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Young Bangla stars gear up to fire all cylinders

Scarcity of safe drinking water is a major problem in Bangladesh. While urban areas suffer from weak distribution, rural areas are hit by salinity and arsenic contamination. A little awareness about keeping sources safe and minimizing wastage could do a world of good to people suffering from these problems. During a Network Meeting on December 20, 2017, at the Panshi Restaurant in Dhanmondi, Dhaka, a group of youth-led organizations affiliated with Young Bangla came up with an idea to address this.

“We know it’s not possible for us to solve it overnight. But, we may somewhat ease the problem by making as many people aware,” said Shumon Chandra Das, leader of Joy Bangla Youth Award (JBYA) 2015 winner organization from Barisal, Nodi Bhangon Rodh Porishod.

As part of the meeting, representatives of over 50 youth-led organizations – all winners of JBYA 2015 and 2017 – divided into separate groups and came up with ideas to related to various social, cultural and sports related issues. The organizations were clustered on the basis of the area they work on: child education, ICT, youth and sports development, environment and disaster management, welfare of vulnerable communities and persons with disabilities; cultural development and Liberation War; and so on. Each of these groups came up with ideas and project/campaign plans of their own for the next one year.

For example, one of the groups presented an awareness campaign plan on raising awareness against “Child Sexual Harassment.” Their plan is to share resources and expertise to raise awareness through screening of audiovisual materials, documentaries and animation; circulating printed materials; organizing quiz contents and staging plays at schools and colleges across the country.

In the first half of the event, the participants were briefed on the various opportunities on offer for them over the next one year (2018) including openings with Sheikh Russel Digital Lab (SRDL); Microsoft Bangladesh’s internships, training programs, startup funds and computer labs; and the E-village projects.

Mr Nahim Razzaq, MP, one of the frontrunners of the Young Bangla initiative and Mr Sabbir Bin Shams, executive director of Young Bangla secretariat Centre for Research and Information (CRI) took part in interactive sessions with the participants.