November 28, 2014
Sister Varerie Taylor, Founder & Coordinator, CRP,
Mr. Md. Shafiqul Islam, Executive Director, CRP,
Executive Committee Members of ASCoN,
Members of ICRC,
Ladies and gentlemen.
Assalam alaikum and good afternoon.
I am very pleased to greet the players, coaches and staff from India and Nepal with those of Bangladesh and am most honored to be present at the opening ceremony of the Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.
It is the second tournament a decade after the first in Sri Lanka, and I would like to congratulate the Bangladesh team for its first participation.
I suppose all of you have been enduring rigorous training to win this tournament. Still, as we all know, things do not always go favorably. Some of you may have nearly lost heart for some reasons. After all you have gone through with it and are now attending the opening ceremony here in Dhaka. I wish to express my most profound esteem for your strong will and strenuous efforts to cope with physical disabilities.
Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, has been a time-tested development partner to India, Nepal and Bangladesh. We have our own representative offices in the three capitals. Yet, since I am Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office, please allow me to talk a little bit about our activities in Bangladesh.
JICA started a long, rewarding relationship with the People's Republic of Bangladesh by sending three Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, JOCVs, in 1973. Since then, it has been collaborating with the people and the government of Bangladesh in almost all sectors all over the country through technical cooperation, Official Development Assistance loan, grant aid and JOCV.
At present, around seventy JOCVs are engaging in various kinds of activities throughout Bangladesh. Three of the JOCVs are working for the disabled, and two JOCVs are involved with sports training. Out of the five JOCVs, Mr. Masamitsu Oshima and Ms. Yuki Idate have been supporting the Bangladesh wheelchair basketball team as a coach and a manager, respectively.
All that said, I swear I equally support all the three teams. I hope all of you will show what you are capable of and, above all, enjoy playing.
I also hope that many of you will take part in the Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020. We at JICA would like to continue supporting physically challenged persons.
In conclusion I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the persons and parties concerned who have done a lot to make this event possible.
Shobaike Annek Donnobad, Thank you very much.