Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) Saida Muna Tasneem has urged Bangladeshi expatriates, especially the young generation, living in the country to register their births through the high commission to enjoy six essential services as dual citizens.
"Through the birth registrations, the expatriates as dual citizens can enjoy services like Bangladeshi passport, national identity card and foreign citizenship. Apart from these, birth registration is a must for enjoying 16 citizen services in Bangladesh," a Bangladesh High Commission release quoting the envoy, said here today.
Tasneem was addressing a special webinar marking the Mujib Borsho National Birth Registration Day organized by Bangladesh High Commission in London on October 9.
The Bangladeshi envoy hoped that most of the Bangladeshis living in the United Kingdom would complete their birth registration by 2021, when Bangladesh is going to observe the final phase of the Mujib Borsho and also the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.
She also sought help from authorities concerned in this regard.
Local government Division Senior Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed addressed the webinar as chief guest, while Registrar General of Bangladesh Birth and Death Office Manik Lal Bonik spoke as special guest.
People from all walks of life including prominent personalities of Bangladesh communities in the UK and Ireland, professionals, media representatives, business leaders, and cultural activists at the programme gave their opinions on birth registration.
British-Bangladeshi community leader and one of the organizers in support of War of Liberation in the UK Sultan Mahmud Sharif, community leaders Syed Sajidur Rahman Faruk, Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury, Ahmed Us Samad Chowdhury, valiant Freedom Fighter Mahmud Hasan, MBE, Harmuj Ali, MA Munim, Syed Nahas Pasha, Urmi Mazhar and Ansar Ahmed Ullah, addressed the webinar, among others.
Chief guest of the programme, Senior Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said, "birth registration process has been going on online since 2010 following the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as per the goal of creating Digital Bangladesh by 2021. Besides, following her direction, an up-to-date and modern birth registration guideline has been formulated in 2017 by combining all the policies of the past regarding birth registration."
He emphasized on the birth registration of expatriate Bangladeshis and said, "Only those expatriates would get the national identity card of Bangladesh who register their births, they will get the passport of Bangladesh and will be able to establish their inheritance in Bangladesh."
Apart from this, a national identity card is required for various financial activities including opening a bank account.
Manik Lal Bonik said, since 2010, birth registration is going on online in city councils, municipalities and union levels across the country. Besides, there is an opportunity to register the birth of expatriate Bangladeshis by the embassies of Bangladesh abroad, he added.
He said that under the current law, birth registration is mandatory and without birth registration, 16 citizen benefits including passport, national identification card, driving license would not be available.
Describing the policy and process of birth registration in Bangladesh as modern and up-to-date, prominent leader of the expatriate British-Bangladeshi community, Sultan Mahmud Sharif said, "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set an example in the world by making it mandatory to include mother's name in birth registration."
Prominent British Bangladeshi expatriates have expressed their gratitude for updating the birth registration rules and regulations saying it is one of the key essentials of building a digital Bangladesh.
Expatriate Bangladeshis from the UK and Ireland also participated in the programme.