Sheikh Rokonuzzaman

Sheikh Rokonuzzaman

Sheikh Rokonuzzaman, Bangladesh

Writer and researcher Sheikh Rokon is the founding Secretary General of Riverine People, a Dhaka-based national civil society initiative on river and water. He has been writing and researching on green, ecology, water and rivers. He is known for his expertise on India-Bangladesh trans-boundary river issues, youth engagement in river movement, citizen science on rivers and riverine community culture. Sheikh Rokon obtained BSS and MSS degree in Mass Communication from University of Dhaka. He has completed a special course on India-Bangladesh Water Relations from Sikkim University, Gangtok, India. He is awarded by professional fellowship by US State Department. Sheikh Rokon is the author of couples of books and writes column frequently on river and environmental issues. He is often interviewed in the Bangladeshi and Indian newspapers on riverine issues. He is the editor of ‘Nadee’ a Bangla publication dedicated to riverine issues. His most favorite hobby is to traveling rivers.

Presentation Title:River Olympiad: The Youth Engagement for River Protection.

Thre are couples of the Olympiads in the world; but ‘River Olympiad’ in Bangladesh is the first event of its kind of the history.

Bangladesh is a land of river and youth. Not only its geographical feature, but also the civilization, culture, climate, crops, communication systems are made and maintained by hundreds of criss-crossed rivers. And around 50 percent population of the riverine country is in the age group 15-29 with high rate of literacy- around 85 percent. But both of the rivers and youth community of Bangladesh are at the threat of devaluation due to ‘pollution’ and other anti-ecology and anti-social activities.

Riverine People is an initiative dedicated to river and driven by youth. It is established, operated and engaged by a large group of fresh graduate and young professionals. Riverine People perceive that engaging youth in river protecting movement and campaign can bring meaningful changes for both of the river and youth. It is engaging graduation and post-graduation level student into a positive program and benefiting the environment long run. It is to make an informed and insightful youth community passionate for riverine cause in an interesting way.

Riverine People started National River Olympiad in October 2016 targeting 10 public and 10 private universities. Five thousands of university students had registered to compete in this event. They took in MCQ exam in primary round and selected top twenty students from each event is to take part in final competition. The registered students have shown and proven their interest for riverine cuase already. This event has made big echo nationally through the media, civil society members, experts and river practitioners. Riverine people is planning to arrange a South Asian River Olympiad next year, 2018.