Update October 29, 2020

Dhaka 7-40 am, 04-December, 2020

Working to make Bangladesh economically self-reliant: PM

Mirajul Moin Joy

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the government has been working with a goal to make Bangladesh economically self-dependent and brighten its image so that its people can move in the world stage with dignity as a victorious nation.

“We’re a victorious nation in the Liberation War. Why should the victorious nation move around begging to others and bowing heads down to others? The victorious nation will move across the world like a victorious nation,” she said.

The Prime Minister was addressing virtually at a function arranged to distribute the Independence Award 2020.

She joined the function held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban.

Eight renowned personalities and one organisation received the ‘Independence Award 2020,’ the highest state honour given in recognition of their remarkable contributions to the nation.

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque handed over the prestigious award to the awardees and their relatives.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh had lost its potentials after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.

Following the formation of the government after 21 years (of the assassination), her government started projecting the authentic history of the country’s independence before people, she said.

Remembering the dream of the Father of the Nation and the great sacrifices of millions of martyrs, Hasina said her government wants to rebuild Bangladesh as a hunger- and poverty-free golden Bengal.

“We’re running the State with the goals to take the healthcare services to the doorsteps of people, to ensure education for all, improve the communication system, illuminate every house, providing every homeless and landless with a house, make the Bangladesh economically self-sufficient and enhance its self-dignity so that we can move with dignity in the world arena raising our heads high, standing on own feet, not lending or not begging to anyone,” she said.

Hasina said Bangladesh has become a food-surplus country attaining self-sufficiency in food production. “Alongside ensuring the food security, we’re now working to ensure nutrition security.”

The Prime Minister said the government has been working to fulfill every basic demand stated in the Constitution.

Talking about the Covid-19 pandemic, she said the government is in its frantic efforts to protect people and their livelihood and accelerate the pace of economic development.

Hasina urged all to follow the health guidelines to protect themselves saying that the resurgence in the Covid-19 infection is seen in Europe.

She said the government has been taking all necessary preparations and keep every district hospital ready to deal with the possible second wave of Covid-19 in the country.

The Prime Minister congratulated the award recipients saying that they have made outstanding contributions to their respective fields, including medical, education and culture.

The award recipients are Jute and Textiles Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, Commander Abdur Rouf (posthumous), martyred intellectual and novelist Md Anwar Pasha (posthumous) and Azizur Rahman for Independence and Liberation War; Prof Dr Md Obaidul Kabir Chowdhury and Prof Dr AKMA Muqtadir for medical science; Kalipada Das and Ferdousi Mazumder for culture; and Bharateswari Homes, a boarding school for girls in Mirzapur of Tangail, for education.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam conducted the function and read out the citations of the Independence Award recipients with their brief life sketches.

Dr AKMA Muqtadir, on behalf of the award recipients, spoke on the occasion.

On February 20 last, the government picked the renowned personalities and organisation for the highest state award in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their respective fields.

There is a tradition to hand over this prestigious award to its recipients on March 25, but this year it was not possible due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

Since 1977, Bangladesh has been recognising individuals and institutions with the award every year ahead of the Independence Day.

Ministers, the chiefs of the three services and members of parliament were present at the function.

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