PM’s 72nd birthday celebrated amid festivity, enthusiasm

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Dhaka, September 28: The 72nd birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also the President of Bangladesh Awami League was celebrated across the country in a befitting manner today.

On September 28 in 1947, Sheikh Hasina, the eldest of the five children of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, was born at Tungipara in Gopalganj district, BSS reports.

In celebration of the birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in the United States in connection with the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, central leaders of Awami League (AL) wished her long life and success in politics. The Prime Minister will return home on October 1.

Like previous years, Awami League and its affiliated organisations celebrated the day through organising various humanitarian events and discussions on the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina who is driving the nation towards prosperity following the footsteps of her father. On behalf of the Awami League, the birthday of the Prime Minister was dedicated to the poor and destitute people.

In the morning, Awami League and associate bodies brought out jubilant processions in the capital Dhaka and across the country including district, city, upazila, municipality and union levels as well.

Marking the day, rickshaw-vans were distributed among the poor and the destitute in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the city at 10am under the arrangement of relief and social welfare sub-committee of Awami League.

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader attended the function as the chief guest.

Quader said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has established the country as a role model of development through her outstanding leadership.

In the ongoing UNGA session, the AL general secretary said, the world leaders also lauded the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and they also expressed their hopes for the continuation of the incumbent government.

Marking the day, special prayers were offered and milad mahfil was held at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after Jumma prayers seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and other martyred family members and wishing divine blessings for good health and long life of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and peace and prosperity of the country.

Senior Pesh Imam of the mosque Maulana Mizanur Rahman conducted the milad and munajat.

AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Food Minister Advocate Qamrul Islam, AL Joint General Secretaries Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Religious Affairs Secretary Advocate Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, Islamic Foundation Director General Shamim Mohammad Afzal and Dhaka City South AL General Secretary Shahe Alam Murad, among others attended the milad mahfil.

Earlier, Qurankhawni, milad and doa mahfil were held at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque under the arrangement of Islamic Foundation.

Special prayers were also held Dhakeshwari National Temple at 11am seeking blessings for good health and long life of the prime minister.

Awami League Cultural Affairs Secretary Asim Kumar Ukil, Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad President Milan Kanti Dutta and its General Secretary Nirmal Kumar Chattarjee, Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee President Shailendranath Majumder and General Secretary, Kishore Ranjan Mandal and journalist Swapan Kumar Saha, among others attended the prayers.

Prayers were also held at churches, pagodas and other religious places across the country.

Cultural events and milad and doa mahfils were also held in the capital and in different parts of the country.

A discussion titled ‘Nabinder Drishtite Sheikh Hasina’ (Sheikh Hasina in the eyes of new generation) was held at Krishibid Institution auditorium with AL advisory council member and Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu in the chair.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, AL Joint General Secretaries Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, among others were present on the occasion.

On the 72nd birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Hasumonir Pathshala organised an art competition for children and exhibition on the premised of Shishu Academy in the capital.

Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi attended the programme as the chief guest in the morning. Secretary of Women and Children Affairs Ministry Nasima Begum, eminent artists Shahabuddin and Maniruzzman Manir, among others, attended the function chaired by Hasumonir Pathshala President Marufa Akhter Poppy.

On the birthday of the premier, prominent citizens including educationalists, economists, writers, physicians and cultural personalities also wished good health and long life of Sheikh Hasina, who is leading the country as the prime minister for the second consecutive five-year term.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangabandhu, spent much of her childhood in the small hamlet where she was born. She started her schooling there. When Bangabandhu was elected a legislator, the family relocated to Dhaka in 1954.

She was admitted to what is now Sher-e-Bangla Girls’ School and College and later to Azimpur Girls’ High School from where she completed her secondary education in 1965. She was then admitted to what is now Badrunnessa Government Girls’ College.

During her Bachelor’s course she was elected vice-president of the students’ union of Eden Girls’ College (Badrunnessa and Eden Girls’ College was one college in those days). Later, she enrolled her Masters’ program at the Bengali department of Dhaka University.

As a student leader, Sheikh Hasina actively took part in the six-point movement of 1966 and the student movement of 1969 which saw the abdication of General Ayub Khan.

In 1968, with the blessings of her imprisoned father, Sheikh Hasina was married to Nuclear Scientist Dr Wazed Miah.

During the Liberation War, Sheikh Hasina and her family were interned in a house in Dhaka. On July 27, 1971 her first child, Sajib Wazed Joy was born. Her second child Saima Wazed Hossain was born on December 9, 1972. After assassination of her parents in 1975, Sheikh Hasina and her family were offered political asylum in India, where she stayed till 1981 when she was elected president of the Awami League in absentia.

She came back to the country on May 17, 1981 when she was greeted by a mammoth crowd that extended from the Airport to Farm Gate and Manik Miah Avenue where she addressed a public meeting.

In the 1986 parliamentary election, she was elected to parliament from three different constituencies. After the overthrow of autocracy in 1990, she was elected Leader of the Opposition in the general elections that followed.

In 1996, 21 years after her father was assassinated, she led the Awami League to power and became the prime minister. In 2008, she led the Grand Alliance to a thumping victory with 90 percent of parliament seats.

On August 21, 2004, Sheikh Hasina, who was the then Leader of the Opposition for the second time, barely escaped an attempt on her life as grenades were lobbed at her public meeting on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. Although she survived the attack, at least 24 of those attending the meeting died and over 200 were injured, many of them Awami League leaders.

Sheikh Hasina was once again elected prime minister in the general elections of January 5, 2014.

Under her leadership, Bangladesh has become a role model for development, attaining steady economic growth, becoming self-reliant in staple food-grain and making significant progress in the fields of women empowerment, agriculture, education, health, rural infrastructures, communication, energy and power, trade and commerce, ICT and the SME sectors.

Her most recent role in providing humanitarian support to thousands of Rohingyas drew accolade from global leaders, institutions and personalities.

Sheikh Hasina has also been honoured with various honourary degrees, accolades and awards in recognition of her leadership excellence and intellectual flair. These include: honorary Doctor of Laws by the Waseda University of Japan, honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Liberal Arts by University of Abertay Dundee, UK, honorary Degree of Desikottama by Visva- Bharati University of West Bengal, India, honorary Doctor of Laws by the Australian National University, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the Bridgeport University, USA; honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Dhaka, Paul Haris Fellowship by the Rotary International, UNESCO’s Houphouet- Boigny Peace Prize in 1998, M K Gandhi Award in 1998, Mother Teresa Award in 1998 and 2006,

Pearl S. Buck Award by Randolph Macon Women’s College of USA in 1999, CERES Medal in 1999, UN Award for MDG achievement (child mortality) in 2010, Indira Gandhi Peace Prize in 2009, South-South Award in 2011, UN Award for MDG Achievement in 2013, Rotary Peace Prize in 2013, Tree of Peace in 2014, ICT Sustainable Development Award in 2015, Champions of the Earth in 2015, Agent of Change Award in 2016 and Planet 50-50 Champion in 2016.