Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday stressed the importance of bringing all the small ethnic groups of the country into the mainstream of society so that no one is left behind, Agencies report.
“We’ve taken initiatives to ensure their balanced development both socially and economically,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while distributing scholarships among meritorious students of small ethnic groups living in plain land at her office.
The scholarships were given under a special programme initiated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the development of minor ethnic communities living in plain land.
This year, some 350 students were given scholarships and 16 of them received cheques from the Prime Minister.
“My goal is to make sure no one is left behind, no person of an area in a region as neglected, my aim is to ensure socio-economic development of every community, we’re taking our all-out steps with the focus on the issue,” the Prime Minister told the function.
Describing education as people’s rights, Hasina said the government always attaches highest importance to education. “Our biggest aim is to improve the country’s education as no country can move ahead without education.”
She said her government wants to build the country as a poverty- and hunger-free one as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “We’ll have to build the country as educated one for making it poverty free.”
The Prime Minister also assured of providing all possible assistance of her government for socio-cultural, economic and educational development of the minor ethnic communities living in plain land.
After assuming office in 1996, the Prime Minister said, her government introduced a special assistance programme for minor ethnic people living outside the Chittagong Hill Tracts aimed at developing their socio-cultural, economic and educational status.
The Awami League government resumed the programme after taking office in 2009 under which meritorious students belonging to ethnic minority groups are given scholarships, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has given attention to improve the condition of the underprivileged people at the grassroots level, aiming to properly develop the country.
She urged the scholarship recipients to devote to studies to build themselves as worthy citizens and good professionals upholding their own culture, tradition and indigenousness.
Chaired by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Azad, the function was addressed, among others, by Kabir bin Anwar, Director General (admin) of Prime Minister Office, who is also in charge of implementing special programme, and Lima Toppo, a scholarship recipient.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid was present.