Guwahati: The Bodoland University, with active support from the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) government, organized the first Bodoland International Knowledge Festival in Kokrajhar on Monday.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Nobel Laureate economist Prof Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh, Padma Shri awardee philanthropist and diamond exporter Savji Bhai Dholakia, SECMOL founder Sonam Wangchuk, Bollywood actor and philanthropist Vivek Oberoi, BTR Chief Pramod Boro, Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary, Assam Minister UG Brahma, and Consul General of the Royal Bhutanese Consulate General Guwahati, Jigme Thinlye Namgyl.
During his speech at the event, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, emphasized the significance of empowering women for the overall development of society.
Yunus stressed the importance of empowering women and encouraging youth to become entrepreneurs instead of job seekers.
“If 10 million women could be made entrepreneurs, all humans would become entrepreneurs,” he said.
He urged the BTR Chief Promod Boro to create an environment in the BTR that supports entrepreneurship
Yunus shared his past experiences as a teacher and economist and how empowering women helped bring about change in Bangladesh. He also spoke about the negative impacts of global warming and artificial intelligence and emphasized the need to redesign the economic framework for a better future.
Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance.
BTR Chief Pramod Boro described the inauguration of the Bodoland Knowledge Festival as a historic event.
“We are extremely happy and glad to welcome some of the wonderful human beings whose contributions to change humans are immense. We hope this will mark a new beginning in the BTR,” said Boro.
Boro affirmed their commitment to improving the lives of the 3.5 million people in the BTR, following a four-decade-long journey plagued by violence.
The Bodoland International Knowledge Festival focuses on achieving social development priorities and key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 in contemporary BTR and the world.
The festival will deliberate and discuss various themes and sub-themes, including Science & Technology, Livelihood, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Women Empowerment, Child Rights & Protection, Peace Building, Good Governance, Communication and Media, Behavioural Change & Communication, Human Rights, Sustainable Agriculture, Climate Justice and Action, Quality Education, Health and Wellbeing, Art & Culture, Youth Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property Rights, Trade, Commerce and Investment, and BTR in the light of the Act East Policy.
More than 300 invited delegates from across India and 35 international delegates from 14 countries are participating in the festival.
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The Knowledge Festival has more than 10,000 participants, including students, academicians, researchers, development practitioners, government officials, politicians, entrepreneurs, farmers, and SHG members among others.
In addition, the inaugural ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Nobel Laureate economist Prof Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, Padma Shri awardee philanthropist and diamond exporter Savji Bhai Dholakia, SECMOL founder Sonam Wangchuk, Bollywood actor and philanthropist Vivek Oberoi, BTR Chief Pramod Boro, Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary, Assam minister UG Brahma, and Consul General Royal Bhutanese Consulate General Guwahati Jigme Thinlye Namgyl.
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