Hiren Pandit: By achieving the 2030 agenda, our beloved motherland Bangladesh is moving forward with the commitment to implement sustainable development goals Leave No One Behind (LNOB). After successfully implementing the pledge to build Digital Bangladesh, Bangladesh is now moving forward with new programs. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly toward the implementation of SDGs by 2030 and building a Smart Bangladesh by 2041. A cost-effective, sustainable, intelligent, knowledge-based, innovative Smart Bangladesh will be built on the four main foundations of Smart Citizens, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society.
Millions of people in this country have to live in misery and poverty. Bangabandhu stood up against the ruling exploiters to ease the suffering of the people of this neglected and long-cherished dream country. He emerged as an uncompromising, fearless, courageous and compassionate leader to the people of this country.
The common people of Bengal accepted him as a leader and started the difficult path of agitation and struggle. It was then that Bangabandhu told the people of this country about the immense potential of Bengal. There are endless possibilities hidden here. If you want, it is possible to grow gold here. If the diligent and enterprising people of Bengal try, it is possible to build a golden country by making proper use of talent and labor. Responding to the call of Bangabandhu, the people of Bengal made this country independent through a long struggle and liberation war.
Many hardworking and struggling people in this country are fighting against the adversary, living by dreaming of a new life. Bangabandhu exploited the immense potential of building a Golden Bangla in newly independent Bangladesh. He gradually arranged all the plans to build the Golden Bangla of his dream. Agriculture, industry, trade, modern technology, new plans and ideas were in his mind in the wonderful combination of everything. The implementation of which also started in independent Bangladesh. After Bangabandhu’s brutal assassination, development stalled again.
Since independence in 1971, the economy of Bangladesh has made significant progress. At that time, many people expressed doubts about the economic survival of Bangladesh. But there is no economic or social indicator of the country that has not progressed, even the biggest critics are now praising Bangladesh. Economists say that Bangladesh’s achievements in 52 years are incredible. Bangladesh has done what the world could not imagine. The garment industry of Bangladesh is one of the largest industries in the world.
Bangladesh has started to turn around again under the competent, efficient and prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Sheikh Hasina’s dynamic, energetic and strong leadership from 1996 to 2001 and from 2009 to now has radically transformed Bangladesh. The country has set a shining example of sustainable development. The economy of Bangladesh has gone from a weak, underdeveloped, shaky state to a strong one. Every day new aspects of the modern transformation of conventional infrastructure are unfolding.
A renaissance has taken place in previously neglected sectors or businesses. The scenario of immense possibilities is motivating and exciting for the people of this country. Those potential sectors which have been nurtured for a long time due to neglect are gradually waking up. Sheikh Hasina, the pioneer of development and the leader of developed Bangladesh, is always trying to advance those possibilities by providing necessary cooperation and patronage.
From time-to-time instructions have been given to the concerned government departments and ministries, as a result of which new sectors of potential are being developed. Potential new sectors playing a very strong role in achieving prosperity Bangladesh’s story and prospects are impressive. The country has achieved self-sufficiency in food production and has become a role model in disaster management. Bangladesh has empowered women and reduced infant mortality.
The story of Bangladesh is how the country beat all odds and self-financed billions of dollars to build a bridge over the mighty Padma River and inaugurated the bridge on June 25 last year. Metrorail launched in December 2022. Things are unbelievable to many. The story is about its growing portfolio of mega-structures and the launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 and the second one in the works. The story of Bangladesh is about the migration of millions of Bangladeshis who are increasing the country’s foreign exchange reserves by sending huge amounts of remittances.
Bangladesh’s evolution from a classic debt-dependent, fragile economy to a respectable growth rate and a confident future is no miracle. This evolution is possible because of Sheikh Hasina’s vision. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the country from a largely aid-dependent country to one that relied on its own resources. Singlehandedly, she took Bangladesh into the digital age, into the age of nuclear power, and into the age of space technology. Under her steady and pragmatic leadership, the country has successfully tackled terrorism, extremism and tackled climate challenges. Bangladesh is considered a stable and prosperous young country in the world. It fulfills its international obligations, observes international treaties and respects the cultural rights of all people. Going forward with Bangabandhu’s firm commitment to building Sonar Bangla, our beloved motherland Bangladesh will become a developed Smart Bangladesh by 2041 by achieving the SDGs by 2030.
Digital Bangladesh is already working to improve and modernize the quality of life of the citizens and facilitate the citizens. Services, education, health, management, working methods, industry, trade and production, economy, social and cultural life in digital mode. As technology has become accessible to every citizen of the country, arrangements are being made to reach marginalized people as well. Technology has become a trusted medium in all civic services and livelihoods.
In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the IT sector of Bangladesh has focused on various infrastructural developments including the development of skilled human resources. Bangladesh is trying to be among the top 50 countries in the United Nations e-Governance Development Index for the next five years. One Country One Rate program brings internet access to people at affordable cost.
With the help of information technology, young people are building small and large IT firms, e-commerce sites, app-based services and other enterprises. Besides, some major achievements including Bangladesh’s first satellite in space have taken Bangladesh to a unique height in the world. Bangladesh’s position in the world economy is now 35th. Bangladesh is now the fifth fastest-growing country in the world. The once ‘bottomless basket’ is set to become the world’s 25th-largest economy by 2036. But soon after independence, there were concerns about the economic future of Bangladesh. This concern was mainly spread by the Pakistan government which was defeated in the war of 1971.
