Prime minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime minister Sheikh HasinaFile photo

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday described the orphans as her “most near and dear ones” and vowed to build a beautiful future for them.

“I want to tell you (one thing) that you’re not orphans and helpless … you’re my most near and dear ones. Our government since assuming office always remains beside you and as long as I remain alive, I’ll also stay by you,” she said.

I want to tell you (one thing) that you’re not orphans and helpless … you’re my most near and dear ones. Our government since assuming office always remains beside you and as long as I remain alive, I’ll also stay by you.
Sheikh HasinaSheikh Hasina

The PM also said, “There are efforts of mine always to build a beautiful future for you.”

Referring to the assassination of her parents and most of her family members on the fateful night of 15 August in 1975, Sheikh Hasina said, “Naturally, we understand very well the pain of the orphans as we have become orphans (through the 15 August carnage).”

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“You’re not alone. I remain beside you and I and my younger sister always think about your welfare,” she said in an emotion-charged voice.

The prime minister was addressing a function marking the completion of recitation of holy Quran for 50,000 times by the children of 85 ‘Shishu Paribar’ and six ‘Shishu Nibash’ across the country on the occasion of Mujib Borsho as well as a milad and doa mahfil on the occasion of the 45th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The social welfare ministry and the social welfare department arranged the programme at the office of the social welfare department at Agargaon in the capital.

The prime minister joined and addressed the event through a videoconference from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.

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Sheikh Hasina mentioned that they celebrate birthday of their children, grandchildren, and martyred brothers by taking with orphans.

“We don’t arrange any feast or birthday party on the occasion. We observe it by taking with the children like you. Whatever we could we send to the orphanages … we send food there (on the occasion),” she said.

She went on saying,”We realise that there is no benefit to organise (birthday) party. It’ll be the biggest work, if we could put something in the mouth of the orphans. We’re working in this way.”

Pointing out that her mother used to do same work, the prime minister said her mother used to send food and provide assistance to the orphanages on the occasion of the birthday of their all family members.

Social welfare minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed addressed the function from the social welfare department, while state minister of the ministry Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru was present.

Secretary of the ministry Mohammad Zainul Bari presided over the function while two children of government Shishu Paribar Samia Akter and Bijoy Islam also spoke.

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PM’s principal secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, prime minister’s office (PMO) secretary Tofazzel Hossain Mian and press secretary Ihsanul Karim, among others, were present at Ganabhaban.

The prime minister advised the orphans to study attentively and stand on their own feet through it.

“It’ll have to keep in mind that father and mother don’t exist forever. Then you’ve to stand on your own feet and wherever they (parents) are, they’ll certainly pray for you,” she said.

Wishing the beautiful and successful life of all children, Sheikh Hasina also asked them to work with honesty, sincerity and integrity for the welfare of the country and said there are many meritorious (students) among them.

“There are many talents among you who could work for the betterment of the country and the people and (I hope) you’ll continue to work in this way,” she said.

Noting that honesty is a big strength, the PM said, “If you groom yourselves for the country, then you can assist others, stand beside them and build a beautiful future for them as well.”

The prime minister said her government is working by paying attention that all people of the country remain safe and live beautifully.

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“We always give attention so that righteousness is created and every person holds his/her rights,” she said.

Elaborating her government’s steps for the welfare of the disadvantageous people and make their life meaningful, Sheikh Hasina said, “We’re trying our best to stand beside the helpless, orphans and elderly, disabled and autistic people and assist them so they don’t think themselves as helpless.”

The prime minister recalled that after independence, the Father of the Nation took many steps for social welfare.

“Bangabandhu mentioned the rights of the children in constitution and also enacted the Child Right Law,” she said.

“Following his footprint, our government has taken many initiatives for the orphans and those who lost their near and dear ones so that they grow up as good human beings smoothly,” Sheikh Hasina added.

The PM said her government is providing an allowance of Tk 2,000 each to 100,000 children under a programme.

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“We’re also giving various allowances to them, while adequate amount of money is being given to the Shishu Paribar so that it’s run smoothly and the orphans can lead a decent life,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has constructed ‘Sonamoni Nibash’ and ‘Shanti Nibash’ for the orphans as well as widows, women abandoned by husbands and elderly people.

“We want to expand the Shanti Nibash project so that the orphans get feelings of affection and love that exist in a family,” she said.

The prime minister said her government has made arrangements for technical and vocational education for the orphans so that they can build themselves as a suitable worker in their workplace.

“Our aim is that every child can stand their own feet and their future is beautiful and bright and we’re taking steps to attain the goal,” she said.

The prime minister also said Bangabandhu liberated the country for changing the fate of the people. “We’ll do our best as much as possible so that Bangabandhu’s soul rest in peace and his blood doesn’t go in vain,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said, “Those who killed Bangabandhu are hated and we tried them by annulling the infamous indemnity ordinance and the Almighty Allah has given us that strength and we express gratitude to Allah for them.”

The prime minister also expressed gratitude to the people who elected Awami League by casting votes. ‘I also express gratitude to my party and its associate organisations that provided strength by staying beside me,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina urged all to pray to Almighty Allah so that the people get rid of the coronavirus and the country can advance again beautifully.

She thanked the children of the Shishu Paribar and Shishu Nibash and others concerned who were involved in completion of the recitation from the holy Quran for 50,000 times on the occasion of Mujib Borsho as well as the organisers for arranging the doa and milad mahfil marking Bangabandhu’s 45th martyrdom anniversary.