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Gram Hobe Shohor

Young Bangla discussed the Government’s vision on transforming villages with urban amenities in National Youth Assembly, 2019

“When my village will get the electricity, it will definitely turn into a city” a participant’s opinion on what urbanization does mean to them. On 11th March 2019, Young Bangla facilitated the session ‘Gram Hobe Shohor: Government’s vision of transforming villages into cities’ on the 3rd day of the 4-day long National Youth Assembly of talented youths, which was organized by Jaago Foundation. This is the third round of National Youth Assembly (NYA) 2019 taking the theme “Empowering Youth for National Development”.

Young Bangla formed a panel of five consisting a representative from Centre for Research and Information which is acting as the secretariat of Young Bangla, and other four included Joy Bangla Youth Award winners. The floor began with the sharing of an informative audio-visual on Young Bangla which followed by an energetic musical chant to inspire and rejuvenate the participants. The speakers elaborated the opening session on what a progressive village soesmean to the youth. Young Bangla member and Joy Bangla Youth Awardee Robiul Houqe began the session by requesting the participants to share their thoughts on progressive rural zones. He then made his presentation on what are the elements of urbanized rural spaces according to his idea. The panel then explained the differences and similarities between rural and urban abodes. The session threw three questions; ‘why people come to cities’; ‘what will restrain them from migration’ and ‘what sort of changes is happening in the area nearby to them’.

When a speaker from the panel threw question towards the audience about mentioning one change that their locality experienced in recent time; the auditorium echoed ‘Electrification’. Bangladesh is heading fast to reach all the milestones that a developed country has. Electricity coverage to every part of Bangladesh is still a big challenge but, it is one of the major achievements of the current government which expands the electricity coverage of the nation.

Sazid Bin Zahid, a Joy Bangla Awardee 2018 explained the positive and negative nuances of changes that happened to his locality, Rangamati. Jhumona Mollik panelist and Joy Bangla Youth Award winner 2018 who works for the ‘people of special needs’ highlighted the need to count the disabled people into the development process as they are also a part of the society. Santwana Rani, founder of Lalmonirhat Taekwon-Do Association (LTA) talked about how important it is to be physically fit and active to bring positive changes into society.

Young Bangla kept the session open for spontaneous participation and open sharing of information about some of the mega projects of the current Awami-League led government. This discussion cited projects and initiatives like Mirsarai Economic Zone, Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development, Padma Bridge, Kaliakoir Hi-tech Park in Gazipur District and Jessore Software Technology Park, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, etc.

Youth participants suggested decentralization of the infrastructures, creating more career opportunities for the rural youth and to escalate modern amenities for the rural youth to attain the vision of transforming villages into cities.

“There should be more educational institutions and modern healthcare facilities in the villages because that’s the main reason behind people’s movement from village to cities” a spontaneous answer of a discussant from the panel on what we are expecting to transform villages into cities.

The discussant also mentioned about the 21 point manifesto of Awami League led government from the 11th national election that, honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina shared the vision of expanding the urban amenities to the villages.

The team Young Bangla attended the assembly till the concluding day 12th March 2019 and took part in other sessions throughout the time. This Four-day long assembly with 500 youth from 8 divisions of Bangladesh ended with a promise to change Bangladesh for better.