Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government plans to build cultural centres in all upazilas to promote art and culture and help flourish budding talent across the country.
"We will build cultural centres in all 493 upazilas across the country so that our children get opportunities to develop their talent in art and culture," she said while inaugurating eight new buildings of Shilpakala Academy in Kusthia, Khulna, Jamalpur, Narayanganj, Pabna, Manikganj, Moulvibaxar and Rangpur.
The prime minister joined the programme, held at Shilpakala Academy in Dhaka, virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
She asked the authorities concerned to build multipurpose halls at the planned upazila-level cultural complexes where cinemas, including feature and short films can be screened.
"So you have to prepare the projects keeping that in your mind. People will get chance to have entertainment and they will get scope to develop their merits too," she said.
She called for patronisation of the traditional cultural practices and festivals such as folk songs, Jatra and Kobi gaan in the country.
"These are our invaluable assets that need our special attention," she said.
The PM reiterated that her government has created a fund of Tk1000 crore to modernise the old cinema halls of the country. She urged the owners to avail the opportunity and make the halls modern and smart.
"This opportunity is also available for the new cinema halls," she said.
She urged the people to stay alert about vested interest groups who seek to provoke confrontation between religion and culture. She said, "It's not right at all."
In this connection, she said that people from all religions celebrate Pahela Baishakh – the Bengali New Year's Day – with utmost festivity.
"We have to cultivate our tradition and continue this for the generation after generation," she said.
"We must not forget our tradition," she said adding that the nation has to go with the trend of the new era and the children have to cope with the modernity.
She said that tradition, modern technology and knowledge can't be separated from each other.
"We have to go further, we have to advance in the era of technology, all have to remember that," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that people from all religion lives in Bangladesh apart of small ethnic people.
"We have created scope for all cultures to flourish. We have to give special attention so these could be flourished further," she said.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, Cultural Affair Secretary Md Abul Monsur and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky also spoke at the programme.
A documentary on the newly constructed eight Shilpakala Academy buildings in eight districts was screened.
The prime minister also witnessed a colourful cultural programme staged at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.