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Dhaka Tribune

Policy dialogue held on disability inclusion in Smart Bangladesh

The event brought together key stakeholders to discuss the integration of disability inclusion into the national Smart Bangladesh agenda by 2041

Update : 27 May 2024, 07:16 PM

The Smart Bangladesh Network (SBN), in association with the Equal Bangladesh Campaign, Sightsavers, a2i, Idea Foundation, and InterContinental Dhaka, hosted a pivotal policy dialogue titled “Empowering Change: Role of a Caucus for Disability Inclusion in SMART Bangladesh.”

The event brought together key stakeholders to discuss the integration of disability inclusion into the national Smart Bangladesh agenda by 2041.

The policy dialogue titled "Empowering Change: Role of a Caucus for Disability Inclusion in SMART Bangladesh" provided a crucial platform for stakeholders from various sectors to discuss and strategize on integrating disability inclusion into national policies and development plans.

The chief guest for the event was Md. Abul Kalam Azad, MP.

Special Guests included KM Abdus Salam, senior secretary of the Bangladesh Parliament; Md. Shamsul Arefin, secretary of the ICT Division; Md. Mokammel Hossain, secretary of Civil Aviation and Tourism; and Amrita Rejina Rozario, country director of Sightsavers.

The event was chaired by Mollah Mizanur Rahman, Joint Project Director at a2i (Joint Secretary).

The event commenced with a registration and tea session, followed by insightful presentations and discussions. Manik Mahmud, program specialist Innovation at a2i and executive member of Smart Bangladesh Network, moderated the session.

The agenda included discussions on the challenges and achievements related to disability innovation and the prospects of making SMART Bangladesh inclusive.

Amrita Rejina Rozario, country director, Sightsavers Bangladesh, emphasized the necessity of revitalizing and empowering this caucus to achieve the ambitious goals of a Smart Bangladesh.

"To achieve the ambitious goals of a Smart Bangladesh, we must revitalize and empower this caucus. A rejuvenated parliamentarians’ caucus on disability can drive significant progress, addressing existing challenges and anticipating future needs in the disability sector," she added.

Md Shamsul Arefin, secretary of the ICT Division, highlighted the government's commitment, saying: "Integrating disability inclusion into our national agenda is not just a necessity but a moral obligation. We are dedicated to ensuring that SMART Bangladesh is accessible to all."

Md. Abul Kalam Azad, MP, said: "By 2041, we envision a Bangladesh where every citizen, regardless of their abilities, can contribute to and benefit from the nation's progress."

The dialogue aimed to identify the challenges and opportunities in creating an accessible and inclusive Smart Bangladesh, thereby reinforcing the commitment to equal opportunities and empowerment for all citizens.

The insights and collaborative efforts from this event were vital for driving sustainable and inclusive development, ensuring that technological advancements and societal progress benefited everyone.

The policy dialogue concluded with a consensus on the need for continuous engagement and the establishment of a caucus to drive the disability inclusion agenda forward, ensuring that Smart Bangladesh is a model of inclusivity and accessibility.

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