Awards are the marks of recognition and encouragement given in honour of any special achievement in certain categories, which also signify the credibility and speciality of a person or any organization. Among all the prestigious awards recognizing deserving individuals and entities across the world, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Asia" stands in today's world as a very special, exclusive and significant one. The award was initiated as an annual badge of honour created to commemorate former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay's example of honesty in administration, fearless service to the people, and realistic idealism within a democratic society. Established in 1957 by the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund in cooperation with the Filippino Government, the Ramon Magsaysay Award celebrates the value of integrity, courage, and selfless service of Asian individuals impacting Asian landscapes. There is a reason behind elaborating on awards in this write-up, especially the Ramon Magsaysay Award in particular, as Korvi Rakshand, revered for his social activities as the founder of JAAGO Foundation, has been nominated for the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award in the Emergent Leadership category. With this year's award, Korvi Rakshand joins the distinguished list of 344 outstanding individuals and organisations whose selfless service has offered their societies, Asia, and the world, by offering successful solutions to some of the most intractable problems of human development. JAAGO Foundation Founder Korvi Rakshand wins Ramon Magsaysay Award for dedication to education, social change Through achieving this badge of honour, he also joined the prestigious Hall of Fame of 13 Bangladeshis who won the award in the past. The list includes prominent scientist Firdausi Qadri (2021), environmentalist and social activist Syeda Rizwana Hasan (2012), Founder and Executive Director of Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) AHM Noman Khan (2010), eminent journalist and Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman (2005), eminent educationist Abdullah Abu Sayeed (2004), prominent social worker Angela Gomes (1999), revered village society reformer Mohammad Yeasin (1988), Co-Founder of the Notre Dame College in Dhaka Father Richard William Timm (1987), legendary pharmacist and Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury (1985), Nobel Laureate and founder of Grameen Bank Dr Mohammad Yunus (1984), Brac founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (1980) and Tahrunnesa Abdullah in 1978, recognized for her pioneering role as a social reformer for Muslim women in society. From educating a little group of children at the capital's Rayer Bazaar slum to being nominated for the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Korvi Rakshand has been leading a revolutionary social transformation all over Bangladesh. For an afternoon chat to deep dive into Korvi Rakshan's role as a journeyman, Dhaka Courier recently visited his office at JAAGO's Banani headquarters in the capital. The entire office setting in the complex redirects as a memory lane of JAAGO's monumental journey for the past 16 years in the country, and within the short office tour and an exclusive interview with DC, Korvi Rakshand elaborated on the eventual past, present and future state of his esteemed organization. "The journey of JAAGO Foundation began in 2007 at the Rayer Bazaar slum in the capital, with the initial goal of teaching English to underprivileged children totally free of cost - because we thought this would help them conquer the language barriers in their next career steps, be it inside or outside the country. We were amazed to see the response of those 17 children as they asked about promotions to the next class, which made us realise that they envisioned our initiative as a school, and that led us to begin our first school in the Rayer Bazaar slum. Our efforts began to get recognized by society through several of our activities, but we realised the need to expand our efforts beyond Dhaka. We modelled a curriculum integration of both classroom-based and remote education that tremendously brought success in terms of educating children, especially in the difficult times during the pandemic, and now we are focusing on mainstream quality education and bridging the learning gaps with skill-based education to students who are unable to complete traditional studies. At present, JAAGO works with five focus areas - Education, Youth, Women, Climate Change and Governance, operated by more than 600 employees and more than fifty thousand volunteers across the country." JAAGO schools showcase 22 projects at Annual Science Fair The reason behind selecting the name: "In Bengali, the name 'Jaago' redirects to make someone wake up from sleep. Education is the light beam for society to get up and shine bright, and we consider it our responsibility to initiate the much-needed wake-up call with education. The bold, capitalised wording of JAAGO redirects as an invitation to everyone, to join our movement with love, support and contributions. The vibrant yellow