The dead body of Italian-born Bangladeshi citizen and freedom fighter Father Marino Rigon will be flown to Dhaka from Italy today, a year after his demise.
Rigon took part in the Liberation War of Bangladesh by sheltering and taking care of injured freedom fighters during the war in 1971.The government honoured him with honorary citizenship in 2009, said the foreign ministry on Saturday.
In recognition of his contributions to Bangladesh, the Italian-born freedom fighter was also honored with Muktijudha Moitree Sammanana in 2012. Father Rigon breathed his last while undergoing treatment in Italy’s Vicenza on October 20 in 2017.
The government of Bangladesh has taken all necessary preparations to bury the priest Shelabunia Church, in Mongla upazila of Bagerhat showing respect to his last will.
Rigon was born on January 5, 1925 at Villaverla in Italy and came to Bangladesh in 1953 and stayed at Haldibunia village of Mongla for long.
He played a key role in poverty alleviation, expansion of education, providing medical services and development of poor women.
He also translated a number of Bangla literary works, including Rabindranath Tagore’s Geetanjali, mystic poet Lalon Fakir’s songs, and Jasim Uddin’s Nakshikanthar Math, in Italian. Many of the books were later re-translated to French, Spanish and Portuguese. Father Rigon established a Rabindra study centre in Italy in 1990.He also highlighted Bangladesh’s traditional Nakshikantha, a type of embroidered quilt, in Italy. Nakshikanthas produced in his Shelabunia Sewing Centre have been exhibited in Italian cities.