Poet-activist-organiser Sufia Kamal’s 106th anniversary of birthday was celebrated at Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Auditorium of Bangla Academy on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, one of the many organisations for women’s welfare founded by Sufia Kamal, organised the programme which included handing over of Sufia Kamal Memorial Award, Sufia Kamal Memorial lecture and cultural show.
Bangladesh Under-16 national women’s football team and three women were given the Sufia Kamal Memorial Award for their contributions to their respective fields.
Shabana Akter received the award for her courageous and successful initiatives in stopping child marriage, Arati Rani Biswas received the award for her success in fish farming and Motahera Nasrin received the award for being a successful farmer.
‘Women are keeping pace with their male counterparts in diverse fields. Bangladesh Mahila Parishad encourages women to pursue different professions and become successful on their own merits. The recipients, this year, are some of the women who have proved their capabilities in diverse fields’, Maleka Banu, general secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, told New Age.
Vice-chancellor of Premier University professor Anupam Sen presented Sufia Kamal Memorial Lecture on the occasion.
He read out the paper titled ‘Muktijuddher Osampradayik Chetona Ebong Shiksha O Sufia Kamal, which highlighted Sufia Kamal’s lifelong efforts to spread secular and democratic thinking in the society.
‘A poet, social reformer and organiser, Sufia Kamal herself was guided by the secular-humanitarian spirit of the liberation war and sought to spread that spirit. A culturally-oriented Sufia Kamal always stood against injustice and extremism’, said Anupam Sen.
The cultural show commenced with a chorus rendition of Rajanikanta San’s devotional song Tumi Nirmalo Koro by artistes of Rokeya Sadan, a cultural wing of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad.
Seasoned singers Susmita Ahmed and Iffat Ara Dewan next entertained the audience with solo performances of Rabindra Sangeet at the programme.
Susmita Ahmed sang popular Tagore songs Tai Tomar Ananda and Badal Diner Prothom Kadom Phul, while Iffat Ara Dewan rendered Money Ki Dwidha Rekhe Gele and Aji Tomay Abar Chai Shonabare on the occasion.
An influential cultural figure in the Bengali nationalist movements of the 1950s and 60s and a civil society leader in the country after independence, Sufia Kamal was born on June 20, 1911 in a conservative Muslim family in Barisal. A pioneer of Bengali women’s emancipation Sufia Kamal passed away on November 20, 1999.
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