colour is most commonly recognised as the colour of friendship, and that is what we do. We bridge the gap in society as its dedicated friend." On 'Volunteer for Bangladesh': Under Rakshand's visionary leadership, the JAAGO Foundation also initiated the Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD) program in 2011. VBD has become a youth movement involving more than 50,000 leaders actively working for social betterment. "Although the initial aim and vision of the JAAGO Foundation was to focus on children and education, our responsibility increased upon witnessing the enthusiasm of the youth. We diversified our efforts, addressing various other issues including youth development and women's empowerment and eventually established the 'Volunteers for Bangladesh' (VBD) to bring together proactive individuals who could collaborate and contribute their energy and dedication to our activities. In VBD, our volunteers elect their local leaders and the power is completely decentralised to ensure the desired performances at the grassroots level." Winning the award: "I was travelling and was at an airport when I received a WhatsApp text from an unknown number. The person introduced herself as Susan Afan, President of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, and wanted to initiate a video call. Initially, I assumed that she was going to discuss someone else, and it was really surprising to know when they informed me that I got selected for this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award. Turned out that they have been following the activities of JAAGO for the last five years, and knowing all these has been pretty surreal to me." The present and future: "In 2020, we obtained NGO licensing, enabling us to collaborate with various international organizations. Currently, we partner with organizations such as UNICEF, USAID, and FCDO, and many donors prefer to remain anonymous. At Jaago, anyone can sponsor a child's schooling by contributing BDT 2,000 each month. We introduced an exclusive scholarship program for women students in public universities, to ease their daily lives and economic conditions. Launched last year, we managed to help 100 students and have enlisted 160 students for 2023." "Accolades are obviously inspiring, but personally I think this award will help us thrive with more accountability. I would really consider myself successful when I see that our work motivates the youth to believe in their capacity to bring about change, and I firmly believe that our youths are that capable," Korvi Rakshand told DC, ending the conversation with gratitude. Read more: When local communities unite to co-create a better city: Jhenaidah shows the way
The young generation needs to understand what information they share with the masses, speakers said at a workshop. Information technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, and the dangers of disinformation, misinformation and fake news loom large, they said. The youth must be aware of these dangers and prepare themselves accordingly, said the speakers, noting that malinformation or fake news could bring anyone under the regulations of the Digital Security Act (DSA) 2018.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Monday handed over the body of a Bangladeshi youth who was shot dead by its members on Friday. A team of Hakimpur Police Station with the help of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members received the body of the youth around 5:30 pm and handed it over to his family, said Abu Sayem Miah, in-charge of the police station. Earlier in the day, a flag meeting was held between Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB-20) Battalion and Indian Border Guard Force (BSF-6)1 Battalion at the Main Pillar area of the border, regarding the handing over of the body. Shahabul Hossain Babu, 24, son of Abul Hossain of Dharanda village under Hakimpur upazila, was shot dead by Indian Border Security Force (BSF), along the Hili land port in Dinajpur on Friday night, locals on the Bangladesh side said. Md Rafiqul Islam, a ward councilor of Hakimpur municipality, said Babu accompanied by others crossed into the Indian territory along the Hili border on Friday night. "We heard sounds of two rounds of bullets from the Indian side and subsequently came to know that Babu was shot dead by the BSF,” he said. Read more: 2 Bangladeshis shot dead in BSF firing in Lalmonirhat
