The Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), with the collaboration of British High Commission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other donor agencies, awarded “Shonar Manush Award” to three migrants for their economic contribution.
Two migrants’ respective family members also received the award for properly investing the remittance they had received. The award was conveyed at a ceremony at the Liberation War Museum Auditorium in Dhaka on Thursday.
One of the recipients, Nazmul Talukder of Tangail went to Dubai in 2009 for a better life. He worked hard, and invested his earnings in his own locality in Tangail. Now 162 people financially depend on his various ventures.
Nazmul created a jackfruit garden in 1.5 acres of land within a year after leaving home for Dubai. He later created fish farms in three pounds, established oil mills, and launched a couple of cattle farms. He recently became a partner in a paper mill.
Another awardee, Md Nooruddin Ahmed worked for six years in Bahrain. He created a cattle farm with the money he earned. Currently, he has 30 cows and 13 sheep in his farm worth Tk 35 lakh.
Nooruddin established fish farms in 1,600 bigha of area. Now the value of his farms is Tk 3 crore. He created fish feed mills. He earns Tk20 lakhs annually, and through his businesses in Cumilla, he provides employment to 38 people.
Md Salimullah, an award recipient, went Saudi Arabia in 1979. He started his job as a hotel boy in a Chinese restaurant in Saudi Arabia. He returned home in 1988. He bought 11 acre of land and establish a fish farm in that land.
Salimullah established a Madrasa where 625 students are currently studying. He also established a high school on 52 decimal of land, which has 650 students, 12 teachers and 2 staff.
He also established a market with 30 shops, and distributed the space to 30 people without any rent.
In family member category, Umme Habiba Ruma of Tangail’s Kalihati and Sheully Islam of Mymensingh’s Bhaluka areas received the award.
In the government employee category, Assistant Director Md Fakhrul Alam of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), who worked at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport’s Probasi Kallyan Help Desk, was awarded for exemplary service during Covid crisis.
The RMMRU also awarded the Wage Earners’ Welfare board and Grievance Management Committee – a community based initiative of Tangail, for recovering the money of migrants taken by the middlemen and fraudulent recruiting agencies.
Speaking as the special guest, State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam said, "According to a research, 48 per cent of remittance comes illegally through hundi. So, formally and informally, remittance is contributing 7 per cent – 8 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“They are earning, and providing employment opportunities in the country under different industries, such as agriculture and livestock. They are adding value to our economy.”
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed said, “The average salary in South Korea is 2 lakh, and it is more than 1.5 lakh in Japan. We are sending people in these two countries.
“Unskilled workers suffer different problems abroad, but skilled and technical workers are earning large sums of money as there is a huge demand for such people in different countries.”
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said, "Around 10 million Bangladeshis are working on the development of destination countries. They are keeping those countries’ economies alive.”