Humanitarian action and philanthropic purpose is one of the characteristics of a human state. A state engaged in fulfilling the daily needs of the people as well as practising and developing more human attributes can be called a humanitarian state. The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman included many issues of public welfare in the Constitution of Bangladesh in addition to the humanitarian aspects in line with the UN Charter of Human Rights and international proclamations.
As Prime Minister for the first time in 1996, Sheikh Hasina undertook many humanitarian activities like ‘old age allowance’, ‘widow and husband abandonment woman allowance’, ‘indigent freedom fighter allowance’, ‘shelter project’ and ‘ideal village’ programs.
One of the features of Sheikh Hasina's poverty alleviation is humanitarian development. In a speech on October 17, 2018, she said, “We have a human face of development. Improving the state of life of the people living in poverty…” Social security programs and inclusive economic growth are playing a vital role in achieving this goal.” Sheikh Hasina's various actions and attitudes for the helpless, orphans, the elderly, women, children, poets, writers and intellectuals have been praised all over the world. Nelson Mandela said, "The extraordinary quality of Sheikh Hasina's leadership is to stand by the oppressed, deprived, poor people." According to the daily newspaper on 12 August 2020, 8 lakh 82 thousand 33 homeless families of the country are being given houses by the government.
On the initiative of Sheikh Hasina, enclaves were exchanged with India in 2015. As a result, millions of people who have been living inhumane lives for 67 years have got new addresses. Her leadership-philosophy on the Rohingya issue has established a new status for humanitarian Bangladesh and over the world. Speaking on the Rohingya issue in the National Assembly on September 13, 2017, she said, "... who is a Hindu, who is a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist— it doesn't matter. We see people as human beings and have given them shelter humanely." Sheikh Hasina's proposals for 'people's empowerment' and 'culture of peace' were adopted on December 17, 2012 with the support of 193 UN member states. She also said at the 72nd session of the UN on September 21, 2017, "... we do not want war, we want peace, we want economic development, we do not want human destruction, and we want human welfare."
Sheikh Hasina has won more than fifty international awards and medals with the recognition of being one of the most honest, efficient and best prime ministers in the world. In 2017, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was declared the 'Mother of Humanity' by the British media and the 'Champion of Humanity' by Deccan University of Australia. She is also recognized as the world's best humanitarian leader in 2017, surpassing Pope Francis and Bill Gates. In September 2019, the European magazine 'Diplomat' published an article titled 'Sheikh Hasina: The Mother of Humanity'. The Centre for Human Leadership, an international development organization, wrote, "... Bangladesh is not a wealthy country, it does not have endless resources, yet Sheikh Hasina has led the world humanity by sheltering the Rohingyas." The President of Switzerland, Anna Berse, visited Bangladesh on February 6, 2018 and said, ‘Bangladesh is a humanitarian state. ... Switzerland always wants to be by the side of such a humane Bangladesh.'
During the rule of Sheikh Hasina, the functions and scope of the state and government have increased. Her humanitarian qualities and philanthropic work, policies, philosophy and ‘development theories through joint efforts have given new aspects to the world. Analyzing that from the point of view of political science, the idea of a human state becomes brighter. The people of the country also believe that she is the best person in the country, the best guide, the patriotic human ruler. Sheikh Hasina is compassionate, kind, principled and pious in her personal life.
Declaring a state day with a great personality, the beacon of human world like Sheikh Hasina is the demand of present time. She was born on 28 September in 1948. Celebrating her next birthday as ‘Humanitarian Bangladesh Day’ will be an inspiration for the peace-loving state and people and an example for the humanitarian world. For that reason, I put forward consideration to celebrate Sheikh Hasina's birthday on September 28 as Humanitarian Bangladesh Day.
The writer is an Education specialist. Email: [email protected]