10 lakh votes for Sundarbans in 2 weeks
The Sundarbans received more than 10 lakh votes through text messages in the last two weeks for its inclusion as one of the world’s new seven natural wonders.
The largest mangrove forest of the world was also the most voted wonder in the contest in the last one month.
The Sundarbans, however, has a long way to go to secure the position, as it contests against the Mount Kilimanjaro of Japan, the Grand Canyon of the United States and the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, among others.
Campaigners for the Sundarbans say most of these places are widely known to the world and the people of those countries have wider access to technologies.
Voting through short message service (SMS) started on June 24 and will end in early November this year. The results will be announced on November 11.
The Sundarbans is the only Asian forest to grace the list of 28 finalists.
According to officials of Teletalk, the state-run telecom service responsible for overseeing the votes, the number rose steadily. Although the voting slowed down in the middle, it again picked up over the last few days.
Earlier, votes could only be cast through telephone and internet, both of which are costly and inaccessible to most Bangladeshis.
To overcome the problem, Teletalk signed a contract with the New Seven Wonders Foundation that would allow the people of Bangladesh to vote through SMS.
There are at least five crore active mobile SIM cards in the country, and if 20 SMSs are sent through each SIM card, the Sundarbans will get 100 crore votes, campaigners said.
To vote for the Sundarbans, one needs to type SB and send it to 16333 from any operators. The Swiss-based New Seven Wonders Foundation will thank the voter through a return message.
If selected, it is expected to improve the country’s national image and attract more tourists.
-WIth The Daily Star input