I want to make Saghata, Phulchhari upazila a Bangladesh: Dy Speaker
Advocate Fazle Rabbi Miah is a Bangladesh Awami League politician and the present deputy Speaker of Parliament. He is a former member of Awami League Central committee. He is a member of parliament from Saghata-Phulchhari constituency since 1986. He is valiant a Freedom Fighter who fought against the Pakistan Army in Sector 11 during the Liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. He was a reputed organizer of Freedom Fighting too. He contributed much in creating public opinion in favor of Liberation war in abroad.
Advocate Fazle Rabbi Miah recently sat down with The Bangladesh Today for a candid conversation about his vision and role in Saghata-Phulchhari constituency.
TBT: It is proved that Bangladesh is the role model of development in the world. So if you want to make your area as role model of role model then what types of initiative will be taken to achieve that?
Dy Speaker: You see I am a member of parliament from my constituency since 1986 except 2001 to 2006. I could do development of my area but could not sustain it because of river erosion. But in 2009 I got a special allotment of Tk 138 crore at the sympathy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for stopping the river erosion in certain areas of my constituency. So I was able to do some development work and was able to show development of that particular area. 10 years back those who visited Saghata and Phulchhari upazila of Gaibandha, they will not be able to recognize Saghata and Phulchhari upazila if they visit 10 years later. Those areas were always recognized as undeveloped areas, but nowadays I can claim that in the greater Rangpur district or in Rangpur Divison I have brought my constituency in such a position that one can say that it is now a role model of Bangladesh. Moreover another portion from Balashi mass grave which was made during the liberation war in 1971 was a nightmare for humans to live in. One more thing I want to add is that on that mass grave I erected a portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with my money, and also put two other portraits of Bangabandhu in Phulchhari upzila. Anyways for that portion Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina allocated Tk 320 crore to stop river erosion. The work from Balashi mass grave has started and I hope by the end of the next year I will be able to stop river erosion especially in Phulchhari area.
TBT: But the question of sustainability….
Dy Speaker: By that I meant that whatever the development work I have done those have been eroded by the river. But now it is sustainable because river erosion has not stopped in that particular area.
TBT: In future is there any risk similar to Naria upazila?
Dy Speaker: No. You see police station in Saghata is 100 percent electrified. Moreover you will not find a single unpaved road. I have constructed each and every road of my area. You will see buildings of schools, colleges and madrasa’s.
TBT: Is there any special assessment in dropout rate in education in your area?
Dy Speaker: Dropout rate has been minimized in my area by interventions of government and particularly of the NGO’s. I have put up with the teachers of the government schools that if private Kindergarten school can do better why can’t they as they are being paid much more. And now it has improved because I always put them under pressure. And each year I organize an assembly of both primary and higher school teachers. I hold minimum of 3-4 meetings of the teachers to develop the standard of education.
TBT: What steps will you take in your area to face Artificial Intelligence and climate change challenges and to cope with the global world?
Dy Speaker: I do not accept Artificial Intelligence as Bangladesh is a densely populated country and if Artificial Intelligence is used then our man power will be demoralized. In my opinion under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina we can reach the climax of development. We should not worry about Artificial Intelligence because our manpower is a power. We are not born with only a mouth; we are born with two hands and two legs. You see in 1971 our population was only 7 crore. Now we are over 16 crore. Land has decreased drastically by 1971, due to brick fields, industries and roads. Whenever I go to my area I see thousands of brick fields which are wasting the land. In 1971 we could not feed our people but now we can feed our people only because of manpower. You see an advocate and journalist both have an association but it is only farmers who do not have any association. They don’t think about sun or rain or flood. All they think about is work. Another thing is that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given much importance to research. In agriculture sector Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have made tremendous development only because of research. That’s why we are being able to make our country self sufficient in food.
TBT: What more steps you want to take to make your area role model of a role model?
Dy Speaker: I want to make Saghata-Phulchhari a Bangladesh. I want to make it a Bangladesh inside a Bangladesh. That can only be possible if I can make the standard of education high. And I am trying to do it. And at the same time I am giving emphasis on women empowerment. Throughout the whole world women empowerment by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have been widely appreciated.
TBT: There are lots of changes being made in education system throughout the world like Singapore to scrape traditional exam rankings and Australia to make community college to cope up with the next generation. So what are your initiatives in relevance of national issues to make role model of role model in education system?
Dy Speaker: Firstly the standard of the education should be maintained. Secondly vocational training centers should be established. I have established some vocational training institutes which is Diploma Engineering institutions in my area. At first no one was interested to join the institutes but now many students are available. If we can make experts in different technologies and if we can export them abroad they we can earn more foreign currencies. This issue is in my head and I am trying to make it happen. In my opinion these are the ways we can make Saghata-Phulchhari role model of role model of Bangladesh. In my area there are no industries and there is no possibility of starting an industry . Only government can establish an industry there. But there are possibilities of establishing agro based industries. Once Phulchhari upazila was known as a poverty stricken upazila. Now they are the best in Gaibandha only by producing chili pepper and maize. You can find thousands of acres of land there harvesting these corps. People of Dhaka are rushing are rushing there by giving advance money to the farmers to buy those lands.
TBT: You are a parliament member for sixth time. What is your next 5 years plan for your area in specific human index, financial index and overall combination of these two indexes?
Dy Speaker: As I have said before my one view is to maintain standard education in my area. If I can maintain the standard of education then the boys and girls in my area will not be unemployed. If we can continue the development work for 5 years and if we can maintain the standard of education up to 10 years then I think our people will never come to Dhaka and they dont have to go to abroad as well. Even my people go abroad then they will go as experts so that they can send huge foreign remittance. And if our agriculture sector gets more developed then the agriculture will be sufficient to maintain ones family in the rural areas.