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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka Flow holds first session of Youth Wellness Festival in ULAB

The festival will continue this week at IUB, AIUB and Brac University and then move on to cover other universities later

Update : 03 Jun 2023, 06:15 PM

Dhaka Flow on Saturday presented the first in a series of National Youth Wellness Festivals at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), targeting university students, covering topics related to mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health.

The event drew 200 students to the research hall to participate in a daylong exploration into healthy living, the organization said in a press release.

The festival will continue this week at IUB, AIUB and Brac University and then move on to cover other universities later.

Students are at critical phase of their lives. They are soon to leave their families and the choices they make, the habits they form, will become the foundation of their adult health and wellbeing, said Prof Imran Rahman, vice chancellor of ULAB.

They are under pressure to take on the responsibilities of adulthood and to perform well in exams, while still not quite gaining independence and financial security. They need coping mechanisms to manage stress, and depression, while also learning how to eat and exercise and meditate in beneficial ways, he added.

Five private sector companies showed their commitment to the wellness of Dhaka's youths by supporting this festival.

Turaag Active, a local athleisure wear, is providing the clothing necessary to pursue active lifestyles in Bangladesh.

Prime Bank is providing student accounts to help students learn to manage their money. Rise is a fashion brand with trendy styles.

Sajida Foundation, a big supporter of wellness and mental health, was represented at the festival by Kaan Pete Roi (suicide hotline), Shojon (mental health counsellors) and Relaxy, an app designed to help you understand and manage your emotions.

 Aarong Earth is providing clean skin and hair care products for people.

Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation Atiqul Islam attended the event and spoke on the theme of inclusivity and his vision to make wellness accessible to everyone.

He also mentioned the importance of yoga and meditation to reduce non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

He asked “How can we ensure that our youth have access, as they are the future of our nation, the upholders of our dreams.”

Mokhlesur Rahman, senior operations officer, World Bank, commente:, “It is critical to equip our youth with market-relevant and IR4.0 skills while IR5.0 is knocking on our door. Additionally arming them with knowledge of health and wellbeing can prepare them for the real world.”

Sixcoaches from Dhaka Flow presented at the event, under the themes Mind, Body, Spirit, and covered topics such as yoga for stress release, self-defense, boundaries and balance, nutrition and breathwork.

Wellbeing needs to be approached in a holistic way, says Shazia Omar, yoga instructor and co-founder of Dhaka Flow.

“We need to work together to create a healthy-lifestyle enabling environment if we are to achieve SDG 3: health and wellbeing, as a nation.”

A photo contest announced at the event, on the theme of SDG 3, invited experienced and amateur photographers to post their favorite images representing health and wellness on their Facebook page, tagging Dhaka Flow.

The winners will be chosen based on photos with the most likes.

Shazia said she started Dhaka Flow to give space to all the people making efforts to contribute to a healthy community.

She said one cannot be healthy in isolation. Good health requires good physical health, good mental, psychological, emotional health, clean air, green earth, pure water.

She described a vision of Dhaka City as a place that is free, healthy, clean, inclusive and green.

Dhaka Flow is a platform for anyone and everyone who has made wellness their lifestyle or their livelihood.

The website features a wellness directory with people and companies offering wellness products and services.

There is also a wellness calendar with upcoming classes, workshops and retreats, and a wellness blog, with wisdom and knowledge about these topics.

Other trainers at the session said yoga can help people cope with stress and reduce physical and mental ailments.

Meditation and mindfulness can improve concentration, compassion, peace and community.

An understanding about healthy food habits and better nutrition can contribute drastically to reduce our incidence of diabetes and heart disease, and helps us on our journey towards inner peace.

To join the wellness movement and ‘surrender to the flow', check out Dhaka Flow's website and follow the Dhaka Flow Facebook and Instagram pages.

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