June 8, 2006: Five win Meena Media Awards 2006
Dhaka, Thursday, 08 June 2006: Two teenagers were among the winners of this year’s Meena Media Awards. The 15 and 17 year old teenagers attended the prize giving ceremony this morning at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhaka.The Meena Media Awards were introduced in 2005. This UNICEF sponsored initiative is aimed at promoting excellence in media that is for, and about, children.
“These awards recognize and pay tribute to children who have written a story or made a film that shows their view of the world,” said UNICEF Representative, Louis-Georges Arsenault. “These awards also pay tribute to adults who have made films or written stories that are about children and highlight their lives.”
This year’s awards went to five winners. Rafiqul Islam Montu, Staff Reporter of the Daily Sangbad for his story on the difficult life of child workers at Dublar Char, Zhantu Chakma, a professional video editor of Channel-S for his film on the lives of children in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Shahiduzzaman Badal of Dhaka Photographic Institute for his film on gypsi children, Rumki Sutradhar Jhumur (15 years), an SSC candidate from Vikarunnessa Noon School for her short essay on the enthusiasm that grip Bangladesh on the occasion of Bengali New Year and Sameer Moyeen (17 years) of International School Dhaka for his video production on the deplorable condition that child labours face in Bangladesh.
Mr. Arsenault gave away the prizes. Each winner received a cheque of Tk 50,000 (approx $750), a Meena crest and a certificate of appreciation.
In his statement at the prize giving ceremony, the UNICEF Representative congratulated all participants for their commitment to the cause of children.
“We as adults have a duty to advocate for those without a voice but also those without a platform. We should speak out, loud and long,” he said. “Whether you win or lose on the day... the real winners are the children of Bangladesh who need your help in speaking when they cannot.”
Mr Arsenault also announced UNICEF’s continuing support for the Meena Media Awards which will continue as an annual event. He also highlighted the pivotal role that media play in safeguarding the rights of children. “The media is very important. In fact the media has a responsibility to accurately portray the rights of the child but also to highlight when those rights are not being upheld.”
This year UNICEF received 131 submissions of which 11 were short-listed under three broad categories i.e., Electronic Media, Print Media and Folk Media. Finally five were awarded the prizes.
The jury board that examined all entries and then chose the finalists included eminent novelist Selina Hossain; TV personality and columnist Muhammad Jahangir; former Director of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum Muhammad Asgar Ali; electronic media expert, AKM Aminur Rahman; President of Bangladesh Jatrashilpa Unnayan Parishad Milon Kanti Dey and Shamsuddin Ahmed of UNICEF.