COVID-19: This battle to be won if all hands are on the deck

“I have just watched the video of Young Bangla. Youths are on the frontline at this time of crisis as one might expect of them. The mission they set out deserves an ovation,” said the stalwart standing behind the wicket for Bangladesh Cricket Team, Mushfiqur Rahim.


The cricket star said youths delivered on their promise with utmost love and care. “If all hands are the deck, we will emerge strong out of this turmoil. Else, it will be tough to handle.”


His effusive words came out when he joined the online Let’s Talk episode on the role of youths in overcoming the Covid-19 crisis on Monday night, said the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) on Tuesday.


Sharing some personal insight, he said their lives are mostly spent on the playground but he has shut himself in the room for two months because safety must be placed on the top of the priority ladder.


“That’s why I’m in my home and there’s nowhere else I could be at this time of crisis. Never before did we receive the lash of the crisis of this scale. So, we must abide by the instructions spelled out by the government for our safety. Our law enforcement agencies and healthcare professionals are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety. At least to respect their dedication and efforts, we should follow government instructions.”


Chirkutt Band’s Sumi resonated with his words at the programme conducted by Nahim Razzaq, MP.


She said felicitations to the youths of this land who came forward with an undying flame of courage at the time of this epidemic.


“In a country where everyone has a role to play – big or small depending on the age and capability – I don’t think no crisis will be big enough to send us off the perch. Crisis and challenges are something accompanying us all along. The scale may be large at this stage. But, we can ride in this storm,” she said.


Sumi said, “As artistes, we have a great job to do – keeping people psychologically fit. That is why I am going to present you with ‘Aalor Gaan’ (The Song of Light). You can sing this song standing in your balcony or beside the window and send the file to us.”


Nabanita Chowdhury pointed out that domestic violence has been on the rise due to the lockdown.


She said, “There’s no exact statistics of violence against women in Bangladesh. Women don’t even know where to contact in the time of emergency or when someone being a victim. This violence shoves the lives of children in jeopardy as well.


She also said, “Youths are coming ahead. Now they also have to prove that they don’t step outside home unless it’s a must.”


Hailing this initiative of youths, MP Waseqa Ayesha Khan said, “I got in touch with quite a few young Bangla activists at different corners of the country. I have been in Chittagong since last March 26. Youths are working wholeheartedly there and elsewhere.”


Reflecting on this epidemic, she said no government of this world was equipped to sail through this crisis.


“As it came out of the blue, new decisions were taken as there was no scope to draw parallel from the past experience. It is not even going to be over anytime soon. Even the World Health Organization is in dark as to when this crisis will call it a day. No specialist could make any forecast either. In this situation, the prime minister announced 18 stimulus packages. All entrepreneurs fall under the purview of this,” she said.


As per the discussions so far, the youths working to this end may receive financial assistance when this crisis will be over.


Youths may receive Tk 500 crore as loans through Karmasangsthan Bank.


Many of the youths participating here have been endowed with government assistance.


Referring to current startups and entrepreneurship, JCI Bangladesh President Sarah Kamal said, “You never know when the situation will return to normalcy. Neither do we know about how that normal situation will look like after it becomes normal. That is why I can say that we have as much scope as a risk. We must work on every possibility.”


Jaago Foundation founder Korvi Rakshand said, “Starting from the language movement to all other historical turnarounds, youths have always been at the forefront in our country. I think there should be a national mapping of these youth organisations and coordination among them. This should be done under the supervision of the ministry dedicated to youths.”


Joy Bangla Youth Award Winner Fahima Khatun, Sadat Rahman of Narail Volunteers, Kamrun Nesa Mira of All for One Foundation, Mahidur Rahman of NIYSHAN in Naogan and Zafar Shafi of The Earth Foundation also shared their observations conducted by Nahim Razzaq, MP.


Source: United News of Bangladesh