President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Rubana Huq has planned to write the biography of her late husband Annisul Huq alongside putting in efforts to materialize his dream to make Dhaka a clean city.
She is, however, still undecided whether she will join politics following the footsteps of her husband, the former mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) who passed away on November 30, 2017 at the age of 65.
In a recent interview with UNB, Rubana said she is focusing on the development of the readymade garment sector and restoration of its image in her two-year tenure.
"I'm not sure what I'll do in the future. But one thing I know is that I'll take a new project on completion of my tenure as the BGMEA president. The project is to write the biography of Annis. I'm very eager about it," she said.
Rubana said she is still undecided whether she will join politics. "There comes a time when some unexpected incidents take place that change the course of life. So, I can't say what will happen in the future, but I want to move forward with transparency and determination."
But, she said, if any other responsibility is bestowed upon her, she will then think of it. "So, I'm not willing to say yes or no about joining politics right now." The BGMEA president said her husband dreamt of turning Dhaka into a beautiful city. "His simple dream was that no wall of Dhaka would remain dirty while many walls would have visible beautiful graffiti."
She said Annisul had spoken to some artists before falling sick to make it happen, but could not implement it. "I urge the current mayor to take an initiative for implementing it." Rubana said various social messages can be highlighted with artworks on the walls. "We can also give some messages on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) alongside social ones. It'll help [authorities] beautify Dhaka."
She said people used to gather at some places for chatting and having quality time in the past, but this community concept has now disappeared. "So, Annisul had another dream of restoring this community concept and increase social interaction among the city dwellers."
The BGMEA president said her husband wanted to take such a project to create a scope for a weekly social gathering by blocking some roads. "He had a plan to first block off the Gulshan-2 circle on Friday without hampering traffic flow. Popup shops can be set up there with traditional fair like Meena Bazar and concert so that people can enjoy and interact there."
Rubana said she talked to some architects who suggested making such a weekly social gathering on road No 103 near Pink City. "I'll propose the mayor for creating a scope for popup gathering every Friday there. If we can initiate it, then the community concept will be brought back. It'll help increase social connection and intimacy among people."
She said the community concept is very important for a city like Dhaka where fields are disappearing along with social bonding and contact among people. "Now, we don't know our neighbors and don't have contact with people living next to our houses. Scopes for moral degradation are created when social contacts are diminished. Drug abuse and frustration have marked a sharp rise for the lack of social contact."
"That's why Annis had a plan to increase social contact and intimacy among people through popup gatherings in the city. So, I call upon the current mayor to take measures to make it happen," the BGMEA president said.
Rubana said she is making her best her efforts to successfully discharge her responsibilities as the BGMEA president. "I've a plan both for enhancing the image of the sector and the welfare of garment workers."
She also said the BGMEA will take some visible steps for the wellbeing of female garment workers and their children. "The buyers need to extend their cooperation in this regard."
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