Jamboree on the Train, the first of its kind in Bangladesh, and a not very common event in the world, was a great occasion marking the hundredth year of the Scout Movement. The theme of this very special event was – ‘Knowledge, Thrill and Friendship’. The train journey kicked off from the port-city of Chitagong, on 28th June with a total of 3000 Scouts and Scouts leaders of the Bangladesh Scouts taking part in the Jamboree. Scout friends from Nepal and India also participated in the event.
Law Advisor, Barrister Mainul Hossain inaugurated the three-day programme on 29th June at the Kamlapur Railway station, Dhaka. He expressed the hope that the members of Bangladesh Scouts would play a vital role in establishing peace and friendship in the Southern Asian region through the Scout Movement. The advisor also hoped that the Jamboree on the Train would promote this mode of travelling among the people of the country. His speech echoed the decision of the regional leaders at the 14th Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to foster “Regional Connectivity” and establish better understanding through tourism, exchange of youths and simplification of travelling procedures among the member states of the region.
The Jamboree train travelled almost 800 km from Chittagong, on the South-East of the country to Dinajpur, on the North-West. The programme included various educative and recreational activities to provide the Scouts with practical knowledge on different aspects and issues. The participants took part in various activities based around Scout skills, community development and friendship. These activities took place during the journey, both within the train as well as at the on-route camps.
Participants of the Jamboree enjoyed this unique experience of the event and also enjoyed the rare opportunity of visiting the railway establishments along the way, stopping in Laksham, Akhaura, Dhaka, Tongi, Gazipur, Jamuna bridge, Ishardi, Abdulpur, Natore, Shantahar, Jaypurhat and Parbotipur.
The memorable event officially came to a close on the morning of the 1st July, at the Dinajpur Zilla School premises, with high hopes and aspirations to carry onward the lessons learned from the theme ‘Knowledge, Thrill and Friendship’. It is a hope for the participants that sometime in near future, Bangladesh Scouts can be at the vanguard of SAARC Jamboree Train from Dhaka to Afghanistan, the latest member of this regional co-operation, carrying the banner of peace and friendship throughout Southern Asia.