The first ever 'Sheikh Russel Day' is being observed in the country today, marking the 58th birthday of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's youngest son Shaheed Sheikh Russel.
Sheikh Russel, also the youngest brother of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was born on October 18 in 1964 at the historic Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi 32 no road in the city.
But he was brutally killed along with most of his family members, including his father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on 15 August, 1975 when he was a student of class four at University Laboratory School.
The Cabinet Division this year declared October 18, the birthday of Sheikh Russel, as Sheikh Russel Day under the category "Ka".
To mark the day, government bodies, ruling Awami League and its associate bodies, and different socio-cultural organisations have taken various programmes to observe the day at national and international levels.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division has taken elaborate programmes, including placing wreaths at Sheikh Russel's grave and portraits, launching 'Sheikh Russel Gold Medal', quiz competition, laptop distribution and discussions, to observe the day.
On the day, 10 people, including children with special needs, will be awarded the 'Sheikh Russel Gold Medal' for their outstanding contribution to the fields of education, fine arts, literacy and culture, sports, science and technology, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak told a press briefing at Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) auditorium at ICT Tower in the city's Agargaon area yesterday.
Besides, a total of 20 laptops will be distributed among the gold medal awardees and winners of the quiz contest while a total of 4,000 laptops will be distributed across the country on the day, he said.
The Sheikh Russel Shishu Kishore Parishad will also distribute 60 awards marking the day, Palak added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to join the inaugural and award giving ceremony of the Sheikh Russel Day virtually as the chief guest at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC), the state minister said.
The ICT Division and the Sheikh Russel Shishu Kishore Parishad will jointly place wreaths at Sheikh Russel's grave at the Banani Graveyard and at his portrait in front of respective ministry, division, office, agency and institution in the morning.
The division will also organise a national seminar titled "Sheikh Russel Deepta Joyullas (Sheikh Russel radiant joy, indomitable confidence)" at 3 pm and a concert titled "Concert for Peace and Justice" at 6pm at the BICC on the day.
Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq will join the concert as the chief guest.
The Bangladesh Shishu Academy will organise a book exhibition on Bangabandhu and Liberation War. Wreaths will be placed at portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the morning while children's film will be screened at Shishu Academy Auditorium at noon.
A milad and doa mahfil will be organised at Shishu Academy Mosque at 1.45pm while a photo exhibition will be arranged at Sheikh Russel Gallery of the academy at 2pm.
To mark the day, ruling Awami League will place wreath at the graves of all martyrs, including Sheikh Russel, of the 15 August carnage in 1975 in the city's Banani graveyard in the morning.
Subsequently fateha, milad and doa mahfil will also be held by the party members there.
A discussion will be held at 3:30pm on October 19 (Tuesday) at AL central office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue area. Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina will preside over the discussion through videoconferencing.
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, in a statement, urged party leaders, workers, supporters and people from all walks of life to observe the birthday of Sheikh Russel following the health rules.
He also called upon the party units and its associate bodies across the country to observe the day through various suitable programmes.
The day also will be observed at Bangladesh missions abroad while different dailies will publish special supplements highlighting the significance of the day.