He hoped that the children of Bangladesh would come forward in this competition, that they would reflect their own life experiences. Children will talk about climate change, be active about it, discuss it with their friends and question the global leaders.
Save the Children in Bangladesh and Mediastar Ltd (Prothom Alo) have signed an MoU to work together for children’s rights and improving their quality of life. This competition was part of that initiative, said Prothom Alo’s associate editor and editor of Kishor Alo, Anisul Hoque. He said, Bangladesh is suffering from the effects of climate change along with many other countries. The effects are being felt in Europe too now. Activism is essential to protect the climate. That is why this competition has been arranged. We must be aware and raise the issue of climate change.
Addressing the children, he said, “Draw whatever comes to your mind, create a picture.” He said that the prizes or winning was not the important thing. Children will think and make others think. They must represent Bangladesh.
Humanitarian director of Save the Children Bangladesh, Mostak Hossain, said this competition will reflect what the children want to say about climate change. This is a new idea. Children will express themselves. This may eventually have an impact on policymaking. The children will be inspired too.”
Children feel things that adults fail to comprehend, said Prothom Alo feature editor Shumana Sharmin. She said, the young ones can express and understand things much better than adults. And if children start thinking about the bigger issues from now, that will be good for the future.
Shumana Sharmin said the theme of the competition was in keeping with the times. Climate change was not a matter just for adults. She said, this competition will also keep the children away from mobile phones and games for some time, and give them a chance to look at nature, to think about it. It will be a relief for the parents too.
Save the Children Asia’s regional advocacy and campaign senior manager Taskin Rahman said, children are victims of climate change too. And due to the coronavirus pandemic they are not being able to go to school or meet their friends.
About the competition, he said it was being held in nine countries. The art work selected from the competition will be displayed in Italy where the world leaders will be able to look into the thoughts and ideas of the children.
Representing the children, photographer Safa Jarin Sukohnnya said participating in this competition will broaden the space for thinking. Another child artist Mohaimin Sultana said the competition would allow them to highlight the problems of climate change and what can be done about it.
The event was moderated by Prothom Alo assistant editor Firoz Choudhury.