Bangladesh: An example of how to use "Digital Systems' to fight Coronavirus


Published on May 19, 2022
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By the time, Bangladesh detected the first case of coronavirus on March 8, 2020, the country has become an enlightened digital state. As electricity and the internet have reached remote villages, the government ensured all necessary services for the ordinary people maintaining social distances during the pandemic. Before the 2008 general elections, as you know, Awami League President and then Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina pledged in her election manifesto: Bangladesh will be turned into a digital state and people's lives will be changed by eliminating hunger and poverty by 2021.

So, people from of walks of life responded to the call of Bangabandhu’s daughter not only to get rid of the anarchy and misrule of BNP-Jamaat but also to keep pace with the modern world. As a result, the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, won a landslide victory in the ninth parliamentary elections on December 29, 2008. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh, always used to give utmost importance to fulfilling the aspirations of the people. Following the footsteps of her father, Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has embarked on extensive initiatives to spread out information and technology to change the life of people. As a result, the country turned into a digital state much before the promised schedule and we got the full benefits of it during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today 100% of the country’s population has come under electricity coverage. Also, electricity and the internet have reached remote villages, islands and char areas. So, it has been possible to communicate all over the world through a mobile phone from any part of the country. The new generation is seeing a new Bangladesh thanks to the sincerity and tireless efforts of the government towards the people.

Millions of people died in developed countries in Europe and the USA during the coronavirus pandemic. On the contrary, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is very little in a densely populated country like Bangladesh. And the only reason for this is awareness programmes for ordinary people through the internet on a daily basis. Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given regular instructions on hygiene through television with utmost sincerity. Seeing the regular campaign by the Head of the state herself on health issues, people began to realize the significance of the pandemic and became aware of the situation. As a result, the virus could not spread to the villages.

During the entire pandemic, the government has even provided direct financial assistance to low-income people who lost their jobs. Under the instructions of the Hon'ble Prime Minister, necessary food, medicine and hygiene equipment were distributed to the helpless and poor people all over the country. Anyone who called 333 and 999 along with other helpline numbers got necessary help and services from the government. The government continued building houses with land for about nine lakh landless and homeless people even during such a worst time of the pandemic. These were handed over on time on a regular basis too.

However, the BNP-Jamaat men continued hatching conspiracies even during the pandemic period. They did not come with any help from the mass people, rather wanted to spread rumours through extremists to cause for mass deaths of millions of people. And their only purpose was to grab power by spreading panic while people were busy saving their lives from the deadly coronavirus. But the government ensured the safety of the people by tackling these rumours through the internet and providing accurate information to the ordinary people of the country. The country could not tackle such a situation a decade ago, but now it has been possible by utilizing the benefits of Digital Bangladesh, outlined and introduced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through her relentless efforts. Even during the Covid period, people from all walks of life made the best use of the internet to avoid social gatherings. Entrepreneurs and small businessmen from different parts of the country have engaged in e-commerce and come out successful.

Moreover, the progress of Bangladesh did not stop for a moment when the world was facing a recession due to the coronavirus pandemic. The country has appeared as a middle-income nation in the world amid the challenge of the pandemic. Broadband facilities have reached every union and created new jobs. People are now earning money at home through e-commerce and freelancing and digital money transactions. The agricultural sector has also been brought under the digitized system. The farmers are being provided with information and technology knowledge, fertilizers and improved varieties of seeds. They can open a bank account for Tk 10 only and get the loan without a grantor and with low interest. Salt-tolerant rice strains have been developed for the coastal region through research. All these helped Bangladesh be among the top five countries producing the highest amount of rice, vegetables and fish.

Under the direction of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, an e-governance system has been introduced in the country to speed up administrative work and prevent irregularities and corruption. The government is facilitating training on information technology and small-cottage industries for the country's womenfolk who consists of half of the total working population. The government has also set up digital centres, digital labs and IT parks across the country to make the new generation prepared for the IT-based developed world. It is the far-sighted plan of the Prime Minister that rose the country to a middle-income nation, calling the days of hunger-poverty-violence a day in just one era.

The international community, including the United Nations, is applauding today's Bangladesh as a role model for the world for its continued development activities tackling all disasters and pandemics without major impact. If this trend continues, it will be a just matter of time to register the name of our country in the list of the developed nation by 2041.

Like other politicians, the daughter of Bangabandhu does not play with the promises to the people, rather she keeps her every single word. Like her father, Hon'ble Minister Sheikh Hasina is working tirelessly to love the people of Bangladesh. That is why she has been able to develop both the infrastructure of the country and the life of people in such a short span of time. Please, remember the situation in the past decade, and consider the differences from that in today's Bangladesh. The example set by the Hon'ble Prime Minister to change the day is visible to you as everything has happened before your eyes.

And finally, all this has been successful only because of the cooperation from the mass people. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has become the symbol of people’s confidence by implementing her promises towards them since the formation of her cabinet. Therefore, Awami League was able to form the government for the third time in a row. Now, people from all walks of life have joined with the Hon'ble Prime Minister in the journey towards the developed world. The people of the country firmly believe that Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina will make Bangladesh a prosperous and modern state for our future generations. Bangladesh must be developed as the country is moving forward development along with the mass people. Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu!