Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre is a platform for the urban youth of Bangladesh where they can practice and sharpen their inner leadership skills. On the last week of December 2019, they organised a two-day long programme which included sessions from youth leaders, their experiences and challenges, cultural programme concerts and many more. Returning from the event, writes Riasat Raihan
BYLC Youth Carnival is an initiative taken by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre. It was a two-day event and it was held on December 27 and 28 at Government College of Physical Education in Dhaka.
BYLC governing board chairperson Akhter Matin Chaudhury inaugurated the opening ceremony on the first day. Addressing BYLC’s main and foremost objective, he told that youth should aware themselves and learn the principles of leadership by educating oneself with proper knowledge and training.
It was the first ever youth carnival arranged by BYLC with help of ministry of youth and sports and the NGO Affairs Bureau. The Carnival was celebrated as part of BYLC’s 10th anniversary which brought young people with well-known speakers and industry experts on one stage for two days interactive sessions. They involved in exhibitions and conversations on mainly youth and their development.
First day’s absolute session’s title was ‘Stories of Hope and Action’. The session was really interactive among the speakers and audiences. Some well-known and reputed speakers shared their thoughts during the session. Some of the speakers who were present on the first day of the event were Wedding Diary's CEO Prito Reza, Youth Opportunities co-founder Osama Bin Noor, BD Assistant's co-founder and CMO Umma Kulsum Popi, YY Ventures Limited and YY Goshthi founder and managing Director Shazeeb M Khairul Islam.
Youth Opportunities co-founder Osama Bin Noor shared his ambitions when he was a student. He said that the chances and opportunities were there but he could not take it because of the shortage of information. That is why for future generations, he and his friend started a website called ‘Youth Opportunities’ which is now the country's largest online platform for seeking opportunities.
It was made easy for students, especially, to get information whenever it is needed; the information is related to their education or future job related information. Osama said, ‘Young people should know what opportunities are out there for them’.
The secretary of the ministry of youth and sports expressed at a session that youth of our country should be united and work together for greater good for themselves and for the country in a coherent and united way. Wedding Diary Founder and CEO, also a celebrated young weeding photographer, Prito Reza conducted the session.
Former managing director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Sonia Bashir Kabir was also present. She shared her journey in a gripping session.
Through interactive sessions, there were many workshops focusing on easy and hard challenges for the youth, such as air pollution, road accidents and gender inequality. In these sessions speakers urged the carnival participants to act on issues that will help to develop them individually as well as socially.
There was an interactive Math problem-solving session arranged by Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad Committee.
On the first day, before the main cultural events, a number of other speaking sessions also took place. The sessions had different youth icons of our country. To name a few, Monira Rahman former executive director of Acid Survivors Foundation, JAAGO foundation’s founder and executive director Korvi Rakhsand and many more were present. They all shared their stories of success and struggles throughout the penal discussions.
On the second day of the carnival, many more youth icons were present as speakers. Including founder and CEO of 10 minute School Ayman Sadiq, film actor and founder of Nirapad Sarak Chai Andolon Illias Kanchon, state minister for youth and sports Zahid AHsan Russel were also present to encourage the youth.
Illias Kanchon, who is the major figure in the last couple of decades voicing about road safety told the audience that the youth are the leaders of the future and urged them to continue their participation in bringing safety for everybody on roads and everywhere.
Day two’s attractive session title was ‘Steering Youth Away From Crime and Anti-Social Activities’. This session was joined by former boss of Bangladesh Police AKM Shahidul Haque and BYLC’s manager of leadership development and teaching Almeer Ahsan Asif.
‘Our youths should remain extra cautious about possible militant recruitment and drug abuse influences’, said Shahidul Haque in the session.
In the closing ceremony , State Minister for Youth and sports Zahid Ahsan Russel spoke as chief guest. He expressed his gratitude towards BYLC for their amazing efforts to bring country’s youth and young entrepreneurs at one stage to talk about development.
Besides panel discussions, there were many other activities. Young entrepreneurs had their own stalls to showcase their work for the attendees. Students from different schools and colleges attended the two-day event. Over 8000 students were among the attendees. There were also quizzes, exhibitions, games and many more to be enjoyed at the carnival.
There were many exclusive exhibitions throughout the carnival. Exhibitions included photography, cartoon and many more, and all were showcased by young people. 40 plus organisations worked wholeheartedly with the youths during the whole event.
In the cultural event, renowned musicians of our country performed one by one. Among the performers, Arnaob along with his musical group and Elita were present and performed their respective songs.
Arnob congratulated BYLC to pull off a successful event and praised the initiative taken by the organisation.
Youth band Chitropot entertained the participants with their performance in the carnival.
Popular Bands like Artcell and AvoidRafa also performed and rocked the stage as well as the audience. Crowd went crazy when Artcell were on stage; recently they completed 20 years of their journey. That’s why the number of people in the crowd doubled when Artcell were performing.
BYLC organised the carnival with support from Manusher Jonno Foundation and UKaid which concluded on December 28, 2019.
Riasat Raihan is a member of the New Age Youth team.
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