What goes into a day in the life of a mayor? Seventeen-year-old Boishakhi Jhan got the opportunity to find that out for herself on Tuesday when she served as the mayor of Rangpur City Corporation for a day.
And that was possible due to child rights NGO Plan International Bangladesh that had approached Rangpur city mayor Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa, presenting before him Boishakhi's wish ahead of the International Day of Girl Child on October 11.
The initiative was actually part of the NGO's 'Worldwide girl's takeover campaign' that aims to encourage teens and young women to nurture a dream of becoming ambitious, Plan International said.
On Tuesday, Boishakhi, a resident of Nilphamari district, was greeted by the mayor, the councillors and the civic body staff with flowers as soon as she entered the corporation premises.
Later, she got a crash course on the daily routine of the mayor from Mostafizur before finally assuming charge. During the day, she held meetings with the councillors and the staff and took some token decisions.
"Symbolically playing the role of the mayor has created a new dream in my life. I got to know about the different divisions of the city corporation and how they work for the welfare of the citizens," said Boishakhi, who stopped five child marriages in her area and taught 20 school dropouts during Covid-19.
Mostafizur also lauded the initiative. "Girls should not refrain from taking up leadership and challenging positions. Leadership, wisdom and patience can make any person achieve success," he said.
Plan International initiates and implements the belief that girls can change their own lives, the society around them if they get equal opportunities and equality, the NGO said.