Taha A. Razzaque
With the aim to build true leaders, the UNYSAB Youth Icon 2010 event came to a successful end on 5 March. College students working in teams were required to deal with several social awareness movements and Millennium Development Goals, and exhibit devoted solutions through dense competition. At the end, it came down to a relentless contest with 'Aureeo' emerging as champions.
United Nations of Students and Youth Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB) organized this yet another leadership promotional competitive event. This event hoped to inspire young college students in Dhaka to come up and improve their social skills. This apparently took their talents to innovative heights. Picking the top college students, the race started on 29 January towards finding the ultimate youth icons.
Step inside, which was the first round, took place in the conference hall, Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka. As the sun beat down in the late winter morning, the registration booth was gathered around with enthusiastic students. Twenty-one teams from twelve renowned colleges in Dhaka registered on that day. UNYSAB Vice President and the Project Director of UNYSAB Youth Icon 2010, K M Zakir Hassan inaugurated the event with his introductory speech, followed by the kind words and suggestions from the Chief Guest Ali Reza, Officer in Charge UNIC, Special Guest Dr. Taufique Zoarder, Faculty, BRAC university and former President UNYSAB and Md. Hafizur Rahman Mollah, Ministry of Food and Disaster Management.
Shakib, a participant mentioned that the ice breaking session was his favorite moment in the competition. The open space filled with clatters of laughter and excitement. The upbeat of this session ended in the formation of human web and fun fostering with everyone humming the song, 'we shall overcome'.
The round officially asked the participant teams to make handmade posters on topics that covered the Millennium Development Goals. The compelling creativeness gripped everyone's attention whilst the judges faced great difficulty to decide the winners. The panel consisted of Dr. Taufique Zoarder, Manush Mitra, Zahid Shafique, Suburno Borua and Risad Sariff. Around fifteen teams were selected for the next round and 'Symphony' from Notre Dame College was declared the best team of the first round.
Round two: Brain Teaser eliminated five teams that pushed ten teams to the semi finals. This round comprised of four episodes.
In the first episode, the teams were provided with comic strips. What made these comic strips different was that they did not hold any dialogues. The contestants had to read the pictures and introduce appropriate captions, dialogues and a summary of the related pictures. Twenty minutes were given for this segment. In the second episode, twenty general knowledge questions were asked to these fifteen teams. They were allotted twenty minutes to answer these questions. The third episode was an aptitude test. Around fifteen analytical questions were there and twenty minutes to answer them correctly. The fourth episode was an interesting one. The teams were shown a video of monumental and historical places in Bangladesh. Again they were tested with twenty questions and were given twenty minutes as well. 'Invincibles' were chosen to be the best team for this round.
The semi-finals, which were the 'rockers round', took place on 5 February. Anik Khan, Excutive Editior, Unmad and RJ, Radio Foorti was invited as a Special Guest of the programme. He made a small speech before the round started.
Rocker's round called for the participants to go through three segments. The first segment provided the teams with newspapers and poster papers. They were required to find MDG related news and paste them on the poster papers. They were allowed only twenty minutes for this segment. The second segment was about the UNYSAB Youth Icon programme; questions were asked about the details of the programme. Rather than conventional answers, the judges invited creative answers to the questions.
In the third segment, the teams were introduced to some social issues. They are asked to design a complete awareness programme and also design a brochure. The query session that followed demanded short briefing of their campaign. The judge panel comprised of Suborno Barua, Faculty, United International University, Saima Chowdhury, Action Aid Bangladesh and Rashedul Alam Russel, former President, Dhaka University Debating Society. This was a very competitive round, and five teams were selected for the final round.
The finale was held in the conference hall, Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka. Professor Dr. Muhammad Moniruzzaman, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University was present as the Chief Guest. Special guests Provash Chandra, PMG Ministry of Telecommunication, Mahbubul Haque, Executive Vice President, National Bank LTD and Nafiz Imtiaz, President UNYSAB were also present.
The five teams who made it to the final were: Prottoye, Invincibles, Symphony, Perseus and Aureeo. The assigned task for this round was fairly vivid. The participants were asked to do research and study on the current natural gas issue of Bangladesh. 'An awareness campaign on efficient gas usage' was the slogan. The teams came prepared with their own presentation slides and were given an allotted time of ten minutes. Prottoye, a team from NDC went first; they focused on the fact that there were more demands than production of natural gas. Symphony another team from NDC stressed on the fact of misuse of the natural gas. Team Perseus from Holy cross, designed their campaign targeting to convey a clear message to all classes of people. Invincibles from NDC and Aureeo from VNC also came out strong discussing various possible suggestions to cut off this issue. Various statistics showed on the screen gave the audience an unambiguous picture of the current natural gas situation. The data suggested that the natural gas would run out by the end of 2015. The near possible alternative sources were brought. Biogas being one of the stronger solutions verified its position in many of the slides of all the teams. The campaigns targeted the media and use of billboards, leaflets and banners. Team Aureeo suggested using the social sites and blogs being one of the most convenient and popular accessible sources. The judges, Amita De, representative, USAID, Dr. Imran, former director UNYSAB and Dr. Debasish Dhor, another former Director, UNYSAB, were all impressed by the presentations delivered by all the teams. They threw many challenging questions at the teams. They inquired about the position of the government and powerful industrialists in their campaign. The participating teams were given an invented amount of one crore taka and they were to distribute the capital into a mock budget to bring about positive results. It was indeed a tough break for the judges to make a hierarchy of winners.
The well-deserved team, Aureeo very narrowly came out to be the UNYSAB Youth Icons 2010.
The guests appreciated all the contestants in the ending ceremony. They mentioned how important it was for all the people to know about the current natural gas issue and to act immediately. “Gas will eventually run out", said Professor Dr. Muhammad Moniruzzaman. New sources are absolutely essential to be located as soon as possible.
President Nafiz Imtiaz talked about Gandhi and how a person so great plays an important role as an icon in everyone's life. He also mentioned the necessity of a parallel movement of both political networking and social movement. Seeing these young talent minds at work and their uninterrupted enthusiasm, this can one day complete the lacking in our current leaders. “A project will be designed based on these ideas that came through this year's UNYSAB Youth Icon 2010”, stated Nafiz Imtiaz.
A broad thanks goes to all the assigned cells and the members of UNYSAB who worked tirelessly behind this event. As a youth organization, UNYSAB strives to help the youth of the nation build a brighter future for the country and themselves as individuals and thus with the help of such event, UNYSAB tries to provide the youth with a platform to do so. The organization of such events shall hopefully help create a platform to aid the younger generation toward a future where they can overcome the obstacles and establish themselves as worthwhile members of a society.