Social issues have been a growing challenge worldwide, and even more pressing in developing nations such as Bangladesh. Despite our progress in transitioning from a low-income to a middle-income country, there is still work to be done and not nearly enough effective initiatives to tackle the problems. As such, the AIUB Shomoy Club brought together teams of bright minds from various schools and colleges around the city in an idea-generation competition to find the best “Innovative Development Efforts & Actions for Sustainability (IDEAS)”.
Following a buzzing week of registration for participants from multiple fields of study, day-long finale was held on the 8th of December 2016 on the university premises. The event showcased the project submissions from around 20 different institutions, comprising of over 125 participants. Each team exhibited and presented their ideas through either handmade posters or model prototypes, addressing a particular social issue, based on some of the ‘Social Development Goals (SDGs)’ of the United Nations. A panel of judges evaluated each idea on a number of criteria, ranging from their feasibility to their creative implementation. The panel held both internal and external judges, including faculty representatives, Ms. Farheen Hassan and Dr. Tabin Hasan, along with noteworthy guest judges. Capt. (retd) AB Tajul Islam, a Member of the Parliament and the Chairman of the Standing Committee in the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs graced the occasion with his presence as the Chief Guest, together with Mr. Bikash Kishore Das, the Additional Secretary of the Statistics & Informatics Division of the Ministry of Planning, who acknowledged the hard work of the talented participants at the competition. The event also played host to the honorable Vice Chancellor, Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna, and the Vice President for Student Affairs, Ms. Nadia Anwar, who presided over the opening ceremony together, along with the different faculty deans, directors, department heads, and other administrative officials.
The projects were also voted upon by visiting faculty members, students, and administrative officials, which contributed to the final results. After careful considerations, calculations, and comments, the final scores put the winning teams at an intensely close match. It was neck-in-neck. The 3rd place was taken by the ‘Team Explorer’ from Safiuddin Sarker Academy & College for the Project Prototype on Climate Change. ‘Team Mobin’ from B.A.F Shaheen College won the 2nd Place for their Project Prototype on Quality Education. But in the end, it was ‘Team Quark’ from Notre Dame College who truly proved their mettle and won the 1st Place for their Project Prototype on Climate Change. The Pro-Vice Chancellor awarded the certificates to all the participants and the crests and prize money to the winning teams in the closing ceremony, held at the end of the day in the AIUB Auditorium.
It was inspiring to witness such young creative critical-thinkers, passionately presenting ideas that they believe could be the ultimate solution to many unyielding complications that maim our society today. With the support of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and the AIUB Management, the AIUB Shomoy Club has persevered in their pursuit of contributing to the social welfare in our country. Humbled by the response of their modest efforts, they are geared now more than ever, to take on new challenges in the society and put their ideas into actions for realizing real sustainable developments in the future.