Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  

Help implement govt's programme
PM urges the youth

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday sought cooperation of all, particularly the youth, in successful implementation of the government's massive programme to turn the huge population into human resources through education and training.

"If the merit and skill of the youth can properly be utilised in production-oriented works, the country will surely achieve rapid progress," she said while she was inaugurating the National Youth Day 2004 at Osmani Memorial.

Recalling her announcement that youths are the development brigades, she said, "You are really the country's vital working force for development and production. We have offered you development-oriented education, training and programmes".

Listing her government's various programmes for the development of the youth, Khaleda said the programmes of motivation, training and self-employment of young men and women are under implementation by 310 training centres under Youth Development Department.

She said that more than seven lakh young men and women received training on various vocations in the last three years across the country and of them over four lakh youths have been able to be self-employed and they are now self-dependent.

Referring to the micro-credit project undertaken for the trained youths, she said nearly Tk 135 crore has been disbursed among the youth. She also mentioned that so far 5200 water bodies have been leased out to various registered youth cooperative societies to help them become self-dependent using local resources.

This year some Tk 2 crore was given to 1,600 youth organisations as grant.

Referring to various glorious contributions of youths, she regretted that there had been evil efforts on various occasions in the past to mislead the youth -- they were used with narrow political motives.

She said unemployment and frustration have made some of them (youths) reluctant about life. "So the government this time has formulated a complete national youth policy to guide them into the path of light as well as engage their creativity into national development.

Ministers, MPs, representatives from various youth organisations, NGOs attended the function, chaired by State Minister for Youth and Sports Fazlur Rahman.

The PM also distributed National Youth Day awards among 16 successful self-employed young men and women from various quotas, including divisional, metropolitan, tribal and delinquents.

They achieved success in various vocations like poultry, dairy, garments, nursery, fishery and handicraft.

Khaleda thanked the awardees and hoped that the other youths would be inspired and encouraged by their achievements.

Winners of National Youth Day awards pose with Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at the National Youth Day function at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city yesterday. PHOTO: PID