No child to be on the streets, says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants no children to be left on the streets If we can feed 160 million people, we can surely look after all our children on the streets,” she said on Sunday.

Speaking at an event on the World Children Day, she instructed the ministries dealing with social welfare and women and children affairs to ensure rehabilitation of all street children in Bangladesh.

“No child will remain on the streets, every child must have a shelter, a home to stay,” Hasina said, reacting to a recent NGO report that 3.4 million children in Bangladesh were living on the streets with no home to fall back on.

Women and Children Affairs Minister Meher Afroze was on the stage with the prime minister at that time.

Hasina said it was important not to get any hazardous work done by children.

“The children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. We must ensure a proper upbringing for all of them.”

Reiterating that her government was keen to ‘create a dream country for the children’, Hasina said she was upset with those who torture house helpers.

“Many employ children to work as house help. If they eat a sweet from the fridge, they are mercilessly beaten up. This is not acceptable.”

Bangladesh cricketer Shahadat Hossain and his wife have been sent to prison recently for allegedly torturing their minor house help.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Children’s Rights Week-2015, the prime minister urged all parents and students to be sensitive towards children with autism and disabilities.

“Some are born with such disabilities. This is not their fault. Do not ever taunt them because that is wrong. Be compassionate,” she told the children present at the function at Bangladesh Shishu Academy in Dhaka.

Hasina said her government was planning to start special counselling in schools for the children with disabilities.

She also criticised the admission system at schools and said children’s right to get admission at institutions in their areas needed to be ensured.

The prime minister asked the officials of her office to monitor and coordinate with the relevant ministries.

She urged the educational institutions to ensure proper sports and entertainment for the children.

She said every child needed to learn at school firsthand about the history of the country’s War of Independence and victory over Pakistani army in 1971.

Hasina also ordered relevant authorities to ensure security at all schools across the country.

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