Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked the youths to engage in producing and processing food to tackle impending global famine and food crisis forecast by international organisations due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.
"I call upon the youth folk to concentrate on producing more food by cultivating each inch of our land and processing those so that we can save Bangladesh from the looming global famine and food crisis," she said.
She said this while distributing the National Youth Award among 21 winners in various categories for their outstanding contribution to youth development and inaugurating the National Youth Day-2022 being observed across the country in a befitting manner.
The prime minister joined virtually the programme organised by the Youth and Sports Ministry at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium, from her official Ganabhaban residence in the city.
She said they have to ensure maximum use of the fertile land and manpower they have to ward off the global crisis.
"The entire world has been suffering from economic meltdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation is worsening further due to the Russia-Ukraine war for which many developed countries are facing economic crisis," she said.
The youths can work in their own localities in growing more food and processing those to effectively fight the situation, she added.
"We can meet our growing local demand alongside helping other countries affected by possible famine through growing more food and ensuring their processing," she said.
Describing the youths as the main driving force for Bangladesh's development, she said, "You (youths) have to make your country a developed and prosperous one by 2041 utilizing your own strength and merit."
The prime minister said her government is working tirelessly to build the youths with the up-to-date knowledge of science and technology to make them worthy to compete with the ever-changing world and capable for the fourth industrial revolution.
She praised the initiative of the Youth and Sports Ministry to give firm based training to 64,000 youths both male and female in 64 districts and provide them with loans to set up biogas plants.
"I consider the initiative is timely one and very important considering the present global state while the energy price is increasing globally due to the war. We can save our country, if we can establish biogas plants and solar energy," she added.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Md Zahid Ahsan Russel, its Secretary Mesbah Uddin and Director General of the Department of Youth Development Md Azharul Islam Khan, spoke at the function.
On behalf of the prime minister, the state minister distributed the awards among the winners of the National Youth Award.
A video documentary on the National Day and its theme song was also played at the function.
The National Youth Day is observed every year on November 1. This year's theme of the day is "Proshikhito Jubok Unnat Desh: Bangabandhur Bangladesh (Trained youths developed country, Bangabandhu's Bangladesh)”.
Sheikh Hasina reiterated her call to the youth folk to be entrepreneurs instead of running after jobs being inspired by the award recipients who contributed immensely to the socio-economic advancement of the country.
"We don't consider any work as worthless. Anyone can stand on his own feet through any work. You (youth folk) have to be prepared to do any work for the sake of the country's development," she said.
Briefly describing various programmes taken by her government for the overall development of the youths, she said they have set priority to train the youths with appropriate education on science, technology and agriculture so they can generate employment.
She said they set up training centres at each upazilas to give training to the youths, adding that the government is preparing the database of the trained people across the country to make sure training for others who are yet to take training.
The premier said her government has established the Karmosangsthan Bank so the youths can take loan up to two lakhs without any guarantee after the training so that they can set up their own organisations.
She also appreciated the move of building 40,000 skilled drivers with proper training as their demand is growing day by day while the percentage of purchasing own car is increasing due to socio-economic advancement of the country.
The prime minister said they have also established the Probashi Kallayan Bank from where one can take loans without any guarantee to go abroad to look for a job.
She said her government has opened banks, insurances, televisions, radios and other organisations to the private sector for generating employment for the youths.
They also set up community clinics and digital centres across the country, which has also created employment, she added.
The prime minister said her government is working to increase the dignity of the youths by making them efficient and engaging in nation building activities.
Referring to a remark of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that both possibility and problem are dependent on youths, she said the government is working to make the youths as worthy citizens to turn their possibilities into realities.
Bangabandhu had said the country needs sonar manush (worthy people) to turn it to a Golden Bangla free from hunger and poverty, Sheikh Hasina continued.
"Our youth folk can build the Sonar Bangla as a developed and prosperous one as the sonar manush," she added.