Promote great souls who serve society selflessly: PM Sheikh Hasina

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Published on February 20, 2024
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the people to promote the dedicated souls who are selflessly serving the society in different parts of the country.

“I would like to request you to try to find out such dedicated persons in every place, who are not in limelight and don’t have any publicity or campaign,” she said appreciating the sacrifice of Ekushey Padak-2024 winner yogart seller Ziaul Haque, a dedicated man from Chapainawabganj.

The premier said this after conferring the "Ekushey Padak 2024" to 21 eminent personalities in recognition of their outstanding contributions in various fields.

She handed over the Ekushey Padak, the country’s second highest civilian award, at a ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka.

The prime minister said Ziaul Haque dedicated his life to spreading the light of knowledge among those who couldn’t acquire education.

Pointing to the elites in the society, she said “It is the responsibility for us who are in the upper level of the society to find out the persons who are making such great sacrifices.”

The premier greeted the award recipients and appreciated their dedication for the society.

Ziaul received Ekushey Padak-2024 for social service as he dedicated his entire life to creating a public library and free book distribution among insolvent students with the little bit of profit he made from selling yogart.

Despite being a brilliant student, he had to struggle in life due to financial insolvency instead of going to school. The great man started shouldering the responsibility of poor students and distribution of free books among insolvent students, creating a family library first (in 1969) and then a public library titled “Ziaul Haque Common Library.”

Sheikh Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said she would arrange a permanent land and building for the public library developed by Ziaul as he demanded while receiving the Ekushey Padak.

Besides, she said the government would take a move to nationalize the school established by him, if he wants.

Referring to the history of Bangladesh, the PM said her government has successfully freed the nation from distortion of history after coming power to 1996.

“I believe that we’ve at least been able to free the people from the distorted history after Awami League came to power in 1996. Today the people have known the real history of the Language Movement and the Liberation War,” she said.

Talking about the role of Bangabandhu in the Language Movement, Sheikh Hasina said unfortunately there was an attempt to erase the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the Language Movement from the history.

She said Bangabandhu had been in jail for waging the Language Movement. “Why was he in jail (at that time) if he had no contribution?” she asked.

The prime ninister said it is her government that restored the glorious image of Bangladesh, which had been lost during the 1975-1996 period.

“We’ve to march forward upholding this image in future… We’ll move in the global stage upholding the dignity and keeping our heads high, she said.

The Cultural Affairs Ministry organised the event on the occasion of ‘Amar Ekushey’ and International Mother Language Day-2024.

Among the award recipients, Ashraf Uddin Ahmed (Posthumous) and Freedom fighter Hatem Ali Mia (Posthumous) were honoured with this award for their roles in the Language Movement.

Besides, Jalal Uddin Kha, (Posthumous) Freedom fighter Kalyani Ghosh, Bidit Lal Das (Posthumous), Andrew Kishore (Posthumous) and Subhro Deb, were recognised for their contributions to music while Shibli Mohammad, Dolly Zahur and MA Alamgir for performing dance and acting, respectively.

Popular elocutionist Shimul Mustapha and Rupa Chakraborty were also conferred the Ekushey Padak.

Shahjahan Ahmed Bikash and Kawsar Chowdhury were awarded for their contribution in painting and documentary films related to the Liberation War.

Md Ziaul Haque and Rafiq Ahmed were given the award for social services.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Samad, Lutfur Rahman Riton, Minar Mansur and Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah received the award for contributing to language and literature while Jinabodhi Bhikkhu for his contribution in education.

Cabinet Secretary Mahbub Hossain conducted the function and read out the citations of the award recipients in the award-giving ceremony chaired by Cultural Affairs Secretary Khalil Ahmed.