With the passing away of Brac founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, people have lost a great soul who had always worked for poor and deprived people.
People from all sections of society came to the Bangladesh Army Stadium in the capital on Sunday to bid farewell to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.
While paying tributes, they recalled his great contribution to alleviating poverty in Bangladesh and across the world.
Sir Abed showcased Bangladesh all over the world with his creative ideas, wisdom and knowledge, they said.
Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus said the people of the country have lost a friend with the demise of Sir Abed.
"Abed and the history of Bangladesh are two peas in a pod. With his demise, the country has lost a friend. Countrymen will forever remember his contributions with gratitude and thankfulness," he wrote the words in a book to pay his last tribute at the Army Stadium.
He said, "Sir Abed was not a specialist, but developed a management system and brought discipline in his organisations. I urge our youths to learn from his life."
National Professor Dr Anisuzzaman said, "We were friends since 1952. Most of the time we worked together as friends. In 1972, he started relief and rehabilitation work that later came in the form of Brac – that was a great job. It was an indicator of his merit, diligence and sincere efforts."
Dr Akbar Ali Khan, an adviser to a former caretaker government, said, "Fazle Hasan Abed had made a model for poverty alleviation. Abed would live with the poor, and with his demise, marginalised people have lost their true friend.''
"He founded Brac in 1972, and it has become the largest NGO [non-government organisation] in the world because of his great leadership."
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said, "Sir Fazle had worked for the grassroots but never wanted to come in the limelight."
"Fazle Hasan Abed was a philanthropist and a man with a vision."
"The emptiness that has been formed by his death will not be filled easily," he added.
General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, said, "A few years ago I attended a conference in China. Sir Abed was the keynote speaker. Thus, he spread his knowledge all over the world."
"Sir Abed had branded Bangladesh all over the world," said Atiqul Islam, mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation.
Rasheda K Chowdhury, an adviser to a former caretaker government, said, "Sir Abed was a power for bringing parity between men and women in education. He spread his knowledge in different sectors such as health, microcredit and so on."
Badiul Alam Mazumder, an NGO representative, said, "Sir Fazle Hasan Abed sacrificed his life for poor and deprived people. We will go ahead in his footsteps."
"His remarkable life and legacy impressed the life of millions in Bangladesh and around the world," Earl R Miller, US Ambassador to Bangladesh wrote in a book to pay his last tribute.
Asif Saleh, executive director of Brac and a son-in-law of Sir Abed, said, "Sir Abed was not only a founder of Brac, he was also the founder member of many NGOs and civil society organisations like Ain-o-Salish Kendro. Whatever he did, poor and marginalised people were his main focus."
"Sir Abed had chalked up a ten-year plan for Brac. We have been going ahead with the plan," he added.
Before his namaz-e-janaza, Shameran Abed, son of Sir Abed, said, "My father worked for mass people throughout his life."
He apologised on behalf of his father for any mistakes he might have done that hurt anyone.
Sir Abed laid to rest
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was laid to eternal rest at Banani graveyard in Dhaka after Zohr prayers on Sunday.
He was buried at around 1:40 pm after the namaz-e-janaza at the Army Stadium which was held at around 12:45 pm.
Earlier, tributes and condolences poured in from all quarters for Sir Abed, who passed away at a hospital in Dhaka on Friday night.
His body was taken to the Army Stadium premises in the capital at around 10:30 am.
Delegations, on behalf of President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, placed wreaths on his coffin.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, the PM's Private Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman, PM's Adviser to Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, former finance minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, former commerce minister Tofael Ahmed, renowned lawyer and politician Dr Kamal Hossain, BNP General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam, Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus, National Professor Dr Anisuzzaman and former adviser to the caretaker government Dr Akbar Ali Khan paid tributes to Sir Abed.
Ministers, ambassadors, members of different NGOs and civil society members also came to the pay their last respects.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairman emeritus of BRAC, passed away on December 20 at the Apollo Hospitals in Dhaka. He was suffering from a brain tumour.