Facebook ready to help BD deal with environmental issues

Facebook ready to help BD deal with environmental issues

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Dhaka, Jan 23 – After launching a blood donation feature here on Tuesday, Facebook is now ready to support Bangladesh government to carry out awareness campaign on various social and environmental issues using its popular and big platform.In an interview with UNB, Ritesh Mehta, the head of programmes of Facebook South Asia, said they will continue to engage with Bangladesh government and civil society members so that people can be benefited from their giant social networking site.
“We’ll be happy to have awareness campaign using our platform in the right possible way. We’ve a platform and the government or anyone can use it for the welfare of society,” he said.
Replying to a question whether Facebook will come up with a positive response if the government wants to carry out a campaign to create awareness among people about environment or the bad effect of the use of polythene shopping bags, Ritesh said, “We’ll surely support it.”
Ritesh also said they strongly believe that technology has the potential to solve big social problems. “We want to make sure that our platform is used for the welfare of people and society. We also want people to use it for solving their problems.”
Asked whether Facebook has any other plan to play a big role in Bangladesh’s health and other sectors, he said they want to start their initiatives here in a focused way. “Blood donation feature is our first initiative here, and once we get success in it, then we’ll think of other areas to work for.”
Ritesh said they are working in collaboration with the ICT Ministry here to train some 10,000 people on digital marketing skills and empowering tech entrepreneurs. “We’ve already trained 6,000 youths. Our target, in collaboration with the government, is to train upto 10,000 people next year.”
During the Digital World Bangladesh programme, he said, they announced to launch ‘She Means Business’. “The programme will be implemented this year with trainings and support for women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.”
Ritesh said they had a discussion with new ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Sunday to enhance further cooperation with the country and help it achieve its goal of Digital Bangladesh. “We want to continue our collaboration and efforts to help the country materialise its dream of building Digital Bangladesh.”
Replying to a question, Ritesh said Facebook believes that it can play bigger role in making some local initiative into reality. “That’s why we’re working here with the government and civil society members.”
About their future engagement with Bangladesh, he said, “As we learn more about local needs, we’ll continue to engage with the government as well as people and civil society members here. We’ll explore the new ways so that the people of Bangladesh and society can be benefited from our platform.”
Facebook product manager health Hema Budaraju said Bangladesh can be an example for other nations by solving its problems like the shortage of safe blood through technology.
“We actually want to create awareness among people that we can use technology for the good cause of people and society,” she added.
Meanwhile, Facebook rolled out a new feature here today (Tuesday) to help people in need of blood by connecting them directly to blood donors as Bangladesh has the shortage of safe blood like many other countries.
Bangladesh is the second country after India where Facebook launched the toll to make it easy for people to find blood and bring the blood donors, blood recipients and organisations together more efficiently.
Facebook users in Bangladesh now can sign up to be blood donors. To sign up, people can edit their profiles to let others know that they’re willing to donate blood or visit facebook.com/donateblood.
This feature is now available on Android, iOS and www.
In the next few weeks, Hema said they will make it further easy for people and organisations, such as blood banks and hospitals, to connect with blood donors on Facebook. – UNB

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