Today is Prime Minister and Bangladesh Awami League President Sheikh Hasina's birthday.
To celebrate her 74th birthday, milad and doa mahfils will be held across the country. Besides, special prayers and photo exhibitions will be organised in the capital and different parts of the country following health guidelines.
Like previous years, Awami League and its affiliated organisations will celebrate the day through various programmes highlighting the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina.
Sheikh Hasina, the eldest of the five children of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Begum Fazilatunnesa, was born at Tungipara in Gopalganj on September 28 in 1947.
Sheikh Hasina, who is leading the country as the prime minister for the third consecutive term, spent much of her childhood in the small hamlet where she was born and started her schooling there. When Bangabandhu was elected a legislator, his family moved to Dhaka in 1954.
She was enrolled to 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 Badrunnessa Government Girls' College.
During her bachelor course, she was elected as the vice-president of the students' union of Eden Girls' College. That time, Badrunnessa and Eden Girls' College was a single entity. Later, she enrolled into her Masters' programme at the Bangla 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 got married to nuclear scientist Dr Wazed Miah. During the Liberation War, Sheikh Hasina and her family were imprisoned in a house in Dhaka. On July 27, 1971, her first child Sajib Wazed Joy was born and second child Saima Wazed Hossain was born on December 9, 1972.
After the assassination of her parents in 1975, Sheikh Hasina and her family stayed in India on political asylum till 1981. She returned home on May 17, 1981 .
In the 1986 parliamentary election, Sheikh Hasina was elected as parliament member from three different constituencies. After the overthrow of autocracy in 1990, she was elected as the Leader of the Opposition in the House.
In 1996, 21 years after her father was assassinated, Sheikh Hasina led the Awami League and became the prime minister for the first time. She was elected as the prime minister on January 5, 2014 for the second time in a row and assumed office of the prime minister for third consecutive term in December 2018.
Her most recent role in extending humanitarian support to over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, who have taken shelter in Cox's Bazar, drew accolade from global leaders, institutions and eminent personalities.
Asiatic Society of Kolkata honored Sheikh Hasina with the prestigious "Tagore Peace Award-2018" in recognition of her contribution to maintaining regional peace and prosperity. She also received the prestigious "Vaccine Hero" award given in recognition of Bangladesh's outstanding success in vaccination. The PM was also conferred with the award "Champion of Skill Development for Youth" for Bangladesh's great success in youth skill development. She 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 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.
Sheikh Hasina was also conferred with various honourary degrees, accolades and awards in recognition of her leadership excellence. 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, reports BSS.