graduation from LDC. The LDC category was introduced by the United Nations in 1971 when there were 25 LDCs. In 2018, the number has increased to 47. So far, only five countries were able to graduate from the LDC group.