Want to help women thrive in male dominated area: Qantara
Qantara K Khan is an active political activist who has been working relentlessly in bringing up a qualitative change in Bangladesh's women and people's life. A faculty member at The School of Business, Independent University Bangladesh, Qantara is the member of Bangladesh Awami League International Affairs Subcommittee and joint convener of Suchinta Bangladesh and director of Suchinta Foundation. She is also the chairman of Quest Green Development Ltd.
She is the daughter of Faruk Khan, former minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry of Bangladesh, but she never used her Father's influence to establish her. Idolizing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Qantara carved her own niche and made her Iconic figure. The Daily Observe has recently caught her up. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
You are the daughter of a politician and are yourself involved in Awami League. What qualitative changes would you like to see in the participation of women in politics?
Our beloved Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a woman herself and she has brought about tremendous amount of development in Bangladesh. She is my inspiration and my reason for joining politics. I want more women to see our Prime Minister as a role model and to have more participation in politics and follow her ideals so that Bangladesh can move forward towards development.
As a director of Suchinta Foundation, what are the things you want to do?
We are already doing a lot of things. Suchinta is a youth platform, where we capture the essence of Joy Bangla and of the liberation in our hearts. From the place where Suchinta works, the projects which we do, we try to explain to the youth that 'You have to know your existence, your roots, yourself'.
We currently have an ongoing, university-centric project titled 'Jago Taronno, Rukho Jongibaad'.
How much progress do you think we have done in becoming a modern nation? In your opinion, what else should be done? Where should women participate more?
Our GDP has grown significantly under the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Women are doing well both culturally, economically and in sports. I want women to enter more fields, especially the ones where there are predominantly men, so that women can contribute equally. Women should be participating in all the fields where there are men.
You have already proven yourself to be a successful individual. What do you want to do next and what is your future goal?
Until the day I die, I want to work for Bangladesh and the women of Bangladesh. I want to serve more and more people through politics. Most importantly, being a woman, I have been able to establish myself. I want to be able to help more women become self-dependent and strong. I want to devote myself towards the development of the people of Bangladesh.
What is your call now to women?
I would request more women to get out of their homes. Try to make yourself independent from all sides and angles. Study hard, tour different places, make your world bigger. Work in different sectors, including international affairs, so that Bangladesh can develop even more rapidly with your contribution, benefiting you in return.
Furthermore, I would request women to remember that, during the war, the women who could take up weapons have done so. But, there were thousands of unnamed women who have fought in the war using their bodies.
There were abused every night, yet in the morning they woke up, determined of passing news and information to their freedom fighter brothers to free the nation. These brave women have fought in the liberation war as well. They have undergone extreme pain and humiliation for us to be free. They are our weapons and pillars of strength.
We must never forget their red blood. We must work to move our beloved nation forward and make their sacrifice worthwhile.
After doing so much work, how do you give time to yourself?
I try to do everything in a disciplined manner. I teach university students and I work on behalf of Suchinta foundation as well. I also try to contribute to the nation on an international level being a part of the Awami League international committee. Even after all this, I give time to my family. Not only this, I also give time to myself. I give time to myself for self-reflection and improvement so that I can become a better version of myself and help more people.