BY LEVI JOHNSON
The Cheer News freelance journalist in Bangladesh, Mr Muhammad Owasim Uddin Bhuyan has been recognized with the prestigious OKUP Media Award 2020 for his significant contribution to writing migration issues of Bangladesh.
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad handed over the award and the certificate at a prize-giving ceremony in the InterContinental Hotel in Dhaka on Thursday evening.
The program titled on OKUP Media Award 2020 and Launching of a Migrant Music Video “OvibashiTomay Salam’was organized by OvibashiKarmiUnnayan Program (OKUP), a grassroots organization working to protect migrant workers.
European organization the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) extended its financial support to arrange the program.
An independent jury board consisting a professor of Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Dhaka University and three other distinguished journalists of national media have assessed the reports and scored for the journalists to get them selected for awards, said the organizer.
Journalist Owasim Udin Bhuyan has been awarded among other seven journalists from print and electronic media in the country.
Other awardees included Prothom Alo senior reporter Mohiuddin Niloy, Financial Express Staff Reporter Arafat Ara, Samakal senior report RajibAhamod, Januna TVsenior reporter Alamgir Hossain, Bangla TV journalist Md Sharif Iqbal, Daily Araihazareditor Md Masum Billah and Amar Bikrampur chief reporter Md Shihab Ahmed.
CAFOD representative Richard Slomanthrough a video message from London congratulated the migration media award winners.
Speaking as chief guest EWOE Minister Imran Ahmad said that remittance sent by migrant workers has emerged as a great factor for the country’s development.
“The prime minister thinks of development and money is supplied by the migrant workers,” he said.
The minister, however, mentioned that migrant workers were paying the high cost of migration and they were also getting deceived frequently.
The minister emphasized the positive role of media to change the migration sector.
Speaking as a special guest, EWOE ministry secretary Dr Ahmed MunirusSaleheen said that the narrative of international migration seemed to be toxic but it has to be changed by objective reporting.
“Migration is playing a big in poverty alleviation in Bangladesh and so it has to be considered as a development tool,” he said.
Referring to the guidance of the Global Compact on Safe Orderly and Regular Migration, he said that good governance would be established in the migration sector through a strong partnership with stakeholders including the media.
Lawmaker Nazrul Islam Babu, among others, also spoke at the ceremony.
In his welcome address, OKUP executive director Omar Faroque Chowdhury said that the media award program has been arranged to recognize the role of media.
As the son of the migrant worker, he said that he was also cheated by brokers because he intended to migrate to Europe 15 years ago.
OKUP chairman Shakitul Islam said that migrant workers have been contributing to the national economy by sending their hard-earned remittance. A rights-based protection system for the migrant workers should be established, he said.
The recruitment process should be made fair and ethical to reduce migration cost, he added