“Disability cannot be a hurdle for flourishing of talent,” she told the opening ceremony on Wednesday at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, England, and Afghanistan will participate in the nine-day tournament organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
bdnews24.com is the media partner of the event.
The hosts were supposed to face England in the opening match on Wednesday, but it was cancelled due to rain.
“Why will they be left out? They have to be brought to the mainstream.”
The prime minister said the Paralympics and cricket tournament for the blind have shown how the physically-challenged can bring honour to their country.
“A disability cannot prevent them from developing. They also have talent. The government is working to create space for them in the mainstream. They are not a burden to the society or family. We are taking steps to help their hidden talents flourish.”
She also urged parents not to neglect children with disabilities. “They can also prove their worth given proper circumstances. We are working to provide them the chance .”
“I believe that they can bring us international recognition.”
Although the tournament was to be inaugurated in a gala ceremony on the field, the incessant rain from the morning forced organisers to hold it in the press conference room of the stadium after a 40-minute delay.
“We had planned to make it very beautiful. But people are helpless against nature.”
Bangladesh ICRC Head of Delegation Christine Cipolla thanked everyone involved in making the tournament happen and said, “The physically challenged are not our burden, they can be our asset.”
State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder and BCB President Nazmul Hassan also spoke at the ceremony with Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy, BCB officials and former cricketers.
Ministry of Youth and Sports, Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) provided all out support to organised the tournament.