Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday listened to and spoke with young citizens, sharing thoughts and ideas on the future course of Bangladesh. Interacting with a diverse group of youths, the prime minister listened to their dreams, hopes and aspirations and shares her views with them at “Let’s Talk” program on Friday. This is the first ever such event in the political history of Bangladesh where the prime minister directly spoke to the youth and asked the participants to share their ideas and thoughts on the development of their country.
Awami League’s research wing, the Centre for Research and Information (CRI), organized the interaction at Ganabhaban, the prime minister’s official residence. Demonstrating a strong sense of enthusiasm and vigour, around 150 young people selected from across Bangladesh, including professionals, service holders, entrepreneurs, students, sports and cultural personalities, and representatives of various youth groups and associations took part in the discussion. The participants discussed at length the government’s policies and measures to take the country forward, including employment opportunities, quality of education, women empowerment, entrepreneurship and research, fighting menaces of corruption and violent extremism, and ensuring transparency in governance.
Taking up this opportunity, the participants also inquired about the struggles Prime Minister Hasina had to endure throughout her life, including the tragic events of August 15, 1975, her days as an opposition leader, and her time in prison during the 1/11 era. Hasina recalled fond memories of her childhood and the lessons of her own youth to encourage the young minds of today. In a segment, titled: “What you have done if you were the prime minister?” the young participants articulated their priorities for the country, including equitable development of regions, education for rural youth, and welfare of persons with disability and so on.
Following the formal discussion, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina entertained the youth in the garden with refreshments and more informal chitchat. It was also an opportunity for the youngsters to take photos with her.“Let’s Talk” is a signature initiative of CRI which connect the youth with politics and policymaking. The platform provides an avenue for young people to constructively engage with Members of Parliament, ministers and other prominent politicians and debate topical issues which are of relevance to them.
Through the Let’s Talk events, CRI helps to facilitate opportunities for informal but in-depth political dialogue among future leaders of Bangladesh – the youth and the politicians. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son and ICT Affairs Adviser, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, took part in the program on several occasions. Several ministers and MPs had previously taken part in various editions of Let’s Talk, culminating in this special event with the prime minister.