PM urges the rich to supplement country’s development
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the affluent section of the society, including members of the Lions Club, to supplement government efforts for ensure overall development of the country.
She gave the call while addressing the 25th annual Multiple District Convention 2012 of Lions Club International at a city hotel on Saturday.
The Prime Minister said despite the sincerity and necessary initiatives, it is not possible for the government alone to solve all the problems being faced by the country because of resources constraint.
She hoped that the members of the Lions Club will stand beside the distressed humanity, saying the government will extend all out cooperation to the club in their public welfare endeavours.
The Prime Minister said that Lions Club International remained engaged for the welfare of the humanity through conducting various public welfare oriented programmes in some 206 countries of the world over the last 94 years.
She mentioned that Lions International is working sincerely across the globe to remove blindness by 2020.
As part of the programme, Lions of Bangladesh are playing important role in removing blindness of the marginal people and providing health care services to the people through their own hospitals, she said.
Besides, Hasina said the Lions Club is making immense contribution to providing health care services to the children, running blood bank, spreading education, alleviating poverty, rehabilitating the disabled, giving stipends to students, and combating the adverse impacts of global climate change.
She said father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave top priority to upholding basic rights of the people and improving their living standard, and incorporated these in article 26 of the Constitution.
Listing various measures of her government to reach health care services to the doorsteps of the people, the Prime Minister said 11,000 community clinics are now in operation across the country for this purpose.
She said as part of the digitization of health care services, internet connections and web cameras have been provided to the hospitals up to upazila level to offer specialised health care services to the people. Besides, 24-hour treatment facilities through cell phones are also available.
The Lions Club could use the infrastructure of the community clinics, she added.
Hasina said following various steps, including increase of the duration of maternity leave, infant and maternal mortality rate has dropped significantly in the country. In recognition of this, Bangladesh received UN MDG-4 award and South South award for using information technology in mother and child healthcare.
Besides, she said that under the social safety net programmes, the government is providing various allowances, including allowances for the distressed widows, elderly people, women abandoned by their husbands, freedom fighters, disabled people and pregnant women.
The Prime Minister said to free the country from the curse of illiteracy by 2014, the government is providing free textbooks and stipends and formed an Education Assistance Trust Fund with Tk 1000 crore as seed money to help the poor and meritorious students to continue their studies up to the degree level.
She said priority has been given to information and communication technology education. The process is also underway to establish multimedia class rooms in 20,500 educational institutions while computer labs were setup in 1800 institutions.
“Bangladesh is now considered as a model by the international community for its successes in poverty alleviation and empowerment of women.”
Hasina said food security has been ensured through the sale of food grains under fair price cards and OMS, and free distribution of rice to the distressed.
Due to various pragmatic programmes of the government, poverty has decreased by ten percent in the last three years, she said.
Council chairperson Lion Rezaul Hoque also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, the Prime Minister was awarded with the Lions Global Medal in Humanitarian Service. She also distributed crests among 17 members of the Lions Club for their outstanding contribution in various fields.