The 73rd birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was celebrated across the country today with a fresh vow to rally round the Awami League president in turning the country into a developed one by 2041 under her dynamic leadership.
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.
In celebration of the birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in the United States in connection with the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, central leaders of Awami League (AL) wished her long life and success in politics.
Like previous years, Awami League and its affiliated organisations celebrated the day through various events and discussions on the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina who is driving the nation towards prosperity following the footsteps of her father.
The programmes included holding colourful rallies, discussions, special doa and milad mahfils seeking long-life and good health of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In the morning, Awami League and its associate bodies brought out jubilant processions in the capital Dhaka and across the country including district, city, upazila, municipality and union levels as well.
To mark the day, AL's Relief and Social Welfare Sub-Committee organized a special doa mahfil at 10 am at Engineers' Institution in the city. AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif and Relief and Social Welfare Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi joined the programme, among others.
The Parliament Members' Club organized a doa and milad mahfil at the club in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Complex here today marking the 73rd birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
JS Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Whip and President of the Parliament Members' Club Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury, whips Md. Atiur Rahman Atik and Iqbalur Rahim joined the programe, among others, while Deputy Speaker Advocate Md. Fazle Rabbi Miah conducted the munajat.
A special prayer was offered at the Dhakeshwari National Temple in the city at 11 am wishing sound health and long life of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Besides, special prayers were also offered at the International Buddhist Temple at 9 am in the city's Mirpur 10 and at Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA) at 9 am in the city's Mirpur-10 area.
Marking the day, a discussion was held at Krishibid Institution auditorium in the afternoon with AL advisory council member Amir Hossain Amu in the chair.
AL Advisory council member Tofail Ahmed, presidium member Begum Matia Chowdhury and General Secretary Obaidul Quader addressed the discussion, among others.
On the occasion of the 73rd birthday of the Prime Minister, the National Implementation Committee for Celebration of the Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman also organized a discussion at the International Mother Language Institute in the city with its Chairman National Professor Rafiqul Islam in the chair.
Chief coordinator of the national implementation committee Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Director General of the International Mother Language Institute Professor Dr. Jinnat Imtiaz Ali addressed the discussion, among others.
To mark the day, Bangabandhu Parishad also organized a discussion and doa mahfil at the Jatiya Press Club in the city with its General Secretary Dr SM Malek in the chair.
Former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, Vice-Chancellor of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Professor Dr Kamal Uddin Ahamed, President of Bangladesh Economic Association Professor Dr Abul Barkat and journalist Ajit Kumer Sarker addressed the discussion, among others.
Besides, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) brought out a jubilant procession from the Madhur Canteen on the DU campus at 12 noon. After parading different streets of the campus, the procession was terminated following a rally. BCL Central acting President Al Nahian Khan Joy and acting General Secretary Lekhak Bhattacharya led the procession.
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 third 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 an overwhelming victory acquiring 90 percent of parliament seats in the general elections. She was elected the prime minister on January 5, 2014 for the second time in a raw.
Sheikh Hasina assumed office of the Prime Minister for third consecutive term with a thumping victory in general elections in December 2018.
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.
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 received the prestigious 'Vaccine Hero' award given in recognition of Bangladesh's outstanding success in vaccination.
Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisations (GAVI) handed over the award to the premier at a ceremony recently at the Conference Room of the UN Headquarters in New York during the ongoing 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
She also received an award titled 'Champion of Skill Development for Youth' for Bangladesh's great success in youth skill development. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) conferred the award on the premier at a ceremony at Labouisse Hall of UNICEF House in the UN Plaza on September 26.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore handed over the award to the prime minister amid thunderous clappings of the audience.
Besides, she recently received the Dr Kalam Smriti International Excellence Awards-2019, introduced in memory of eminent scientist and former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
The award was conferred upon Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in recognition of her commitment to a close and mutually satisfying India-Bangladesh relations, welfare of her people, particularly women and children, and international peace and cooperation.
Chief Adviser of the Dr Kalam Smriti International Advisory Council Ambassador TP Sreenivasan handed over the accolade through a ceremony at the Prime Minister's Office here on September 16.
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.