Hon’ble State Minister, ICT Division, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, on Friday, inaugurated digital crowdfunding platform ‘EkDesh’ to collect donations for indigent people amid coronavirus pandemic. He formally inaugurated the platform through a videoconference, calling it “a bridge between aid providers and receivers”.
“Famine does not emerge due to lack of food but for absence of proper distribution. We’ll march towards proper distribution by making the bridge with financial help and zakat of all people,” the state minister said.
A place of accountability and transparency has been established by launching country’s first crowdsourcing platform, he said.
Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, Islamic Foundation, BRAC, Bidyanondo Foundation, Center for Zakat Management, CRP (Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed), and Sajida Foundation have been included here as donation receivers. Bank Asia Ltd. is the Banking Partner & Bangladesh Brand Forum is also a partner of this initiative.
Access to Information (a2i) has built the platform where donations can be made through debit/credit cards or mobile payment/digital wallet.
For donations, people have to visit https://ekdesh.ekpay.gov.bd/ or download the mobile app.
Expatriates will also be able to participate with their remittance to build up a humanitarian fund through the app with the help of Bangladesh Bank.
Md. Tohurul Hasan, Program Manager, Digital Financial Service, a2i; Dr. Md Abdul Mannan, PAA, Project Director (Additional Secretary), a2i; Md. Abul Kalam Azad, President, Bangladesh Scouts & Former Chief Coordinator on SDG Affairs in Prime Minister’s Office; Mr. Anis Mahmud, DG, Islamic Foundation; Mr. Asif Saleh, Executive Director, BRAC; Mr. Nozimuddin, Pioneer Donor, Jhenaigati, Sherpur; Mr. Kishor Kumar Das, Founder & Chairman, Bidyanondo Foundation; Ms. Zahida Fizza Kabir, CEO, Sajida Foundation; Mr. Shariful Islam, Founder & Managing Director, Bangladesh Brand Forum; Md. Arfan Ali, President & Managing Director, Bank Asia Ltd.; Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, a2i; Mr. N M Ziaul Alam, PAA, Senior Secretary, ICT Division were also present during the online inauguration ceremony. The ceremony was Moderated by Hon’ble State Minister, ICT Division, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP.
The platform was launched as a large number of people in the country fell into poverty during the shutdown enforced by the government to prevent the transmission of coronavirus or COVID-19.