Mymensingh divisional River Olympiad 2016, commenced at Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) campus on 28 October 2016. Waterkeepers Bangladesh, Riverine People and Samakal Swurid Somabesh jointly organized the Olympiad with the theme, “Know Your River, Revive It Better”. With the spontaneous participation of students, co-organizer ‘The Voice of the Old Brahmaputra River’ hosted the day-long program there.
Abdul Matin, the general secretary of BAPA, inaugurated the formal opening of the river Olympiad by freeing the balloons in the sky. People presented at the Olympiad were: Senator of Riverine People Professor. Anwar Hossain, Assistant Editor of Samakal Mr. Sirajul Islam Abed, director of Riverine People Nusrat Khan, and Mir Ghulam Mustafa, the chief of Samakal Mymensingh Bureau.
After the formal opening, a 50 marks MCQ contest was taken on the morning. Besides, the Bangladesh Agricultural University, students from Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Mymensingh Medical College and Ananda Mohan College took part to the competition. Among the participants, director of Riverine people, Tariqul Islam declared the name of the 20 winners. From the first to the twentieth position were respectively: – Zahidul Islam Rony (BAU), Saifur Rehman (BAU), Mehdi Hassan Ratul (BAU), Mohaiminul Islam (BAU), Zubair Bin Kamal (BAU), Asif Mujtaba (BAU), Abul Bashar (Miraj) (BAU), Rashidul Islam (BAU), Ahmed (Mymensingh Medical College), Jubair Hossain (BAU), Majnu Mia (National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam University), Rafsan Jony (BAU), Surojita Karmakar Dipta (BAU), Raihanul Hasan (BAU), Samia Ahmed (Mymensingh Medical College), Mehdi Hassan (BAU), Rajiula Islam Rocky (BAU), Md. Touhidul Islam (BAU), Ghazi Asika Bahar (Mymensingh Medical College) and Zahidul Islam (BAU).
After the MCQ competition, there was a panel discussion where the students were open to ask any river related question to the panelists. Ajay Dasgupta, DR. Abdul Matin, Dr. Md. Monjurul Alam, Ibnul Syed Rana, Mir Golam Mustafa and Sheikh Rokon were the designated panelists in that session.
Introducing the Olympiad theme, “Know your river, revive it better”, at the conference room of Bangladesh Agricultural Institute, the chief guest of this divisional Olympiad Prof Dr Md. Ali Akbar said, “Bangladesh is a riverine country. From the beginning of the human civilization, rivers are playing a vital role in our life. There are hundreds of big and small rivers in our country. The rivers are the source of our wealth. If you look at the history of ancient civilizations, you will find that it have been built on the banks of the river. Egyptian civilization was built on the banks of the Nile, and the Indus Valley civilization by the bank of Indus. Rivers became the center of business and settlements. Brahmaputra river that was flowing once on our side, now it’s dying. Many rivers are being affected by human activities. There are many beneficial aspects of the river. The river carries waste sediment. It’s not only the natural causes but also the rivers are dying due to man-made causes. However, this man made causes can be controlled. It is very beneficial to encourage young people so that they should be interested in protecting the rivers.
Associate editor of Somokal, Ajay Dasgupta said, ‘during my student life I participated in the dredging of Brahmaputra in Mymensingh. I also have several experiences in dredging of the rivers in Barisal. Somokal has always been trying to perform a variety of social responsibilities. We all must work together to protect the river. For making this happened, we are urging the youth to take the role’.
Professor Dr. Md. Monjurul Alam said, ‘the first civilization began by the bank of the river. The most obvious is access to a usually reliable source of water for agriculture and human needs. In fact, the culture of agriculture started at the bank of the river. Youth should come forward to protect the rivers. We can reduce pollution only if we all work together and with our combined effort’.
The Secretary General of Riverine People Mr. Sheikh Rokon said, ‘Our rivers are dying day by day. Hence, all of us should have to work together to save them. Although we’re trying, we need your cooperation too. We can reduce pollution only if we all work together and with our combined effort. Only, then it will be possible to protect the rivers’.
Dr. Mohd. Abdul Matin said, ‘unfortunately people are trying to grab rivers considering it as a product. The rivers are turned into a place where anyone can throw rubbish. So, the youth as well as the common people should come forward to save the rivers.’
The closing ceremony of the River Olympiad was presided over by professor Md. Ali Akbar, Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University, Proctor Dr. AKM Zakir Hossain and the Advisor of Samakal Swurid Somabesh, Mymenshing.
Proctor Dr. AKM Zakir Hossain, Ibnul Syed Rana, Voice of the Old Brahmaputra River, A Waterkeepers Bangladesh Affiliate, Md. Alauddin, Member of National River Conservation Commission; Sheikh Rokon, Secretary General of Riverine People, professor Md. Manjurul Alam , BAU and Sirajul Islam Abed, Editor of Samakal Swurid Somabesh spoke as special guests in the meeting.