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First-ever ‘Smart Bangladesh Run 2024’ race held in Dhaka

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The first-ever ‘Smart Bangladesh Run 2024’ race competition was held in Dhaka amid a festive atmosphere.

It was organised by Aspire to Innovate-a2i and ICT Divison with the theme ‘Step into the Future: Run for Mission 2041’ to promote a healthy lifestyle for citizens, build a smart nation, and raise awareness and enthusiasm for the Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041 among the citizens.

The ceremony was graced by State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak as the chief guest, said a media release on Friday.

The race began at 6 am in front of Hatirjheel’s amphitheater and ended there after covering a distance of 7.5 km around the entire Hatirjheel area.

A total of 2041 amateur runners participated in the event in four categories: women, men, people over 50, and people with disabilities. The 7.5 km category had separate events for women, men, and runners over 50 years old.

On the other hand, the 1 km category was for runners with disabilities while the winners of the event were determined by a chip timing system.

After the race, lawmaker Zunaid Ahmed Palak and other guests handed over the awards to the winners.

Addressing the event, the state minister announced to organise this kind of race regularly in the future.

A total of 19 winners in four categories were awarded cash prizes, certificates and medals. Md Imran Hasan became the champion in the men’s category while Hamida Akhter Jeba clinched the champion title in the women’s category

Moreover, Md. Wahab Khan secured the first position in the over-50 category, Abu Rayhan, Shihab Biswas and Jannatul Naeem were champions respectively in three categories (wheel chair, visually impaired and hearing and speech impaired). All the runners were gifted race jerseys and medals.

State Minister Palak participated in the 7.5 km catagory to motivate the runners participating in the Smart Bangladesh Run event and took 68 minutes to end the race.

He expressed hope that this ‘Smart Bangladesh Run 2024’ will play a role in fulfilling the 2041 goals. “We are an invincible nation. We proved it in the language movement of 1952, we proved it in the great liberation war of 1971. Under the leadership of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu, we protected the dignity of the mother tongue, we achieved independent sovereign Bangladesh through the nine-month liberation war. To fulfill the vision of building a Smart Bangladesh by 2041, which has been given by our Honorable Prime Minister, we have to be prepared with a healthy, progressive and non-communal mindset.”

The state minister also said, “Smart Bangladesh will be for everyone. We envision a future country for all healthy, normal, especially abled, male and female, third gender. This Smart Bangladesh Run has been organized to encourage everyone. Just as the target was 75 minutes to cover 7.5 km today, similarly we have 17 years to achieve Smart Bangladesh target of People’s Leader Sheikh Hasina. Apart from contributing as an innovative, problem-solving citizen as a patriot from every place, we will make ourselves smart citizens. We will build a smart Bangladesh with healthy and merit-based Smart citizens.”

The platinum sponsor of the event is Mutual Trust Bank PLC (MTB) and the gold sponsors are SSL Wireless, Sublime Limited, Lead Academy, and Amiprobashi.

In addition, the venue and media partner is RTV; media partners are T-Sports, The Business Standard, and Dhaka Post; award partners are ekPay and Tour Group BD; food and beverage partners are Cornflakes, Meena Bazar, Digibox, Skill Finance, and Gold Kinen; electrolyte partner is SMC Plus; event partner is Run Bangladesh and safety partners are Civil Surgeon Office, Dhaka and Bloodman.

Besides, a2i’s Project Director (Joint Secretary) Md Mamunur Rashid Bhuiyan, Joint Project Director (Joint Secretary) Mollah Mizanur Rahman, Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury, Project Manager Mazedul Islam, head of Culture and Communications Purabi Matin, among others, distinguished persons, public representatives, citizens of various classes and occupations, including teachers-students, representatives of sports organisations, voluntary organisations, cultural workers were present.

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