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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors continue to support women and children

 DHAKA, October 2, 2007: Three of Bangladesh’s top sporting idols – national cricket captain Mohammad Ashraful, former national skipper Habibul Bashar, and Guinness Book of Records-famed table tennis star Zobera Rahman Linu – recently renewed their contracts as UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassadors for another year.
In the next year, Ashraful, Bashar and Linu will work to help UNICEF step up its advocacy and mass awareness campaigns in the areas of birth registration, violence against children, child and maternal health, HIV/AIDS, and child immunization.
“We are extremely happy that these eminent sports personalities have renewed their contracts, which speak of their continued concern for the children and women of the country,” said Mr. Louis-Georges Arsenault, Representative of UNICEF in Bangladesh.
He said in Bangladesh cricket has become a sub-culture of sorts, where people worship their cricket stars, while 16-time national table-tennis champion Linu also has a popular following. “When they speak the country listens. We feel flattered that they are willing to use their voice for the betterment of children and women,” he added.
Renewing the contract, Mr. Mohammad Ashraful said, “We would like to render our services more in order to create a positive impact on the lives of the country’s children because they need all the support that they can possibly get”.
Meanwhile, former skipper of the Bangladesh cricket team Mr. Habibul Bashar said: “We will be happy if we could make a positive change in the society.”
Citing an example, he said many people of Bangladesh still do not know the importance of birth registration and how it impacts the lives of all. “We should make people realize that all children should be registered at birth as it is the primary identity of all,” he added.
Ms. Linu, on the other hand, said that it would be great if the involvement of sports personalities could help ensure the rights of women and children, especially girl children, by sensitizing the general public.
“Every woman deserves to live with honour and dignity and every child deserves a good start in life”, she said hoping that greater empowerment of women in society will ultimately lead to the increased wellbeing of children.

For more information, please contact:
Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury
Communication Officer, UNICEF Bangladesh
BSL Office Complex, 1 Minto Road, Dhaka
Tel: 880 2 9336701-10, Ext: 392



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