Journey to becoming a debater
Published : Thursday, 15 March, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 1534
Masud Parvez is a debater, organizer and volunteer. He has been awarded the Youth Icon Award by the National Debate Federation, Bangladesh (NDF BD) for two years in a row.
Besides working with NDF BD, he works with many other voluntary and youth organizations. In a recent conversation with the Young Observer, he talked about his plethora of
activities, future plans and more.
You have been working with the National Debate Federation, Bangladesh (NDF BD) for a long time. How did you get involved with the NDF BD?
In 2006, when I was in sixth grade, I participated in a public speaking competition organised by NDF BD. I won the competition and one of their executive members praised me. He asked whether I wanted to engage in debate. That is how my journey started. As time passed, I fell in love with the environment, the people, and the activities.
You have won the 'Golden Organizer Award' in 2012 and the 'NDF BD Youth Icon Award' in annual National Debate Fest for two consecutive years. Can you tell our readers how you have managed to prepare yourself for such an achievement?
I do not usually do things for achievement. Whenever I take up any responsibility, I always try to make sure I do my best to perform. It's all about loving your work and being responsible towards it.
When I was presented with the Golden Organizer Award, I was just a college student. It was a pleasant surprise for me to get such an honour at that age. But the most important thing that evoked and shaped all my successes is the support I got from my family, particularly my mother.
How is your experience working as a trainer for 'Maa O Sishu Bitorko' organized by Bangladesh Television (BTV)?
It is a privilege to work with BTV's regular show 'Maa O Sishu Bitorko' as a trainer for school debaters. When we used to come to BTV from different districts of the country to participate in debate competitions, we never received enough mentorship from our teachers or moderators. They could not pay too much attention to our performances.
Now, being a part of this, we can help the children make their logic more convincing, to increase their spirit of speaking confidently, and to practice appropriate strategies to win the competition.
It has been two years now and I am pleased to see the students trying to become better debaters, play with words, reading newspapers, books or other sources of information in order to establish their point.
You have worked with 'Save the Children's' project 'Light of Hope'. What have you learned from working with 'Save the Children'?
I had an opportunity to work with 'Save the Children's' one year long project 'Light of Hope' which taught me a lot about my own privileges. We used to go to slums, railway stations and rural areas to educate the children over there and provide them with healthy food.
I saw the harsh reality of countless lives suffering every single day. This project showed me how we can bring smiles on others' faces by just putting a little bit of effort.
You have worked as a Human Resource Co-ordinator of Youth School for Social Entrepreneurs (YSSE). Can you shed some light on this issue?
I joined YSSE as a volunteer of this organisation back in 2015, the same year it was founded. YSSE helps young minds to eliminate various problems of society with innovative ideas that can be transferred into profitable businesses.
A country like ours really needs good platforms in terms of solving social problems alongside creating employment for our youth. I fully support their activities and fulfil my responsibilities as best I can.
You are working as a local co-ordinator for 'Students for Liberty' (SFL) and attended their yearly conference in Delhi Retreat Program in 2017. What does 'Students for Liberty' stand for?
It is an organisation which helped me empower myself. SFL embraces diversity of justifications for liberty, and encourages debate and discourse on differing philosophies that underlie liberty.
As the local co-ordinator of Bangladesh, I attended last year's retreat program in which other local co-ordinators joined from all of South Asia. It is a big opportunity for the students to represent their country and share their opinion about everything happening around the globe.
Every year, they select students through a recruitment process and any undergraduate student from any department can apply.
What do young people get from organising and participating in co-curricular and voluntary activities, according to you?
Co-curricular activities help young people to meet new challenges, make them congregate with like-minded people, and create a solid bridge between them and their career. They get a set of purposes to live and serve in their community.
When you get a responsibility to do something to the best of your abilities, it shapes your perspective on how things are and can be done. This teaches them the importance of management and helps them deal with tight situations.
What is your plan for 2018?
For the time being, I would like to concentrate on my studies as I am in the final year of my undergrad life. Aside from that, I want to accomplish the mission of travelling ten more districts in 2018 so that the target of travelling through sixty-four districts can be achieved. If that happens, you will probably meet me anywhere as a rover.