Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for giving due honour to Bangladesh's rich culture and heritage by collecting and preserving those properly so that none can forget this ballad of glory, BSS reports.
"We, the Bangalee nation has many things of glory and this ballad of glory will have to be collected and protected properly for the next generation so that none can forget those ... we will have to give due honour to our culture and heritage," she said.
The prime minister said this while distributing the Ekushey Padak-2018 at a function organized by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Tuesday morning.
She added: "We're taking Bangladesh forward through a struggle. But we've to remain careful so that we never forget our language, culture and heritage."
The premier said it's natural that the people will learn many languages and cultures and use technologies to move keeping pace with the world. "But we've to maintain our own identity and we can move ahead by maintaining this ... it's my realization," she said
The Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award of the country introduced in 1976 in memory of the martyrs of the Bengali Language Movement of 1952, is given every year to individuals and organizations for their outstanding contribution to various fields including literature, music, education, journalism, poverty reduction, research, and visual arts.
This year, 21 eminent citizens were today given the Ekushey Padak, 2018 for their outstanding contributions to their respective fields.
The awardees are: AJM Takiullah (posthumous) and Professor Mirza Mazharul Islam in language movement, Sheikh Sadi Khan, Sujeyo Shyam, Indra Mohan Rajbangshi, Md Khurshid Alam and Matiul Haque Khan in music, Begum Minu Haque (Minu Billah) in dance, Humayun Faridi (posthumous) in acting, Nikhil Sen in drama, Kalidas Karmakar in fine arts, Golam Mustafa in photography, Ranesh Moitro in journalism, Language Veteran Professor Zulekha Haque (posthumous) in research, Dr Mainul Islam in economics, Ilias Kanchan in social service, Syed Manjurul Islam, Saiful Islam Khan (poet Hayat Saif), Subrata Barua, Rabiul Hussain and Khalekdad Chowdhury (posthumous) in language and literature.
Each recipient got a gold medal, a certificate and a cheque of Taka 2 lakh.
Minister for Cultural Affairs Asaduzzaman Noor presided over the function, while Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam conducted the programme and read out the citations of the awardees.
Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Ibrahim Hossain Khan delivered the welcome address.
Cabinet members, the PM's advisors, judges, parliament members, foreign diplomats, litterateurs, academics, writers, poets, journalists, Ekushey Award laureates of previous years and high civil and military officials attended the function.