PM urges mothers to be best friends of children

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DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the parents, particularly mothers, to build up friendly relations with their children to prevent them from going astray or bending to militancy, terrorism and drug.

“Mother should be the best friend of a child so that he/she can say and share everything with her. Mothers should build up such relationship with their children which is very important to protect their children,” she said while addressing the national conference of Bangladesh Mohila Awami League in city’s KIB auditorium here.

“We have to remain careful to protect our children from evil forces. We have to take care of them to build up them as worthy citizens,” Sheikh Hasina said urging the women not to consider themselves as of lower status.

“Every human being has own capacity and ability to do something and everybody has to utilize the capacity for the nation,” she said adding that “particularly the political workers should work with an aim to serve the nation through their politics.”

Terming the present spate of militancy and terrorism as a new ‘symptom of social disturbance’, the Prime Minister said it’s very unfortunate to see that some women are getting involved with militancy.

“Women and mothers are of same class and Islam is a religion of peace. So, I don’t understand how women can be involved with terrorism and kill people in the name of religion,” Sheikh Hasina said.

Sheikh Hasina, also president of Bangladesh Awami League, attended the conference as the chief guest and General Secretary of the party Obaidul Kader was present as the special guest.

President of the organization Ashrafunesa Mosharraf presided over the function while Secretary of Awami League on women affairs Fazilatunesa Indira spoke, among others, on the occasion.

Acting general secretary of Mohila Awami League Pinu Khan presented the organizational report while convener of the conference preparatory committee Safia Khatun gave welcome address. Shirin Roksana, publicity secretary of the Mohila Awami League, conducted the function.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the womenfolk in general and leaders and workers of the Mohila Awami League in particular, to keep information about their kids, their friends and associates as well as whether they are going to educational institutions regularly for studies.

She said the government has united the people against militancy. In view of this, steps were taken to organize the guardians, teachers, Imam-ulema, professionals and political leaders to work together to protect their children.

Pointing out the steps taken by her government for development of women and empowerment of women in the society, the Prime Minister said Awami League is the only political organization which guaranteed the rights and dignity of women in its constitution.

“The Awami League government first broke the barrier to women’s promotion to higher posts of the administration, judiciary, defence and academics,” she said adding that welfare and development of women is the central of all activities of her government.

In her about one hour speech the Prime Minister highlighted her government’s stride to strengthen women’s participation in the administration at different levels including local government and parliament saying women are now playing a praiseworthy role at all levels of the administration and government.

In this regard, the Prime Minister narrated the torture and repression on women during the regime of BNP-Jammat alliance government from 2001 to 2006 and anti government movement in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

“BNP-Jamaat arsonists burnt alive about 300 people and injured more than 3,330 others through hurling petrol bombs and setting fire to public transports. The nature of their torture on people from 2001 to 2006 was the same as Pakistani rulers’ in 1971,” she said.

Recalling the role of womenfolk in the country’s War of Liberation, the Prime Minister said they have played a big role in giving shelter to the freedom fighters, sending their husbands and sons to the war and exchanging information of the fighters.

“At the directives of Bangabandhu every Bangalee made home a fortress, and women were in the fore to protect the fortress,” the Prime Minister said.

Expressing her high hope to make Bangladesh as a middle income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh reeled under extreme poverty for long time which for the first time fell down when Awami League came to power in 1996.

But the process remained stalled for seven years during the regimes of BNP and caretaker government, she said.

In 2009, the poverty rate was nearly 50 percent which came down to 22 percent in the last eight years of Awami League government, she said expressing her firm conviction that the poverty rate would come down further in the coming years.

The Prime Minister differed with recent observation of the Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on role of micro credit in reducing poverty, saying micro credit could not reduce poverty, instead it nurtured the poverty and protected the interest of the lenders.

“How 60 percent people of a country remain under poverty if micro credit would have any role in stamping out poverty,” she asked saying the micro credit cannot alleviate poverty as the lenders eat up its benefit and became richer.

The Prime Minister urged the leaders and workers of the Mohila Awami League to work together to strengthen the organization and visit door to door to campaign for Awami League highlighting the development works of the party before people.

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