The State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossain said it is not possible to build the country beautiful without volunteers and added those who work as volunteers are genuine social workers.
Currently, about 1.0 million volunteers are working in the country, he said, adding, “The youths struggled during the National Language Movement voluntarily and they liberated the country.”
The state minister said this as chief guest at a seminar marking the International Volunteer Day organised by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) held at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban at the University of Dhaka on Monday.
Acting Country Director of the VSO Khabirul Haque Kamal delivered the welcome speech with DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman in the chair, says a press release.
Country Representative of Malala Fund Mosharraf Tansen presented a keynote paper while Programme Director of British Council David Knox, Education Advisor of Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office Mohammad Golam Kibria, Programme Development Specialist of USAID Shaheen Bin Siraz and Executive Director of Sesame Bangladesh Mohammad Shah Alam addressed the inaugural session.
Mr Zakir Hossain said the government has undertaken many initiatives including the formation of the Voluntary Policy with the aim of developing the country.
“Many used to think of getting involved in different jobs after their graduation, but this perception has changed vastly and now, they tend to choose volunteer as a profession,” Zakir Hossain added.
He urged volunteers across the country to come forward to fight any disasters in the country, further seeking help from them to prevent early marriage in the country.
Prof Akhtaruzzaman also urged the young generation to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through participation in voluntary activities.
He urged the youth community to work for the betterment of human beings following the ideals of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and freedom fighters.
Khadimul Haque hoped the volunteers of the country will get more advantages so that they can work more and stressed the need for unity in work for the betterment of the country.
Several representatives from the government, donor agencies, NGOs, International NGOs, CSO, UN, Youth Organisations, volunteers and Civil Society participated in the event.
The event was divided into four sessions – ‘Volunteerism to Rebuild the Nation’, ‘Climate Change & Youth Actions’, ‘Gender-Based Violence (GBV) & Women Empowerment' and ‘Youth & Entrepreneurship’.
At the end of the function, 120 voluntary organizations from 64 districts were felicitated for their outstanding voluntary work.