Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government is striving to ensure that every people irrespective of their religious and ethnic identity get their equal rights.
“When we say about our development, we certainly mean the inclusive development of every people irrespective of their religion, creed and caste,” she said while handing over scholarship among students belong to ethnic communities of plain land at a function held at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Dhaka, reports BSS.
The scholarship was given under a project titled -’Development Assistance for the Small Ethnic Communities Living in Plain Land’ initiated by Prime Minister’s Office in 1996 to support the students of ethnic communities living on plan land.
Laying importance on economic sovereignty of ethnic people, the prime minister said promotion of the ethnic culture is very important side by side their economic prosperity.
The government wants to make sure that every people get equal opportunity to pursue education and use modern technology, she said, adding that none would remain neglected.
“We are not only giving importance on development of ethnic minority but also working for changing the lots of the people of ’bede’ community, hijra, tea garden workers and Dalits,” she said.
The government has given special allocation for their education, sanitation and supply of pure drinking water, she added.
The prime minister also emphasised on conservation of the diversity of life style of ethnic people hoping that participation of ethnic people in the state affairs would increase in the coming days.
The scholarship would help the students to pursue their higher studies and flourish their talent, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu liberated Bangladesh aimed at building a country where people of every religion would get opportunities of economic prosperity. But, his dream was smashed on August 15, 1975 through his brutal killing.
The prime minister said since the inception of her political career in 1981 she earnestly tried to know the barriers of economic, social and
political development of the people of Bangladesh and resolved those problems to give them a decent life.
Pointing out beauties of natural and demographic diversity of Bangladesh, the prime minister said her government has given important focus on ethnic people for their socioeconomic development as well as culture diversity.
The prime minister said the Awami League government after taking office in 1996 had successfully resolved the unrest in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT and created opportunity for the ethnic people of the region for their economic uplift.
At the same time, her government had thought for socioeconomic development of about 15 lakh ethnic people living in plain land and took various projects to support them economically, promote their culture and create educational and other occupational opportunities.
Under the project, the prime minister’s office has undertaken the educational assistance programme for ethnic minorities living in plain land, under which they are getting the scholarship for higher education as well as general education.
She urged the ethnic people to strive for further development of their traditional occupation through using modern technology saying ethnic people are part of our national and social heritage.
The prime minister thanked the people of Bangladesh for giving her scope to serve the nation for consecutive third time and help handing over the scholarship to the ethnic students.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Director General (admin) Khalilur Rahman and BUET student A Myat on behalf of ethnic communities spoke on the occasion with Principal Secretary Md Nazibur Rahman in the chair.
Under the programme, about 500 students of ethnic community were given Taka 25,000 each as scholarship. Of them, 20 students received cheque from the Prime Minister.