Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged youths to keep them completely detached from drug, militancy and terrorism and use their talents and inbuilt power for brightening their own lives and prospering their families and nation.
"We dream about development of our nation as we have a youth force which is one third of country's total population which many countries in the world don't have," she said inaugurating National Youth Day today at Osmani Memorial Auditorium here today.
The prime minister said under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman youths had liberated the country and expected them to bring economic prosperity for the nation as well.
"We don't want our youth force to go ashtray and become a pain for their parents. They have to refrain from drug, terrorism, militancy as it cannot take a youth to a healthy path to flourish their lives or bring anything better for their families or nation," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Islam is a religion which always preaches peace and "so youths should not be misguided and commit homicide in the name of the holy religion".
She reminded the youths that Islam also never allowed a person to give final judgment "as only the almighty can do this".
"Those who kill people by creating religious fanaticism will definitely go to hell," she said.
The Prime Minister urged the youths to take optimum opportunities offered by the government for creating employment for their own and other youths while she also referred them to the opportunities of training, credit facilities and consultative services.
State Minister for Youth and sports Biren Sikder, Deputy Minister for Arif Khan Joy and chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Youth and Sports Zahid Hassan Russel attended the function as special guests.
Secretary of the Ministry of Youth Qazi Akhter Uddin, youth organizer Amiya Plabon Chakraborty, self-employer Sultana Popy also spoke on the occasion while director General of Department of Youths Anwarul Karim gave the welcome address.
National Youth Day is being observed across the country with the theme- "Atma Karmi Jubo Shakti, Teksoi Unnayaner Mulbhitti" (self-employed youth force, foundation of the sustainable development).
The Prime Minister distributed National Youth Award among 19 youths in recognition to their able leadership in creating self employment, job opportunities for youths and organizing youth folks.
Congratulating the recipients of the youth award the Prime minister said their performance showed that a youth having willpower and determination can bring change and arrange job for his own and many others.
"I firmly believe that our youths can do anything impossible if they get opportunity to flourish their creativity and they have proved it many times including in the War of Liberation and in the movement for establishing the democracy," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said there is no alternative to massive engagement of the youth force in the development activities to take forward the country towards prosperity as "they are the soul of the nation and driving force for development".
Recalling a speech of Bangabandhu delivered in the national council of Bangladesh Chhatra League on August 19, 1972, the Prime Minister said the Father of the Nation had given emphasis on vocational training asking the youths to be laborious for survival with dignity.
"Do hard labour, otherwise you cannot survive. There is no benefit of earning simple degrees or master degrees. I want real youth to be created in the agricultural and engineering school and colleges.
You can survive if you have orientation in these fields," Sheikh Hasina recalled Bangabandhu as saying in that address.
She said her government gave highest priority to development of youths and continued to take various programmes for them according to the directives of the Father of the Nation.
"The government has been striving to create equal opportunities in every district to give training to the youths," she said.
The Prime Minister said the government wants to turn the large young force into human resources by providing them training, credit facilities and counseling under the arrangement of different ministries with particular emphasis on vocational training in line with the new education policy.
Sheikh Hasina said number of seats in the polytechnic institutions was around 25,000 in 2009 which while the figure now stood at 1,25,000 in 2016.
She said until 2016 these institutes provided the youths training to 48,47,662 youths on various vocational trade and skill development and of them 20,21,103 youths could arrange their own jobs and 8,53,789 youths were given loan of around Taka 1,459 crore for self employment.
Pointing out the national service programme introduced by her government for educated youths the Prime Minister said so far 1,11,116 youths were given training under the programme with 40 percent of them being women. "Out of the number 1,08,782 youths have got jobs," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government wants to help the youths to stand on their own feet instead of wandering here and there for a job. "In view of this the government is not only giving them training but also collateral free loan from Karmasangsthan Bank."
Youths also can go abroad with job after taking training on various trades and language from the Overseas Employment Ministry and loan from the Prabasi Kalyan Bank, she said adding that the government would arrange such training programme in every upazila gradually.
She urged the youths to utilize the facilities created by the government for them if the intend to go abroad with job and necessary training. The prime minister, however, advised the youths not to be allured by any vested quarter and risking their lives for going abroad.
She announced that the daily allowances for trainees would be increased to Taka 100 from 40.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)