Terming youths the future of the nation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon the scouts to be prepared to shoulder the responsibility of developing the country.
"Get yourselves ready…I want to see that you replace seniors soon by learning how they are carrying out their duties," she told the inaugural ceremony of the two-day 24th Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
The prime minister asked the scouts to play an important role in graduating Bangladesh into a middle income country.
"Our aim is to turn Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021. We have been working to establish Bangladesh as the most peaceful nation in South Asia, and the scouts will have to serve an important role in this regard."
Mentioning her fondness for scouting, the prime minister said it helped young boys and girls grow up as self-reliant and with a spirit to serve the distressed humanity.
At present there are nearly 11.64 lakh scout members in the country, the prime minister said, and the number will be raised to 15 lakh by the next year.
Sheikh Hasina said her government was patronising scouting's expansion through three projects--Scouts Expansion at Primary Schools, Human Resource Development through Scouting and the 24th Asia-Pacific Scouts Conference.
Alongside modernisation of the Scouts Centre at Mouchak, the government has allocated land for another training centre in the northern region, she said.
She assured of extending all cooperation for the development and expansion of Bangladesh Scouts, Asia-Pacific Regional Scouts and World Scouts.
Earlier, Hasina released a postage stamp on the occasion of the 24th Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Conference.
A statement of Filipino Vice President and Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Scouts Jejomar C Binay was read out at the function.