The hallmark of any developed nation is the right of citizens to feel safe and secure, and the knowledge that help will come if needed.
In the recent past, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has reiterated its commitment to eradicating terror from our soil, making good on her promises of a more secure nation.
Now, ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy is furthering that promise with the inauguration of the national emergency helpline 999.
This is a wholly welcome initiative.
In a country that experiences inordinate loss of life year after year from unnatural occurrences such as road accidents and workplace disasters, a revamped emergency helpline would prove invaluable.
Currently, the emergency helpline is used exclusively to seek out emergency services from our law enforcement, but the revamped system promises to include 24/7 emergency services from the police, ambulance services, and the fire department by simply dialing 999 -- and this applies to both landline numbers and mobile phones.
Given the rapid, unchecked urbanisation that our nation is currently going through, construction-site accidents and highway disasters are shockingly frequent.
Because of the lack of a strong, responsive emergency helpline, too many lives are lost that could have been prevented if help had arrived in a timely manner.
It is not that hard to imagine how much more manageable some of our worst disasters, both industrial and domestic, would have been, if a proper emergency helpline had been in place.
To that end, a revamped national emergency helpline is, perhaps, one of the needs of our times.