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Empowering the future: Mainul Islam’s quest for safe internet

by tbhdesk

Bangladeshi nominated for award dubbed as children’s Nobel prize
Developed an app named BabyTube for safe online platform for children

In the heart of Bangladesh, where vibrant green landscapes meet the azure skies, a young changemaker is carving a path toward a safer online world for children and teenagers.

Meet Mainul Islam, a 17-year-old from Lakshmipur, who has been nominated for the highly esteemed International Children’s Peace Prize-2023, often referred to as the “Children’s Nobel”.

Nominated by the Kids Rights Foundation of the Netherlands, Mainul’s journey is a testament to the power of youthful dedication and the unwavering spirit of change.

The nomination comes from the Kids Rights Foundation of the Netherlands, and this year, a total of 88 children from 35 countries across the world have been nominated for various categories of this esteemed award.

A global issue on Mainul’s mind
The Kids Rights Foundation recognized Mainul for his remarkable efforts in addressing a pressing issue that came to light during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the world grappled with uncertainty, children and teenagers were increasingly turning to the internet and video sharing platforms for solace and entertainment.

In Bangladesh alone, over 6 million young minds delved into the digital world, but they stumbled upon a darker side of the web.

Many of these impressionable youngsters encountered offensive and harmful content, leading some down a perilous path.

Instances of involvement in criminal activities, school dropouts, despair, guilt, drug use, and even thoughts of suicide became shockingly prevalent. This heart-wrenching reality shook Mainul to his core, compelling him to take a stand for those who could not.

A humble beginning
“The feeling of being nominated for this award cannot be expressed in words,” says Mainul with a twinkle in his eye.

Hailing from a remote rural region, his journey started from the grassroots. His family, especially his mother, provided unwavering support and trust, propelling him to where he stands today.

Mainul’s aspirations go far beyond personal recognition; he seeks to continue engaging in acts of goodwill and change.

“Nothing can be greater than presenting Bangladesh before the world like this. I really am much more proud,” Mainul says, his pride for his country evident in every word.

Currently in the 12th grade at RM Kamil Madrasa in Hyderganj Taheria, Lakshmipur district, Mainul co-founded “Mentor Mashai” at the tender age of 15.

This non-profit organization is dedicated to supporting underprivileged children and adolescents in various ways.

BabyTube: A beacon of hope
Mainul and his team conceptualized a brilliant idea that could change the online landscape for children – a safe video sharing platform exclusively designed for them, aptly named BabyTube.

This platform seeks to protect the innocence of childhood by providing a curated space where kids can explore, learn, and have fun without stumbling upon inappropriate content.

Mainul has spent the last three years working tirelessly to safeguard the rights of children and teenagers on the internet while promoting peace in his country.

He directly engaged with approximately 11,400 students from around 21 educational institutions and reached out to more than 21,000 parents in remote areas.

Through workshops, seminars, and community meetings, he has been instrumental in disseminating awareness about the responsible use of the internet and technology.

A prestigious recognition
The International Children’s Peace Prize, introduced at a summit of Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Rome in 2005 by the Kids Rights Foundation, is one of the most prestigious awards dedicated to the development of children’s rights, safety, and overall quality of life.

Every year, it is presented by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and is considered one of the world’s most esteemed honors for children.

The award ceremony is scheduled to take place at London’s Whitehall on November 17, where Mainul will stand alongside other remarkable young individuals who have left an indelible mark on the lives of children and teenagers worldwide.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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