The pandemic took a harsh toll on U.S. teen girls’ mental health, with almost 60% reporting feelings of persistent sadness or hopelessness, according to a government survey released Monday that bolsters earlier data. Sexual violence, suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior and other mental health woes affected many teens regardless of race or ethnicity, but girls and LGBTQ youth fared the worst on most measures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. More than 17,000 U.S. high school students were surveyed in class in the fall of 2021. In 30 years of collecting similar data, “we’ve never seen this kind of devastating, consistent findings," said Kathleen Ethier, director of CDC’s adolescent and school health division. “There’s no question young people are telling us they are in crisis. The data really call on us to act." The research found: — Among girls, 30% said they seriously considered attempting suicide, double the rate among boys and up almost 60% from a decade ago. — Almost 20% of girls reported experiencing rape or other sexual violence in the previous year, also an increase over previous years. — Almost half of LGBTQ students said they had seriously considered a suicide attempt. Also Read: National Mental Health Strategy 2020-2030: Towards ensuring quality mental healthcare — More than a quarter of American Indians and Alaska Natives said they had seriously considered a suicide attempt — higher than other races and ethnicities. — Feelings of persistent sadness and hopelessness affected more than one-third of kids of all races and ethnicities and increased over previous years. — Recent poor mental health was reported by half of LGBTQ kids and almost one-third of American Indian and Alaska Native youth. The results echo previous surveys and reports and many of the trends began before the pandemic. But isolation, online schooling and increased reliance on social media during the pandemic made things worse for many kids, mental health experts say. The results “reflect so many decades of neglect towards mental health, for kids in particular," said Mitch Prinstein, the American Psychological Association’s chief science officer. “Suicide has been the second- or third-leading cause of death for young people between 10 and 24 years for decades now," and attempts are typically more common in girls, he said. Prinstein noted that anxiety and depression tend to be more common in teen girls than boys, and pandemic isolation may have exacerbated that. Comprehensive reform in how society manages mental health is needed, Prinstein said. In schools, kids should be taught ways to manage stress and strife, just as they are taught about exercise for physical disease prevention, he said. In low-income areas, where adverse childhood experiences were high before the pandemic, the crisis has been compounded by a shortage of school staff and mental health professionals, experts say. School districts around the country have used federal pandemic money to hire more mental health specialists, if they can find them, but say they are stretched thin and that students who need expert care outside of school often can’t get it because therapists are overburdened and have long waitlists. ___ AP writer Jocelyn Gecker contributed in San Francisco contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner at @LindseyTanner. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
A young man was beaten to death in a lynch-mob attack on suspicion of being a thief at Khaminarbad union of Bhanga Upazila in Faridpur district early Monday. The deceased was identified as Samad Sardar, 40, son of late Natu Sardar, a resident of Dangarpar village of Bhanga Upazila. Local said a group of villagers caught Samad at night suspecting him to be a thief after seeing him roaming suspiciously in the village since afternoon. Read more: Mob lynches two robbers to death in Cumilla On the other hand, the deceased’s family claimed that Samad, a sweetmeat vendor, was coming back home from Dhaka while a group of people picked him up and beat him mercilessly, leaving him dead on the spot. Ziarul Islam, Officer-in-Charge of Bhanga Police Station, said police sent the body to Faridpur Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy.
Water governance and the engagement of youth are crucial for future existence, said the speakers at the 8th International Water Conference held during January 23-25, 2023 in Sylhet. The conference, organised by ActionAid Bangladesh under the theme "Water and Rivers for Life and Living: The Role of Youth," brought the youth groups, policymakers, academicians, researchers, and practitioners, to a common platform to emphasise the importance of incorporating youth mobilisation on issues related to water and rivers. The programme emphasised five thematic areas – watershed history, morphology and changes; rivers as a living entity and anthropogenic impacts on water and rivers; youth engagement in water and river rights; transboundary rivers and water politics, and innovation: water, ecosystem and sustainable livelihoods. In the closing session of the conference, Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said the linkage between water and governance needs to be emphasised everywhere. "As we graduate from LDCs and more development takes place, water governance will continue to become a crucial component." On the first day of the conference, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen inaugurated the event through a video message. He said: "We believe sound water management can be an important factor for regional peace and solidarity." Read more: Transnational policies for water governance in S Asia stressed Imtiaz Ahmed, professor of the Department of International Relations, and director of the Centre for Genocide Studies, at the University of Dhaka said: "This year as we focus on the importance of engaging youth in ensuring river rights, policymakers should also think about how to mobilise student associations of the country to advocate for issues of rivers and environment besides their involvement in politics." "In addition, this regional conference opened a doorway to investigate commonalities of water and rivers of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and China," he added. ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir said: "The multiple sessions of the conference created a space for sharing insights and best practices. This year we brought in the importance of youth participation while keeping the main focus on river and water as a part of our dreams, culture and lives and livelihoods." Read more: Climate change threatens access to water, sanitation
