Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the well-off section of people to take up charitable works to spark the social change that Bangladesh needs more.
She made the call Thursday while handing ‘Danveer Ranada Prasad Shaha Smarak Gold Medal’ to four national celebrities for their contribution to the society.
Hasina recalled the contributions by philanthropist Ranada Prasad Shaha and asked the affluent section of the people to follow his footstep in building the nation .
“Ranada Prasad Shaha set an example in serving the human being,” she told the medal awarding ceremony at the green lawn of Kumudini Complex at Mirzapore of Tangail district.
The ordinary people will not have any suffering if the rich people, as Bangladesh has many now, follow what Ranada Prasad Shaha had done.
Legendary politician and erstwhile Pakistan’s Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam were posthumously honoured with the award while the rest two recipients were 1952 language movement veteran National Professor Rafiqul Islam and painter Sahabuddin Ahmed.
On behalf of Suhrawardy, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana received the gold medal from the premier while she herself joined the ceremony as a special guest.
Nazrul’s granddaughter Khilkhil Kazi received the medal on behalf of the national poet. Professor Rafiqul Islam and painter Sahabuddin Ahmed received themselves the award the medal from the premier.
Shaha as a leading Bengali philanthropist founded educational institutes like Bharateswari Homes, Kumudini College and Debendra College. He was a businessman. Pakistani occupation forces had picked him up during the Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war. He never returned.
“He had earned money in one hand and donated it on the other hand,” said the prime minister adding that Saha dedicated his wealth for the distressed, widows and for women education.
Chairman and Managing Director of the Trust Razib Prasad Shaha presided over the function, while its director (education) and 1952 language veteran, Protiva Mutsuddi also spoke at the ceremony. Another director of the trust Srimoti Shaha delivered the welcome address, while local parliament member Ekabbar Hossain was present on the dais, according to the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
A documentary film on 86 years’ journey of the Kumudini Welfare Trust was screened at the programme while the Bharateswari Homes students staged a spectacular physical display.
Recalling her first visit to Kumudini, the premier said, “I came here probably in 56 or 57 with my father (Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) and mother (Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa).”
“While visiting the place, Bangabandhu became overwhelmed to see the scenario of the area and expressed his desire to get me admitted to here,” she said.
But, it wasn’t possible as my father was arrested soon after declaration of the martial law in 1958,” Hasina added.
Earlier in the morning, the Prime Minister opened 14 development projects and laid the foundation stones of 17 others by unveiling their plaques from Kumudini Complex.
She also laid the foundation stones of Bharateswari Homes Multipurpose Hall and the Institute of Post Graduate Nursing Complex on Kumudini Complex.