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Role of Imams lauded for creating Covid-19 awareness

By City Desk
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Imams are playing a laudable role in raising public awareness on maintaining health directives, social distancing, personal hygiene and healthy behaviour during the coronavirus pandemic.
High officials made the observation at a meeting on "Religious Leaders' Engagement in Covid-19 Response" organized by the Rangpur divisional office of Islamic Foundation at its auditorium in the city with UNICEF assistance, said a press release.
Imams from all eight upazilas of Rangpur joined the event and shared experiences of how they are reaching thousands of community people with Covid-19 awareness raising messages.
Director General of Islamic Foundation and Additional Secretary Anis Mahmud attended the event as the chief guest with Deputy Commissioner of Rangpur Md. Asib Ahsan in the chair.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs Altaf Hossain Chowdhury spoke at the function as the special guest.
UNICEF Communication for Development Specialist Sheikh Masudur Rahman said religious leaders of Bangladesh have proven how effectively they can communicate and reach communities with such critical awareness messages to create a positive impression among people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speakers appreciated UNICEF, Islamic Foundation and local administrations for reinforcing awareness message dissemination through engaging Imams and religious leaders to prevent Covid-19 infection.
They said Imams played crucial roles through expressively talking in mosques about coughing and sneezing etiquette, social distancing and messages on quarantine and isolation during the Covid-19 situation.
Altaf Hossain Chowdhury lauded Imams' role in disseminating Covid-19 awareness raising messages and advised them also to promote inter-religious harmony and safeguard the rights of believers irrespective of religions.
The Deputy Commissioner discussed exemplary roles of Imams in providing ritual and funeral services amid the pandemic situation and removing trauma through mosque-based preaching of messages to tackle the situation.
Islamic Foundation's Divisional Director Mohiuddin Chowdhury valued UNICEF support to 124 mosque-based education centers in Rangpur for encouraging positive parenting, preventing violence against children and reducing stigma and discrimination during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The chief guest said Imams are the social and religious leaders who are very influential in communicating people and are helping communities through providing right information and moral motivation during the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
He urged all Imams to further strengthen not only Covid-19 message dissemination but also maternal, child health and child protection issues for the betterment of women and children.
Later, Divisional Commissioner Abdul Wahab Bhuiyan and UNICEF Rangpur Field Office Chief Najibullah Hameem in a briefing session reiterated their support to strengthen the role of religious leaders in Covid-19 message dissemination in Rangpur division.

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