Bangabandhu Mujibur Rahman dreamed of building a golden Bengal. He gradually arranged all the plans to build the dream of Sonar Bengal. He had new plans and thoughts in his mind to make a wonderful combination of agriculture, industry, trade, and modern technology. The implementation of this started in independent Bangladesh. Almost all of these started to pay off with great potential.
In the last 15 years, the country has reached a new height of socio-economic development. These achievements have been possible because the Awami League government has been running the government consistently. Today, Bangladesh has joined the ranks of developing countries. The country is now self-sufficient in food grain production. This year, 4 crore 72 lakh metric tons of grains including 4 crore 4 lakh metric tons of rice have been produced. The production of various agricultural products including fish, meat, eggs, milk, vegetables, and fruits has increased tremendously. The poverty rate has come down from 40 percent to 20 percent. Per capita income increased from $543 to $2,765. The literacy rate has increased from 45 percent to 75.2 percent. Maternal and infant mortality rates have decreased.
Padma Bridge was inaugurated in June last year after overcoming many hurdles. This bridge directly connects 21 districts of the southern region with the capital Dhaka and other parts of the country by road. The largest pigeon bridge in the southern region was inaugurated last October. In November last year, 100 bridges in 25 districts of the country were opened for traffic. Many highways in the country have been upgraded to four or more lanes. Others are in progress. The inauguration of the tunnel under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram in 2024, the Metrorail has been launched in Dhaka and a section of the Airport-Qutubkhali Expressway will be opened for traffic very soon.
The nuclear power plant has been constructed and satellite Bangabandhu-1 has been launched now work is underway for satellite Bangabandhu-2. Delta Plan-2100 has been formulated to protect our generations from the impacts of climate change and build a better future. The whole world is passing through an unstable economic situation today. At the end of 2019, the world was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
In these two years 2020 and 2021, a deep wound was created in the world economy. Many countries’ economies collapsed. Our economy also suffers. Just as our economy was recovering from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war began. This war is not just a war of arms; added to this is a terrible economic war. The effects of economic warfare are not confined to a single country but spread worldwide. The post-Russia-Ukraine war economic embargo-reciprocal embargo has crippled the global economy. As the loss of life due to coronavirus has been reduced by taking timely measures, all efforts have been made to keep the economy running.
The main goal of this government is to work for the welfare of the people. No one wants people to suffer or suffer. Due to economic reasons, the prices of daily necessities increased. It is starting to become more normal now. Inflation is also coming down. As soon as the price of any commodity including fuel oil falls in the world market, the government will adjust it.
The Prime Minister addressed the countrymen by urging them to increase food production, we need to increase agricultural production. Our soil is fertile. Why do we need to import agricultural products from outside where trees grow and bear fruit when seeds are planted in the ground? We have to utilize every inch of land and not leave it fallow. A crisis will come. Don’t be afraid of crisis. With everyone’s help, Bangladesh has been able to successfully deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Bangladesh will also successfully deal with the current global recession. After an incredible victory in the 11th National Parliament elections, she came to power for the third time in a row and formed a new government with a bunch of new faces. 12th National Parliament Election of 2024. Before the elections, the people of the country must sit down to compare their achievements. What did Bangladesh get in Sheikh Hasina’s 15-year leadership?
Bangladesh has also strengthened its position in space. The launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 has added a new dimension to our science and technology. The inauguration of Metrorail and Padma Bridge are both development milestones. Awami under the leadership of the Prime Minister has played a major role in the overall development of various sectors such as successfully dealing with the Covid pandemic, education, communication infrastructure, gas, electricity, women’s education, 100% increase in salary of employees, health care, achieving self-sufficiency in food production, under social programs, disadvantaged communities, helpless, elderly, widows, persons with disabilities, persecuted women by husband or family member, autism, providing support to poor freedom fighters, shelter projects, one house one farm project, women empowerment. The role of electricity in the development of a country is undeniable. Increasing power generation to 25,000 megawatts and almost 100 percent electrification, bringing record amount of remittances to the country, increasing foreign exchange reserves to a record amount, reducing the poverty rate, raising the average life expectancy to about 73 years, formulating a national education policy, raising the literacy rate to 75.6 percent, delivering free new books to students on the first day of the year, mainstreaming and recognizing Madrasa education, establishing medical universities and medical facilities.
The Awami League government under the leadership of the successful statesman Sheikh Hasina has contributed to numerous achievements in Bangladesh, including modernization, the establishment of universities in every district, women’s policy formulation and women’s empowerment, digital Bangladesh construction and revolution in the ICT sector, placing Bangladesh at the top of South Asia and fifth in the world due to outstanding success in fighting the corona epidemic, including the country in the ranks of the developing world.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina mentioned, ‘We have attained victory in the great liberation war. We are a winning nation. As a victorious nation, we can stand tall in the court of the world. We will not bow down to anyone; we will not walk by bowing down to anyone. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu repeatedly said that by using that wealth, we will be proud of our own glory in the World Assembly, we will build ourselves and we will walk with our heads high to the whole world. This will be the most important step for the people of this country.
An unprecedented success has also been seen in the production of food grains in Bangladesh. The country is able to produce almost four times more food grains than at the time of independence. Not only that, the foreign exchange reserves have also increased a lot. This is the proof-Bangladesh was never a begging bag. The biggest achievement of Bangladesh in the last 52 years, which was called the alms jar, is the transition from a less developed country to a developing country. This is how our beloved motherland Bangladesh built by Bangabandhu will move forward.
The writer is a, columnist and researcher