Greeting the countrymen along with party leaders, activists and well-wishers on the occasion of Awami League's (AL's) 71st founding anniversary, Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina today said none will remain poor and homeless in the country.
"On this day I recall with respect the greatest Bengali of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I recall Awami League's founding president Mawlana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and general secretary Shamsul Haque. I recall with respect Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy," she said in a message issued here marking the anniversary.
She recalled with respect the four national leaders, and all martyrs of struggles for freedom, Liberation War and struggles for democracy and all leaders and workers of AL who had embraced martyrdom to turn the party into the largest organization of masses.
Bangladesh Awami League was formed on June 23 in 1949 at "Rose Garden" on KM Das Lane in Dhaka to emancipate the Bangali nation and realize their rights, the premier said, adding Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was elected joint general secretary while he was in jail.
Noting that every achievement in this land was realized under the leadership of AL since its established, Sheikh Hasina said, "The Language Movement in 1952, the Jukta Front election in 1954, the anti-Ayub movement in 1962, the restoration of communal harmony after the 1964 riot, the six-point movement in 1966 and the mass upsurge in 1969- all took place under the leadership of the AL".
In the general elections of 1970, the people of Bangladesh gave an absolute majority to the Awami League and in continuation to that, Bangabandhu on March 7 in 1971 declared that "This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence" the AL president mentioned.
She continued that on the Black Night of March 25 in 1971, the Pakistani occupation forces swooped on the people and began the history's most brutal genocide while Bangabandhu was also arrested.
The prime minister said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, however, had declared the country's independence using the then EPR wireless in the first hour of March 26 before his arrest.
The premier said the country had achieved its final victory on December 16 in 1971 following the Liberation War conducted under the AL government formed on April 10 with the public representatives and took oath of offices on April 17 at Mujibnagar in Meherpur district.
The thousand-year dream of Bengali nation- independent and sovereign Bangladesh was established, Sheikh Hasina added.
After independence when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was busy in building 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by himself, the assassins killed Bangabandhu and most of his family members on the fateful night of August 15 in 1975, she said.
Subsequently, on November 3 in 1975, the four national leaders were killed in prison to make Awami League leaderless, the Prime Minister said, adding that there were national and international conspiracies to destroy the AL, but those intrigues went in vain.
Sheikh Hasina said after a long struggle to establish democracy, the AL returned to power in 1996 and then the AL ran the country successfully from 1996 to 2001.
The AL government turned food-deficit Bangladesh into a food-surplus country, February 21 was recognized as International Mother Language Day and the treaties of the Ganges water sharing with India and the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace were signed, she said, adding the five year term of the AL government will remain marked as the glorious period of the national history.
Waging a movement against the BNP-Jamaat government and facing all conspiracies of the caretaker government, the Awami League was once again voted to power in 2008, the AL president said, adding that since 2009, the AL government has been working relentlessly for the welfare of the country as well as the nation.
In the last 11 and a half years, she said Bangladesh has achieved unprecedented successes in the socio-economic sector while the country achieved the eligibility for upgrading to the developing country from the least developed countries (LDCs).
Noting that the health services have been reached to the doorsteps of the people, the Prime Minister said, "The people are getting 30 kinds of medicines at free of cost. Infant and maternal mortality rates have decreased. Average life expectancy has increased to 73 years. We are building digital Bangladesh. Bangladesh has achieved self-sufficiency in food. Free textbooks are being distributed among the students up to secondary level".
"The literacy rate of the country is now above 73 percent. About 96 percent people are getting electricity facilities. Women education has been expanded and women empowerment has been established. Madrasah education has been modernized and made job-oriented. The facilities of towns are being reached to the villages," she noted.
Noting that the government is implementing different mega projects, including 100 economic zones, more than 28 high-tech parks, Bangabandhu Satellite-2, deep seaport, Padma Bridge, LNG terminal, expressways and nuclear power plant, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has launched Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into space as the 57th country in the world.
"We have started implementing the Delta Plan 2100 for the first time in the world," she added.
Noting that the government had decided to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman throughout the year from March 17, 2020, the Prime Minister said, "But we telecast the inaugural function through television instead of making public gathering due to the outbreak of the coronavirus".
However, all homeless people will get homes in the Mujib Year and none will remain poor and homeless in the country, she said.
Highlighting the government's responses to overcome the crisis triggered by the global pandemic Covid-19, Sheikh Hasina said, "We have announced 19 stimulate packages of over Taka 101,117 crore. A total of 50 lakh families got cash assistance of Taka 2500 each".
Lump sum allocation of Taka 1,000 core has been given in the fiscal year 2020-2021 for meeting emergency needs amid the Covid-19 pandemic, she said, adding AL as the political party also stood by the people and has been helping the people.
"We will turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and developed country before 2041, In Sha Allah. We would be able to celebrate the country's golden jubilee in 2021," the premier said.
"Awami League has a glorious role in every major achievement of the Bengali nation. We have stood with head high in the world as a self-respecting country under the leadership of AL government. In future Awami League along with the people will build a poverty-hunger free, happy, prosperous and developed Sonar Bangladesh as envisioned by the Father of the Nation," she said.
The AL president urged all to celebrate the party's founding anniversary through virtual media, maintaining the health guidelines instead of making public gatherings.