The prime minister said that a peaceful, stable environment is a pre-condition for development
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked all concerned, including the Ansar and VDP members, to always remain vigilant against drug abuse, militancy and terrorism in the country.
She said: "We must remain alert in resisting drug abuse, militancy and terrorism" while addressing the 39th National Rally of Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) at Ansar-VDP Academy in Shafipur, Gazipur.
The prime minister said the battalion Ansar members and its members have been sincerely working to maintain the law and order and ensure public security during different national, social and religious festivals in the country every year.
Referring to the role of Ansar and VDP members in the recent elections, Sheikh Hasina thanked them for performing their duties competently during the polls.
"In the 11th parliamentary election, some 500,000 Ansar and VDP members performed their duties risking their lives to provide security to voters in 40,183 polling stations and presented a fair election to the people of Bangladesh," she said.
Mentioning that five Ansar members sacrificed their lives performing the election duty, she prayed for their souls and expressed her deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.
At the rally, the five Ansar members were given “Moronuttar Shahoshikata Padak” (Posthumous Gallantry Medals).
She said the Ansar members had played an important role in resisting the arson violence unleashed by BNP-Jamaat in 2014 and 2015, particularly in providing security to the railway and other public assets.
The prime minister said the Ansar members have been demonstrating their competence and successes during any national crisis and emergency period.
Alongside taking different social safety net programs to alleviate poverty from the country's rural areas, the premier said her government had initiated the “One House One Firm” project so that each fallow land comes under cultivation and the rural people attain their financial solvency by selling products through a cooperative system.
"I have named 'One House One Firm' project as 'My House My Firm' project," she said.
In this regard, the Prime Minister said she has already directed the authorities concerned to engage Ansar and VDP members in the project. "Since you (Ansar and VDP members) have received training, you can play a greater role in this regard (the project)," she added.
She said Ansar and VDP members can also attain their financial solvency working in the project.
The premier said her government has been implementing various projects for the development of Ansar and VDP coming in power in 2009.
She also said the Ansar and VDP members have been contributing to the economic development of the country by maintaining the public security, peace and order.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is now recognized as a developing country, she asked everyone to work sincerely
Upon her arrival at the venue, the prime minister was welcomed by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Public Security Division Secretary Mostafa Kamal Uddin, Director General of Bangladesh Ansar and VDP Major General Kazi Sharif Kaikobad.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq and Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah were present.
She inspected a parade of Ansar and VDP riding an open jeep and received salute.
PM Sheikh Hasina handed over special medals to 153 Ansar and VDP members for their bravery and praiseworthy services.
She gave Bangladesh Ansar Medals to 10 Ansar members, while President's Ansar Medals to 20, Bangladesh VDP Medals to nine, President VDP Medals to six members, Bangladesh Ansar Services Medals to 20, President's Ansar Services Medals to 40, Bangladesh VDP Services Medals to 16, and President's VDP Services Medals to 32 members.