Team Icarus, who won the Digital Khichuri Challenge on Wednesday, is planning to make superhero characters on 1971 Liberation War, sports and medieval era to promote Bangladeshi culture and heritage.
As champions, the four-member team received a grant of $7,500 for their innovative idea of producing contents in new digital platforms.
The team of youngsters was crowned the champion for their idea “Onimikh” - a digital world that embraces Bangladeshi culture and heritage and appeals to young Bangladeshis seeking reflections of their identity in modern global culture.
“Our aim is to create our own superheroes that would promote peace and values and encourage Bangladeshi youths to promote the diversity, pluralism, peace and tolerance in Bangladesh,” said Sadman Muntasir from Jahangirnagar University, a member of the team.
“We are now working to develop our website and gather more content creator and increase our readers. We also have plans to make superhero characters on our Liberation War, sports and medieval era to promote Bangladeshi culture and taste,” Sadman told the Dhaka Tribune.
“It was a great opportunity for those who can make positive differences with the help of digital platforms and existing technologies,” said Fahim Md Mahfuzur Rahman, team leader and a student of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology.
Two other members of Team Icarus are Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) student Rifat Arefin Haque and Dhaka University student Shawana Adbiah.
In the first week of November, the organisers of “Digital Khichuri Challenge” invited young Bangladeshis to brainstorm and develop new solutions and produce new digital platforms using existing technologies.
A first of its kind in South Asia, the three-day competition was co-sponsored by Facebook and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from Google and organised by Affinis Labs, while Al Jazeera’s social media network and Dhaka Tribune were the media partners of the programme.
Though the original plan was to award the winning idea with $5,000 by sponsors, the Information and Communication Technology Ministry and UNDP decided to match the funds towards realisation of another two projects, thus raising total fund to $15,000. The second and third place winners received $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.
Sharing their ideas, Fahim said: “At first we had to find out the problem to work on and found that our young generation has an identity crisis and lack of self-esteem as there is no Bangladeshi role model - in real or virtual life. Then, we decided to make comic story which combine both arts and writers in a single platform.
“We also had to figure out the possible usage of the fund if we win the competition and we decided to make a website to upload our issues and share those on social media like Facebook and Twitter.”
Attending the gala event on the closing day, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak invited the participating teams at his office and declared that Team Icarus would be provided an office at “Janata Bhaban” for their outstanding performance.
Sudipto Mukharji, UNDP country director for Bangladesh, while talking about their partnership with the competition, said: “UNDP will remain committed and continue its support to endorse the diversity, pluralism, peace and tolerance in Bangladesh in the line with SDGs No 16 which focuses on promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.”