The US secretary of state highlighted the significance of the activities carried out by these volunteers. He was full of praise for the manner in which these volunteers continued with their work during the Covid-19 pandemic and other times, despite the risks involved.

He said, these volunteers have put their own lives at risk to protect the lives of others. He said that their selfless contribution for the welfare of people during this alarming pandemic was unparalleled. Their work was a bright example of sacrifice. And sacrifice was the underlying spirit of Eid-ul-Azha, he pointed out.

Speaking at the event, Kamrunnahar Mousumi introduced the largest youth organisation of Bangladesh, Prothom Alo Bondhushava.

Many people have lost their jobs because of Covid-19. We connected with them though the 130 branches of Bondhushava all over the country and assisted them
Kamrunnahar Mousumi, General Secretary of Prothom Alo Bondhushava

She said that Bondhushava had created a large fund to assist the helpless people during this coronavirus pandemic. Under its initiative ‘Eid of Empathy’, Bondhushava provided 9,311 families with financial assistance by means of mobile banking. The total funds disbursed for the purpose was Tk 4,748,465 (Tk 47 lakh 48 thousand 465). The volunteers themselves sent out this money.

Mousumi went on to say, the innumerable members of Bondhushava had the same goal and vision – to proceed down the path of truth and devote themselves to the service of humankind. “Our enlightened friends are spreading light all over the country and beyond,” she said.

Mental health of adolescents and youth is a matter of global concern during these coronavirus times. Bondhushava is giving importance to the mental health of the young.

“We organise regular counseling sessions to help the youth with mental health issues,” Mousumi said, “where leading psychiatric experts offer their advice. We provide mental and social assistance to the youth in need. This will strengthen them psychologically.”

Many may be familiar with the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s PFA – Psychological First Aid. It has a 3L principle – look, listen and link.

“We work with these three principles in mind,” Mousumi explained. “Many people have lost their jobs because of Covid-19. We connected with them though the 130 branches of Bondhushava all over the country and assisted them.”

Bondhushava volunteers have also provided assistance to many persons who were too embarrassed to ask for help. Their confidentiality was respected when giving them assistance. Other than rice, the people were also provided with oil, lentils, potatoes, soap, sanitizer and other essentials.

Kamrunnahar Mousumi is a popular presenter of the country and an actor too.

She said, as a conscious persons with values, a responsible citizen and the general secretary of the country’s largest youth organisation, I stand by the people in times of natural and manmade calamities. Bondhushava has reached out to the youth during these coronavirus times through virtual counseling, workshops and seminars.

Kamrunnahar Mousumi went on to say, “Our initiatives are a result of our cumulative efforts. The spontaneous participation by volunteers across the country and the results are inspiring. This work will serve as a guiding light in the days ahead.”

The other volunteers at the event also spoke on their respective endeavours. The US secretary of state listened to the deliberations attentively. Also present at the event was the US undersecretary secretary of state Uzra Zeya.