Kashinathpur is a confluence of several thanas in the eastern part of Pabna. After Nagarbari lost its significance due to the start of the Bangabandhu Bridge, Kashinathpur became the throbbing heart of communication between the two sides of the Jamuna river as an alternative route for a large number of population in the northern part of Bangladesh. Whoever crosses the Jamuna through the Aricha-Kazirhat route by launches, ferries or speed boats has to touch this place and meet its enormous amount of commercial, social and cultural activities. Despite its significance as a melting pot of people of different districts and their socio-cultural and business activities, it has not achieved a greater place in terms of administrative importance by remaining a mere union under Santhia upazila.

But the place constantly throbs with many cultural and creative activities by its educated and enlightened young people. It has a strong cultural organization named Proyas and several libraries and literary publications under their leadership besides several others. Among these, BD Evergreen is a voluntary organization of young people willing to work for humanist activities including blood donation to the sick people. Born out of the idea of Sheikh Shahin, this organization has already made its mark by gathering local young people around the cause of humanism in society including commitment to nonsmoking by its members.

At Kashinathpur Collegiate School on this past 5 May, BD Evergreen jointly with Amader Samachar and Chandrabindu organized a roundtable discussion on the development issues of the eastern part of Pabna. Citizens of various professions, writers, journalists, cultural activists and others took part in it. Humayun Kabir, advisor of BD Evergreen, chaired the discussion program. Mahbub Hossain, Assistant Professor of Bangla at Shahid Nur Hossain Degree College, presented the keynote speech on the development issues of this part of Pabna. Senior journalist Khairuzzaman Kamal was the chief guest in the program. As discussants, Advocate Golam Hafiz, journalist Saiful Islam Shameem, story writer Akhtar Zaman, Assistant Professor Abdullah Al Mohon, and I were present there. The discussion program was moderated by Anwar Hossain Shahin, Principal-in-Charge of Syedpur High School and College.

Golam Rasul, founder and former head teacher of Dulai High School, Akkas Hossain, Principal of Kashinathpur Digital School and College, Mofidul Islam Shahin, Assistant Professor at Nakalia Degree College, Abu Bakar Siddique, Principal of Dhobakhola Coronation High School and College, Shafiqul Alam Titul Khan, lecturer at Kashinathpur Women's Degree College, and others talked touching various aspects of the development issue.

Discussants put emphasis on the development of ethical attitude and cultural practices of the young people alongside the physical development of this part of the district. The issue of building a bridge or tunnel across the Jamuna linking Aricha and Kazirhat or Dhalar Char, an EPZ and an airport in this area, setting up a thana at Kashinathpur, etc. came into discussion. However, in absence of a young population strengthened with actual education and ethical and cultural values, the physical development of the area will not bear the expected fruits of actual human development.

This roundtable discussion by BD Evergreen has brought vital issues of development of the eastern part of Pabna to the forefront and has also highlighted the educational, ethical and cultural aspects of development in order to build a society free of gender bias, communalism and inequality in Pabna and beyond.

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