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GFSRD organised the Dhaka Round Table on ‘Smart Village for Smart Bangladesh’

Global Forum for Sustainable Rural Development (GFSRD) and International Research Centre of SIMEC Institute of Technology hold "Sustainable Rural Development Dhaka Round Table" and the main theme of the discussion was "Smart Village for Smart Bangladesh".


Professor Dr. Amzad Hossain, SDGs Coordinator (Bangladesh Chapter), Curtin University, Australia attended the round table discussion as the chair. Engineer Dr. M A Matin, Former Director General of Rural Development Academy (RDA) was the Guest of Honor. Former Deputy Commissioner and current Joint Secretary (LGRD) Md. Jasim Uddin was present as a special guest. Distinguished academicians, social activists, researchers and entrepreneurs from more than 30 institutions actively participated in the event.

The coordinator of the program Muhammad Sharifur Rahman, Bangladesh Head of GFSRD and SDG consultant of the International Research Centre of SIMEC Institute of Technology said, “We have been trying to build smart SDG Villages in four districts of the country with SDG Action Research for the last five years. Also, we have taken dynamic initiatives to implement sustainable development with GFSRD and other international platforms".


The guests who participated in the event which was held on April 8, 2023 talked about their initiatives, implementations and prospects. They also provided valuable suggestions through discussions and feedback in the question and answer session. They said, to build a smart village, it is necessary to build smart citizens. As well as all related institutions of the government, important departments and projects should be coordinated to implement the goals.


The event was attended by a group of international experts on Zoom and provided valuable feedback. The President of GFSRD Dr. Shiladitya Chatterjee, IAS (Rtd.), Former Chairman, MDG, ADB and Advisor, Centre for SDG, Govt. of Assam;  The Vice-President of GFSRD Smt. Meenakshi Datta Ghosh,  IAS (Rtd.), Former Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India shared their views on Smart Village. 

The Vice-President of GFSRD Prof. Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, Former Professor, National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Rural  Development, Government of India;  Ar. Mustapha Kamal Zulkarnain, GFSRD-Global Head, Project & Policy from Malaysia,  Dr. Maria Christina Endarwati  , Co-Founder & Head, GFSRD-Asia from Indonesia also shared experiences on Smart Villages. Md. Awual Baksh, Associate Rural Infrastructure Specialist, My Village - My Town (MVMT) project from LGED, Dr. Asif Iqbal Siddiqui, CEO, Circular Economy Pte. Ltd. from Australia, Tyra, Designer of Aarong, BRAC from Istanbul, Herath from Srilanka, Md. Sanaullah, Chief Coordinator of Pabna SDG Model Project joined virtually. 

The Chief Coordinator of SIMEC Institute International Research Centre, Dr. Ratan Kumar Roy said, “The time has come to go to villages and make volunteers there through smart thinking. Go there and work with the policies of the government”.


Engineer Dr. M A Matin said, "Lack of funds is not an obstacle for village development, but good will is important. There is no alternative to prioritizing the progress of development, increasing awareness and skills, so the possibilities must first be identified and the capabilities utilized”.
Former Deputy Commissioner and LGRD's current Joint Secretary Md. Jasim Uddin said, "We must fulfil all our promises to provide service to the public at work. Otherwise no policy will gain importance, no initiative will gain life”.


Professor Dr. Amzad Hossain said that we will organize more spontaneous discussions in the future to take effective steps to build a smart Bangladesh. He said, “Development is the transformation not a single change. Sustainable development is possible through proper understanding and reformation of religion and cultural philosophy. An appreciation of indigenous culture must play a supportive role”.


In the discussion, the chairman of SIMEC Foundation, Engineer Sardar Md. Shaheen said, "It is important for us to find out first, which one do we call smartness?  There is no alternative to social education for those whom we are going to make smart. Because to understand its meaning, one must be aware. Otherwise, none of the initiatives will succeed."


Dr. Md. Safiul Afrad, Professor, Department of Rural Development and Agriculture Extension, BBSMR Agricultural University, Gazipur;  Shri. Tapash Ranjan Chacraborty, Co-Founder of GFSRD also joined the programme. Asia’s top ten women entrepreneur Architect Nazli Hussain, CEO of Praxis Architects; Dr. Shelima Akhter, Director (Admin) of ESDO; Shahnaj  Parvin Poly, Asst. Professor motijeel ideal school & college;  Md. Delwar Hossain, Sr. Program Coordinator of ESDO;  Prof Md Reazul Haque (DU); Amit Kumar Roy, Head of Digitization, CDIP; Md. Mazharul Anowar, Joint Director of RDA; Tajmary Akter, Program Manager, HELVETAS Bangladesh; Dr. Md. Rakibul Hoque, Associate Professor(DU); Prof. Dr. Amir Nasrullah( CU), Md. Delwar Hossain, Chief Coordinator of IDEA Foundation; Syed Md. Siam, Assistant Professor (NSTU); Md. Iftekharul Alam Efat, Assistant Professor(NSTU); Dr. Abul Hossain, Chairman of Health Care Services Ltd. Asaduzzaman from CISC ware present in person and graced the event with valuable remarks.


Finally, the Secretary General of GFSRD, Dr. Jayanta Choudhury said, "We will hold a Rural Development Congress in Dhaka next October. Global Best Practitioners will be brought there. For that purpose, another seminar will be held in September. He called upon all participating institutions to participate in this initiative. GFSRD is also working tirelessly on SDG Localization”. Dr. Amzad Hossain in the closing remark expressed his gratitude and appreciated the guests and the round table organizers.

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