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Proving children can do great things

© UNICEF Bangladesh/2008/Tanvir Murad
8-year-old Nabila Shawlin receives Meena Media Award from Mr. Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative
DHAKA, 11 November 2008. When 8-year-old Nabila Shawlin visited Barguna and witnessed the destruction of Cyclone Sidr, she was compelled to tell a story of tragedy, survival and an enduring human spirit.

Today, Nabila was one of 19 writers, presenters, film makers, directors and producers who received a Meena Media Award for their contribution to children’s issues in print and television media in Bangladesh.

The youngest person to ever receive a Meena Media Award, Nabila was a beacon of inspiration when she received the 3rd prize for creative print media, under 18 category..

“So many people’s houses were damaged in Sidr but the children suffered the most. I remember one little child near a grave…I was so sad seeing this child,” Nabila said. “When I came back to Dhaka I could not celebrate Eid. I had to write this story.’

“I love Meena because she shows that young children can do lots of things. I will write many, many stories to prove that children can do great things,” she said.

Veteran creative artist and television personality Mr. Mostafa Monwar received the first prize for his television muppet show  Hature Daktar (an untrained village ‘quack’) in the television broadcast category. The award was particularly special for Monwar who was involved in the creation of the Meena animation character.

© UNICEF Bangladesh/2008/Tanvir Murad
Winners of 2008 Meena Media Award
“I’m so happy to receive this award and to have been a part of creating Meena,” Mr. Monwar said. “People think children can’t express themselves but I think they have more creativity and humanity than adults.”

UNICEF Representative, Mr. Carel de Rooy, presented the awards and congratulated the winners on the talent and creativity of their submissions.

“These awards are not about winning or loosing. It’s about a spirit of advancing children’s media in Bangladesh, raising awareness and promoting the issues,” Mr. de Rooy said.

The Meena Media Awards were introduced by UNICEF in 2005 to celebrate excellence in creative media and journalism, both print and television. The award is named after Meena, a popular animated character whose stories champion the rights of children across South Asia.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges who are eminent personalities in literature, journalism, academia, film, documentary and the media



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