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Stuff Correspondent
Hailing from his ancestral roots in the ancient city of Sonargaon, Engr. Sofiqul Islam is an information technologist and businessman. Despite having lived for many years in London due to his education in BSc. ICT and subsequent work, he never felt a sense of belonging for any country other than Bangladesh, More specifically, his nostalgia, love and longing for his birthplace and home Sonargaon fuelled his desire to come back to Bangladesh and help in the development of his beloved hometown.
In the past 20 years, he has completed numerous self-financed development projects in Sonargaon, with the aspiration of bringing back the glory of yesteryears of the ancient capital. He improved the infrastructure of roads and pavements as well as academic institutions such as schools and madrasas alongside mosques and other buildings. But soon realized that development of a larger scale requires much more than just self-finance.
“Sonargaon is already famous worldwide for its heritage. I simply want to bring back the glory of the past of this place which is just 16km away from Dhaka.” said Sofiqul.
“There are countless spectacular pieces of our history here. The only reason visitors are few is the lack of proper transportation and communication facilities. If the improvement of roads alongside provision of security is ensured, then the tourist influx to this place will establish it as a tourism city where both local and international people flock. Foreign tourists will enter the country, increasing our tourism sector’s revenue. If I am given the opportunity to develop this place as per my vision of this golden city, then the revenue generated here will be enough to even aid in the development of other areas.“ Furthermore, in the scenario that I am elected to represent Sonargaon, after turning the city into a bustling historical tourism destination, I shall focus on improving the quality of education provided there. Currently, many students from Sonargaonon a daily basis, go through health-depreciating commute to Dhaka for their education.
This alongside the long hours wasted in the journey mean that they cannot study when home and do not have the time nor motivation for self development and skill attainment either. Their examination results are also adversely affected by this. If the students can get access to excellent quality colleges and universities within Sonargaon then they can have better opportunities in life.