Be change makers: PM to Qatar University students

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the Qatar University students to be the change-makers being remained focus on vision having the mentality to embrace the new and future.

“Lead by example and be the change-maker,” she said while addressing a session with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the students of Qatar University on theme titled “Bangladesh: a development model: Learning from Sheikh Hasina.”

The Premier, who is now on a three-day official visit to Doha to attend the Qatar Economic Forum-2023, told the students, “To represent a value, remaining focused on your vision and make concrete plans to realize your vision.”

She also said: “Trust your people and team. Invoke your maternal spirit, and embrace the new and the future.”

During her long speech, Sheikh Hasina gave a brief description of the struggle of achieving Bangladesh’s independence under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and advancing the country towards transforming it into a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041.

“We want to build a knowledge-based, SMART Bangladesh. In SMART Bangladesh, there will be a smart government, a smart economy, a smart population, a smart society, and smart manpower,” she said.

The Prime Minister said the people will be made skilled in using digital devices so that they can contribute to the fourth industrial revolution.

She went on saying that the purpose of Smart Bangladesh is to keep pace with the changing world and use digital devices in all areas of education, health, agriculture, industrial production, business, and trade.

“To achieve the goals, we are setting up digital labs in all educational institutions, from primary to higher education. Computer training and incubation centers and hi-tech parks are being established throughout the country,” Sheikh Hasina said.

Skilled manpower is being built through training in artificial intelligence, she said, adding that they have passed an act to establish a nanotechnology institution.

The use of digital devices or technology has created vast employment opportunities for women in our society, the premier said.

“Today’s Bangladesh is a changed Bangladesh. It is dubbed as a role model for development. Hunger, poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and etc are vanishing fast,” she said

The Prime Minister said their hard-earned development in the country is not a miracle.

“It is the collective work of our men and women. I have only tried to guide them in the desired direction,” she continued.

Sheikh Hasina said, however, it was not an easy journey to reach today’s position as she have had to undergo huge ordeals and persecution throughout her life.

“My father had to spend nearly one-fourth of his life in prison. We, the children, had been deprived of his love and affection. Within three and a half years of independence, the founder of the country, my father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was assassinated along with 18 of our family members, including my mother, three brothers, two sisters-in-law, and an uncle,” she continued.

Sheikh Hasina said her youngest brother was only ten years old at the time.

“My sister and I survived being abroad on that day. My sister and I had to lead a refugee life for six years,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said she returned home in 1981, when her party Awami League made her its president.

“I came home with a pledge to materialize my father’s dream of a poverty-, hunger, and illiteracy-free, prosperous Bangladesh,” she said.

On return, Sheikh Hasina said she launched a movement for establishing the rights to food and vote. I was interned time and again.

“At least 19 attempts were made on my life, the gravest one being in August 2004 when a dozen Arges grenades were hurled at me to kill me. I survived, but 22 of my party workers and leaders were killed and several hundred wounded,” she said.

Braving all odds, Sheikh Hasina said she continued her struggle only to change the fates of her countrymen.

“I shall continue to do so as long as I live, Insha’Allah. My dream is to turn our delta into a land of prosperity once again,” she pledged.

Following Bangabandhu’s assassination, she said Bangladesh went under military and quasi-military rule for the subsequent 21 years, and the fates of the people had not changed much.

“My party, the Awami League, got elected to office in 1996 after a long struggle of 21 years, and I was made Prime Minister for the first time. In five years, we managed to build a solid foundation for Bangladesh’s socio-economic transformation,” she said.

The premier said they handed over power through peaceful means in 2001, and then followed another dark period of killings, terrorism, corruption, and military interventions.

She said their party got re-elected to office in December 2008, and since then for two more consecutive terms.


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