Bangladesh's first digital TV station, Channel i, has turned 22 and started its 23rd year in service today.
Marking its latest birthday, President Md Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud, and others, congratulated the satellite channel, according to a supplement.
Wishing the Channel i family, President Hamid said the channel has been making and broadcasting programmes maintaining the spirit of the Liberation War.
He praised the channel for its role in the development of agriculture in the country and its contribution in working towards environmental protection.
He also urged the channel to regularly broadcast awareness programmes to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president hoped that Channel i will continue its effort to promote Bangalee culture both at home and abroad.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated the board of directors, journalists, and other employees of the channel on the occasion.
She said "The Awami League government has always played a pioneering role in the development of mass media. During our 1996-2001 tenure, we approved the operation of satellite television."
She said, "In this era of information technology, television can no longer have a role of solely being a medium for entertainment. They must also broadcast programmes needed to raise awareness among people about Covid-19."
The prime minister hoped Channel i will play a more effective role in turning the country into the 'Golden Bangladesh' the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of, by airing objective news and quality programmes. She wished the channel continued prosperity.
Information Minister Hasan Mahmud in his wishes to the channel, said, "I am glad to learn that Channel i has completed 22 years of its journey."
He wished for the channel to reach domestic and global audiences with a message of welfare and joy.
Channel i Managing Director Faridur Reza Sagar, Director and Head of News Saikh Siraj, and Director General of Bangla Academy Mohammad Nurul Huda also wrote and contributed to the supplement.
Channel i started its journey on 1 October 1999 with the slogan "Hridoye Bangladesh" or "Bangladesh at heart."
Owned by Impress Group, the channel initially aired pre-recorded television programmes for 12 hours, but was converted to a 24-hour channel within two years of its launch. Later, in 2017, the channel launched a high definition (HD) edition.