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The ruling Awami League (AL) is working on its manifesto for the 10th national parliamentary election. Nooh-ul-Alam Lenin, member of AL presidium, the highest policy making body of the ruling party, told The Daily Star that the party has always treated children’s issues with outmost importance since children are the future of the nation.
Lenin who was involved in preparing AL’s manifesto in 2001 and 2008, said that they have not finalised the points related to child rights in their current manifesto. Therefore, different human rights organisations, social bodies and civil society members are welcome to send their suggestion to the party.
“If we find the suggestions relevant, feasible and not utopian, we would definitely try to incorporate those in our manifesto,” he added.
Referring to AL’s 2008 manifesto, where issues such as poverty elimination and energy received priority, Lenin said his party is yet to finalise the priority issues for its next term if voted to power again.
However, he said AL will continue those programmes which led to achievements in millennium development goals during AL’s regime including reduction in maternal and infant mortality and increase in school enrollment.
“It is very important that we ensure an environment so that children experience sound physical and mental health,” he said, adding how the state through its food, nutrition, health and education programmes should nurture the future nation-builders.
“To create an intellectual society for our nation in future, we should provide our children with a science-oriented education, healthy entertainment facilities and lessons on accurate history,” said Lenin.
Regarding children’s security and abuse of children in politics, he said that all political parties should come forward to stop this. Lenin referred to a programme organised by a human rights organisation recently in the capital where the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party was also present. “We criticised how it is a crime to use children as political shield.”
“There are many political parties that force children to participate in rallies,” Lenin said, “We must come out of this culture.”
The Awami League policymaker said his party’s vision is to ascertain that children, the assets of the nation, acquire a long and healthy life and enjoy a happy childhood.