The first Sheikh Russel Youth Rapid Chess Championship 2023 organised by Sheikh Russel Chess Academy under the supervision of the Bangladesh Chess Federation will start Friday at 10am. Only players aged below 20 can participate in this day-long competition at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room of the National Sports Council in Dhaka. The prize distribution ceremony of the championship will also be held on the same day in the afternoon. KM Shahidullah, secretary general of Sheikh Russel Jatiya Shishu Kishore Parishad and vice-president of the Bangladesh Chess Federation, will be the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. Syed Shahab Uddin Shamim, general secretary of the Bangladesh Chess Federation and president of World Chess Federation (FIDE) Zone 3.2, will also be present. The competition will be held on a seven-round Swiss league system. The winners of this competition will get cash prize money of Tk20,000 in total. Read more: Bangabandhu 47th National Chess Championship begins on Thursday
The body of a youth was recovered from the Meghna on Sunday morning, four days after he went missing being chased by police in Daulatkhan upazila of Bhola. The deceased was identified as Noman, a worker of the upazila. Read more: Body of 7-yr-old boy found in Gazipur Police chased Noman and other people as they were allegedly gambling on November 24 at Patar Khal Machh Ghat by the river, said locals. Being chased by the police, they fell into the river and all, except Noman, could manage to swim ashore, said Zakir Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Daulatkhan police station. Later, fire service and coast guard divers fished out his body from the river near the Machh Ghat this morning (Sunday), he added. A case has been filed at the police station in this regard, said the OC. Read more: Bangladeshi farmer’s body found along Feni border; BSF blamed Besides, a three-member probe committee headed by Lalmohan Circle Additional Superintendent of Police Zahurul Islam was formed to investigate the death. Meanwhile, two constables of Daulatkhan police station Md Russel and Md Sajib have been temporarily suspended and Daulatkhan police station Sub-Inspector (SI) Swarup Kanti Pal and Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Md Sohel Rana have been closed over the incident, said OC Zakir.
A 21-year-old man was stabbed to death, allegedly over playing billiards, at Namajgarh intersection in Bogura district town on Friday night. The deceased was identified as Habibur Rahman Bipul, son of Saiful Islam of the area. Sharafat Islam, additional superintendent of police (Sadar Circle), quoting witnesses, said some 6-7 people including Bipul, were playing billiards at an establishment named ‘Break and Run’, located in the area. At one stage, Bipul engaged in a heated argument with the other playmates as they asked him to stay off the game around 8:45 pm. Also read: University student’s body found at home in Natore Later, one Shakil, who was in the team, stabbed Bipul with a knife, leaving him injured, the SP said. Bipul was taken to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital where the doctors declared him dead. “Police are trying to arrest those involved in the killing,” said Sharafat.
A youth was stabbed to death by some miscreants for protesting stalking of some female passengers in bus in the capital’s Asad Gate area on Tuesday. The deceased was identified as Md Rabbi Hossain, 22, from Shahid Nagar area of Lalbagh. According to police, Rabbi along with some other people went to visit a park in Dhamrai from Azimpur on two hired buses on Tuesday morning. While returning to the city, Rabbi had an altercation with Faruk and some other men as they were teasing women passengers in the bus. Read more: Youth stabbed to death in Dhaka's Sutrapur “At one point, Faruk called someone by phone and informed him about the incident. When the bus reached Asad Gate, some three to four people got into the bus and stabbed Rabbi indiscriminately, injuring him and another person named Shaon severely,” said Utpal Barua, Officer In-charge (OC) of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station. Utpal added that the injured were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), where Rabbi died around 1:00am on Wednesday. The OC further said that the bus was filled with some shop workers from Gausia Market and some students from the New Market area.