During the two-terms of her government, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh lived up to her unswerving commitment to the cause of peace, democracy, development and human rights even though serious resource and constraints and recurrent natural calamity as well as widespread poverty. Along with poverty eradication, she focuses on the empowerment of women and successfully completes legislation to ensure adequate representation of women in the local government bodies, leading to the election of more than 14,000 women to these bodies in 1997. She takes major initiatives to stop violence against women and children, and also provides leadership in the field of education, especially for the education of girls as well as advocating it for global support. Her government greatly enhances budgetary allocation for primary education focusing on girls’ education.
To improve the quality of life of the people of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina particularly gives the high priority on human development, paying special attention to empowerment of the women, health care, family planning, nutrition, women’s rights and survival and development of children. At the UN and other forums, she holds a major voice in support of the cause of children and their rights.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a great try to pluck, all along her rule, defended human rights to the peak of light. Her active promotion and endeavour of the rights of women and children has drawn appreciation by both government and NGOs as well as international organizations. She promotes the right to development as having centrality in the human rights regime. She initiates the establishment of a National Human rights commission and the office of Ombudsperson as well as Bangladesh’s recent accession to six major human rights instruments including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina bears a keen interest which results in the signature by Bangladesh of the Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and ratification of the Landmines Treaty, being the first country in South Asia to do so. Her initiative results in the hosting of the first-ever conference of the Asian parliamentarians devoted to peace and cooperation in Dhaka which elects her as the first President of the Association of Asian Parliaments for peace established at the conference. Development and democracy are complementary to each other, and is an important and unique milestone of the country for sustainability of the Constitution and democratic process. Active participation, cooperation and consolidated efforts are essential for development to continue. Effective and integrated effort of the grand alliance government led by the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina results in the increase of national income and allocation of national budget even in the backdrop of world economic recession. The country also shows success in attaining Millenium Development Goals and moves to the status of lower middle income country from low income country. Besides, progress achieves in different sectors including agriculture, education and health. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a leader is also accorded by the world as Bangladesh has been recognized in different levels of international arena. The present government is confident to attain vision 2021 with the combination of this success and recognition. A brief account of the development activities and progresses achieved by the present alliance government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during effective and dynamic rule can be mentioned, for example – average economic growth rate in Bangladesh though many unexpected situations had to be arisen and the government needed to be faced. Besides per capita income has increased up to US Dollar 1,314, reserve has reached almost US Dollar 27 billion and foreign remittance stood at US Dollar 16 billion; grand success in garments sector, for Bangladesh has earned US Dollar 31.2 billion by exporting 729 items in 196 countries. Bangladesh is acting as the co-coordinator of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in World Trade Organization (WTO) and has managed to attain preferential benefits in service sectors from 11 developed and developing countries; implemented successfully in many projects, as In the last two years, 417 projects with a cost of Taka 4,29,804.462crore have been approved through 62 ECNEC meetings. Seventh Five Year Plan (2016-2020) has been approved accelerating the economic growth in view of empowering every citizen along with poverty alleviation. The size of ADP for 2015-16 has been set at Taka 1,00,996.92crore; ceased in dropping out learners from schools, as mentioned The net rate of primary school enrollment reached to 97.3 percent in 2014. The drop-out rate has reduced to 20.9 percent. A total of 11 crore 59 lackh 97 thousand and 97 copies of text books have been distributed among 2.23 crore students in 2015 academic year. With a view to building ‘Digital Bangladesh, as announced by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, internet facilities have been introduced in field level offices related to primary education including 55 Primary Training Institutes (PTI) having a computer lab. Laptop, multimedia, internet modem and sound systems have been supplied to 5 thousand and 430 primary schools. But questions have been raised regarding the quality of education and standard of the questions and institutions. An early recent the admission of the students at department of English, Dhaka University was shocking and surprised the whole nation and the standard of activities of all the boards had been brought to light; women empowerment in almost all the sectors. Under Rural Maternity Center (RMC) Program for the empowerment and economic emancipation of women 8,34,960 persons are getting benefits from 318 programs in 64 districts. 1,50,050 persons are getting benefit under rehabilitation program for the disabled and acid victims. ‘Asrayan’ is one of the eight innovative initiatives of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 61,874 persons are benefited under the loan project of Asrayan (Phase-1). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken special initiative to sanction allowance for the destitute women. Allowance recipient of widow and deserted women was 10.12 lakh in 2013-14 financial year; Integrated Rural Development Program, Rural Housing (modern housing) Scheme, Economic Empowerment of the Poorest (EEP), Extension Program for Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development, etc. are among the mentionable; Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) has developed 1,99,688 societ 8 ies and groups so far wider its poverty alleviation program.
Due to prudence, farsightedness and statesmanship of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, leader of the present alliance government, Bangladesh heads towards a middle income country, and its economy meets a sustainable progress confronting national and international challenges since 2009, and walks with a view to making the country to be a middle income country by the year 2021 if this democracy and economic development can be continued inspired by the spirit of Liberation War. But democracy is the pre condition for a developing country. The second term of Sheikh Hasina led-government comes to power with the acceptance of the constitution, but is dispopularized by a major portion of the high conscious individuals at home and abroad. However, the public expectation for improved governance weighs closely on Sheikh Hasina led government. In fact, she now needs to apply her election slogan din badler pala esche (change we need) more than ever before to make that critical difference that the whole nation expects from her led government.
Teacher & Writer
Hamid Rayhan is the editor at FREE THINK NOW, covering security, consumer technology, and anything else that seems interesting. Also, he writes fictions, poems and essays on culture, literary theories and philosophy.