Hiren Pandit: Bangladesh’s journey in the last five decades from a war-torn poor country to a fast-growing economy has been remarkable. Bangladesh is progressing in many ways. Which has been discussed in different countries of the world. During the Great Liberation War in 1971, the economy of Bangladesh was 9 billion dollars. In the last 5 decades, it has increased to 450 billion dollars. Average life expectancy increased from 47 years to 73 years. The education rate has also exceeded 75 percent and these achievements can be called incredible. Under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in various sectors including food production, disaster tolerance, bringing down poverty from 40 percent to 18 percent, health, education sector development, and women empowerment.
The task of taking Bangladesh forward was not easy. The progress of the country continues despite various setbacks. As a result, it is the duty of the concerned to take the issues that are coming forward as a motivation to take more steps and be proactive towards achieving the overall prosperity of the country. It should be taken into account that Bangladesh’s achievements in countering extremism as a liberal country are commendable. People have always sought to maintain support for democracy and the rule of law rather than authoritarian rule. On the other hand, Bangladesh is working on the basis of cooperation to ensure regional and international security, combat terrorism and prevent climate change.
On the other hand, sheltering Rohingyas, Bangladesh has sheltered more than 1 million Rohingyas facing genocide in Myanmar. Apart from this, the steps taken by Bangladesh in the leadership seat of the United Nations peacekeeping program to deal with the coronavirus pandemic are very promising. As a result, taking into account the overall situation, the necessary initiatives must be continued to move the country forward and achieve the SDGs in 2030 and build Smart Bangladesh in 2041 with more far-reaching development.
Sheikh Hasina 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. Sheikh Hasina is taking the country from a largely aid-dependent country to one that relies on its own resources. Singlehandedly, she took Bangladesh into the digital age, into the age of nuclear energy, and into the age of space technology. Under her steady and pragmatic leadership, the country has successfully tackled terrorism, extremism and climate challenges. Bangladesh is considered as a stable and prosperous 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 strong commitment to building a Golden Bengal, 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.
Many changes and many developments! The country has progressed in many aspects including infrastructure. To deny what is visible before the eyes is absolute foolishness. The Awami League government has made infrastructure development and civic services at the doorsteps of the people, made it easy and it must be accepted that there are strict instructions from the head of government. The quality of these areas cannot be believed without seeing the communication system and road infrastructure in rural and remote areas one cannot believe how easily the people of these areas have been able to accept the life and livelihood, and have become accustomed to it. Sheikh Hasina’s dream is to take the country forward in the spirit of the liberation war and to give the people of the country a taste of development. The main goal was to write the history of the liberation war, to place Bangabandhu’s existence in the history of the liberation war, and to place him in a proper place of dignity.
The promise of the great freedom struggle of Bangladesh was to fulfill the basic rights of the countrymen such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education. Sheikh Hasina is walking on the path of development, progress and prosperity by facing various domestic and foreign challenges. She is making relentless efforts to build a progressive, democratic and non-communal Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty. So far, more than 5 lakh 55 thousand 617 families received houses under the Shelter project. The government is working to successfully implement four foundations to build a smart Bangladesh. These are Smart Citizens, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society. Apart from this, the plan of how the delta will be in the year 2100 has been undertaken. All work in Smart Bangladesh will be done through technology. Where every citizen will be proficient in using technology. Smart Bangladesh of 2041 will be a cost-effective, sustainable, intellectual, knowledge-based and innovative Bangladesh. Smart healthcare, smart transportation, smart utilities, urban administration, public safety, agriculture, internet connectivity and disaster management will be ensured for the implementation of smart cities and smart villages.
The way Sheikh Hasina has been leading the country for more than 15 years as the Prime Minister and one of the reasons why Bangladesh has not fallen into any major economic crisis like other countries in the current global economic crisis is that she has been able to take the economic base of the country in a strong position during this time. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult to save the country of 17 crore people from disaster even during this crisis.
Equal participation of men and women, ensuring access to technology for all irrespective of rich and poor, and reducing distance in access to urban and rural services were all the main objectives and goals of Digital Bangladesh. Thanks to undertaking inclusive development and technology, now anyone can work freelancing even in the village. All this has been made possible by the progressive technological, inclusive development of People’s Leader Sheikh Hasina’s Digital Bangladesh.
In the last 15 and a half 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.
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. Pending the inauguration of the tunnel under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram, the Metrorail has been launched in Dhaka and a section of the Airport-Qutubkhali Expressway opened for traffic on 2nd September.
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 broke out and 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 halted 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.
Addressing the countrymen with the urge to increase food production, the Prime Minister mentioned that 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. Crisis will come. Don’t be afraid of crisis. With everyone’s help, Bangladesh has been able to successfully deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Bangladesh will also successfully deal with the current global recession. After an incredible victory in the 11th National Assembly elections, she came to power for the third time in a row and formed a new government with a bunch of new faces. The 12th National Assembly election is ahead. The people of the country will surely sit to compare their achievements and non-achievements. What did Bangladesh get in Sheikh Hasina’s 15-year rule? But beyond everything, our beloved motherland Bangladesh has risen to a new height. The new generation has to carry forward this achievement.
Sheikh Hasina has been working continuously with the aim of establishing Bengali nationalism in the spirit of the liberation war, fostering democratic culture, building a society free from exploitation and building a developed, prosperous, modern, progressive state system. Bangladesh is crossing 52 years of birth. Bangladesh is progressing in many ways and it goes without saying that a country prospers only through progress. If other countries of the world recognize and appreciate Bangladesh’s progress, it is very positive and inspiring.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist
and a researcher.