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Young Bangla active for Digital Bangladesh

Young Bangla was launched with an aim to recognise and showcase young change-makers and provide a platform to work further, and help the government achieve its “Vision 2021”- making Bangladesh an upper middle income country

Young Bangla, a youth platform of the NGO Centre for Research and Information (CRI), has been playing a key role in revolutionising the initiative of Digital Bangladesh through the use of technology, changing mindset of the young generation, positive thinking and innovative ideas.

The “Digital Bangladesh” slogan was promoted in the Vision 2021 political manifesto of the Bangladesh Awami League before winning the general elections in 2008.

In order to fulfil Awami League’s electoral manifesto, the platform has come forth with innovative ideas and has jointly been working with software giants like Microsoft Inc’s Bangladesh chapter, Department of ICT and others.

A platform for youths, Young Bangla was founded on November 12, 2014 with an aim to recognise and showcase young change-makers and provide a platform to work further, to help the government achieve its Vision 2021 – making Bangladesh an upper middle-income country.

Nahim Razzaq, convener of Young Bangla, said: “Young Bangla is trying to encourage youths to build a prosperous nation in accordance with the spirits of the Liberation War.”

Sabbir Bin Shams, executive director of CRI, said: “The Joy Bangla Youth Award was not only a prize for positive work but also an initiative to encourage youths to become entrepreneurs. Young Bangla is helping the youths to think positive in building a better Bangladesh.”

Microsoft Digital Literacy

After its launch, the platform teamed up with Microsoft, with the latter providing technological support. They have offered basic computer training to 50,000 students in different educational institutions across the country.

The volunteers of the platform are giving training sessions to youths under the Microsoft Digital Literacy programme.

Young Bangla, the biggest youth network in the country, has involved 2,100 educational institutions and has started selecting 25 students from each institution for this training session.

According to them, the network has already trained nearly 21,000 students from 840 educational institutions in March and June.

Sheikh Russell Digital Labs

Young Bangla is also collaborating with the government’s ICT Division to set up countrywide computer and language training labs. Sheikh Russell Digital Labs (SRDLs) will assist in developing Information Technology (IT) and foreign language skills among school students.

The ICT Division and Youth Bangla signed a memorandum on October 2 to set up digital labs in schools and colleges across the country.

“So far, Young Bangla has established around 2,800 labs across the country, while another 1,000 will be set up very soon,” said Tonmoy Ahmed, associated coordinator of CRI.

To operate these labs smoothly, Young Bangla has appointed two members from its team of volunteers.