The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on Wednesday distributed gifts to 200 needy Bangladeshi children living in slums or on the streets of the capital Dhaka to mark Qurban Bayram, or Eid al-Adha.
Among the beneficiaries, 109 were girls and 91 were boys. The boys were provided with traditional Bayram outfits – pants, shirts, shoes and hats – while girls were gifted three-piece dresses along with headscarves and shoes. All children were also given surgical masks to help them protect against the coronavirus. The death toll from COVID-19 in Bangladesh on Wednesday surged to 3,035 with 35 more casualties recorded in the last 24 hours, according to a report by the Health Ministry. Also, 3,009 new cases were recorded, pushing the total number of infections to 232,194.
The distribution works were done in collaboration with the Dhaka Ahsania Mission, a local nongovernmental organization. Speaking at the gifts distribution ceremony, Turkish Ambassador to Dhaka Mustafa Osman Turan urged Bangladeshi children to study the "golden" Islamic history of Turkey. "Turkey and Bangladesh together can become the beacons of hope for the Muslim world. (The Muslim festival of) Eid al-Adha is a good occasion to reflect on this vision," Turan said.
Addressing children as "the future of the country," he added, "We should support you to build a better future."
Meanwhile, TIKA's Bangladesh Coordinator Ismail Gündoğdu said: "If children smile in a society, everyone smiles. Holidays are happy days for all of us. We wanted to share this holiday joy with you. May your holiday be blessed."
Founded in 1992, TIKA currently has offices in 60 different countries. "TIKA opened an office in Bangladesh in 2014 and has carried out hundreds of projects since then," Gündoğdu added.
Earlier, during the holy month of Ramadan, Turkey distributed Ramadan food items among the needy in Bangladesh and persecuted Rohingya Muslims living in the country's southern district of Cox's Bazar.