Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib had contributed to taking right political decisions timely for the country alongside managing her house and family.
“. . . Bangamata not only managed her family, but also helped (Bangabandhu and political leaders) take time befitting exact political decisions for the country,” she said.
She also said Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib used to give directives and convey messages, especially to Awami League and Bangladesh Chhatra League so they were in right direction, during country’s all struggles and movements secretly whenever Bangabandhu was in jail.
The Premier was addressing the Bangamata Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Padak-2021 distribution ceremony as the chief guest at Osmani Memorial Auditorium, joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban. Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Gopalganj was also connected.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs organized the function, marking the birth anniversary of the majestic woman and better half of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Sheikh Hasina, elder daughter of Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib, said, “My mother had devoted and sacrificed her entire life for the ideology for which my father (Bangabandhu) had got involved in politics.”
The Prime Minister continued: “She [Bangamata] had no ambition to become a political leader and no aspiration for wealth . . . she developed her life in such a way.”
With State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira in the chair, secretary of the ministry Md. Sayedul Islam delivered welcome address at the ceremony.
A total of five women were given the Padak (Award) for their outstanding contributions to their respective categories such as Independence and War of Liberation, education, culture and sports, agriculture and rural development, politics and research.
Professor Mamtaz Begum (Posthumous), a valiant freedom fighter of Brahmanbaria, was given this Padak for her contribution to Independence and War of Liberation, while Jaya Pati (Posthumous) from Tangail in education, culture and sports, Mosammad Nurunnahar Begum, an agro-entrepreneur from Pabna, in agriculture and rural development, valiant freedom fighter Principal Jobeda Khatun Parul from Cumilla in politics and Nadira Jahan (Surma Zahid), a writer and researcher from Netrakona, in research.
Each awardee received a medal made of 40 gm of 18-carat gold, a cheque of Taka 4 lakh and a certificate of honour.
On behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the State Minister for Women and Children Affairs handed over the first ever introduced Padak to the recipients, which is also the highest state honor for women in the country.
Dr Syed Anwar Husain, Professor of “Bangabandhu Chair” at Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) spoke at the function as keynote speaker, while Jatiyo Mohila Sangstha (JMS) Chairman Begum Chemon Ara Tayab spoke as discussant.
Besides, Principal Jobeda Khatun Parul spoke at the ceremony expressing feelings on behalf of the Padak recipients.
A documentary on the life and works of Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib was also screened.
To mark the auspicious day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the distribution of cash support to the insolvent women at the Office of Deputy Commissioner, Gopalganj.
Some 2,000 women would receive Taka 2,000 each through mobile financial service provider Nagad.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Deputy Commissioner, Gopalganj also distributed sewing machines to the insolvent women.
Mentioning that her mother did not beg her life to the killers, the Prime Minister said she [Bangamata] told them “You killed him [Bangabandhu], so killed me too. . . I wouldn’t go with you.”
How much courage she had that pushed her to stand bold to embrace death rather than begging for life, she wondered.
She continued, “Today our women have got a position and I think they would find inspiration after hearing the courageous story of my mother.”
Sheikh Hasina said Bangamata had huge enthusiasm for education and she wanted to do something so the country’s all girls could get education.
She said her mother believed and realized that “each girl should get education . . . it shouldn’t be logical to shout for rights, rather attaining education and economic solvency as well as standing on own feet is inevitable [for it]”.
The premier said Bangamata always inspired Bangabandhu standing beside him as the Father of the Nation had sacrificed his life for the struggle of country’s independence and welfare of the people leaving the intention of changing own fate.
“My mother never came to public. She neither appeared in front of the media not wanted to focus on herself publicly. She had been helping my father silently in each stage, supporting him. And I think it was the highest sacrifice,” she said.
She highlighted her mother as a “guerilla” for her secret and effective role in all struggles and movements.
“Bangladesh became independent through a guerilla war and I always treat my mother as a guerilla . . . she secretly used to meet students and give directions to them,” she added.
Recalling the worst memories of August 15, 1975, tear-toned Sheikh Hasina raised the question – “Why was this killing? My father, mother and brothers who sacrificed their happiness and aspirations for the independence and freedom of a nation, why did those Bangali people kill them?