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Sheikh Hasina’s birthday today

  • Special Correspondent
  • 28 September, 2022 12:00 AM
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Words will fall short to depict the contributions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the nation. She has elevated Bangladesh to a developing country, placed it in a dignified position on the global stage and what not.

She has been the lighthouse of the nation by guiding the battered economy towards the shore of development.

When she stepped into politics, the country had been known for poverty, natural disasters, political ups and downs and foreign aid dependency.

Under her dynamic and prudent leadership, the country’s image has now been brightened and it is now considered as the role model of development across the world.

The proud nation will celebrate the 76th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the most successful statesman after 1975, today.

Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was born at Tungipara in Gopalganj district on this day in 1947, a historic year that saw the partition of Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of ruling Awami League, is one of the great leaders of the world. She is the beacon of hope for the deprived people of all the countries and communities across the world. She has become a pioneer in resolving various crises of the country.

Being a global leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on September 23 urged the world community to take a move to stop the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. “My call to the conscience of the world community ‘stop the arms race, war and sanctions, ensure food and security of the children; build peace’,” she said while delivering her speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in New York. Sheikh Hasina has also made a dream come true by turning Bangladesh into a digital country, allowing its people to reap the benefit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She first came up with the idea of Digital Bangladesh in AL’s election manifesto ‘Vision 2021’ before the 2008 general election.

Amid the global economic meltdown caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister has taken timely steps to protect people’s lives and keep the wheels of the country’s economy running.

Awami League and its affiliated bodies along with different socio-cultural organisations will celebrate Sheikh Hasina’s birthday through various programmes. Sheikh Hasina is now in the USA as she went there to join the 77th UNGA session.

Through the programmes, they will highlight the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina, who is driving the nation towards prosperity following the footsteps of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Milad and doa mahfils will be held to pray for her good health and more success in the future.

President M Abdul Hamid has wished her long life, sound health, peace, progress and continued wellbeing on the occasion. “I extend my heartiest greetings and warm congratulations to Bangladesh Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said in a message on Tuesday.

Sheikh Hasina spent much of her childhood in the hamlet where she was born. She started her schooling there. When Bangabandhu was elected a legislator, his family moved to Dhaka in 1954.

She enrolled in Sher-e-Bangla Girls’ School and College and later Azimpur Girls’ High School from where she completed her secondary education in 1965. She then got admitted to Begum Badrunnessa Govt Girls’ College.

During her bachelor course, Sheikh Hasina was elected vice-president of the students’ union of Eden Mohila College. Later, she enrolled on her Master’s programme at Bengali department of Dhaka University.

As a student leader, she 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 1967, she got married to nuclear scientist Wazed Miah.

During the country’s Liberation War, Sheikh Hasina and her family were interned in a house in Dhaka. On July 27, 1971, her first child Sajeeb Wazed Joy was born. Her second child Saima Wazed Hossain Putul was born on December 9, 1972.

After the assassination of her parents along with almost all family members in 1975, Sheikh Hasina and her family were offered political asylum in India where she stayed till 1981. In that year, she was elected president of Awami League in her absence.

Sheikh Hasina returned home on May 17, 1981. She was greeted by thousands of people who had been waiting at the airport leading to Farmgate and Manik Miah Avenue in the capital.

In the 1986 national election, she was elected a parliament member from three constituencies. After the overthrow of autocracy in 1990, she was elected the Leader of the Opposition in the House.

In 1996, Sheikh Hasina led Awami League to power 21 years after Bangabandhu was assassinated and became the country’s prime minister.

On August 21, 2004, Sheikh Hasina, then opposition leader, escaped an attempt on her life as grenades were lobbed at an Awami League rally on the Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital.

Although she survived the attack, at least 24 people were killed and over 300 others injured in the gory incident. Most of them were Awami League leaders and supporters.

In 2008, Sheikh Hasina led the Grand Alliance to an overwhelming victory obtaining 90 percent of parliamentary seats in the general election. She was elected prime minister on January 5, 2014 for the second time in a row. Sheikh Hasina assumed office as the prime minister for third consecutive term through the landslide victory in general election held in December 2018.

Under her leadership, Bangladesh has become a role model of development, attaining steady economic growth, becoming self-sufficient in food and attaining progress in the fields of women empowerment, agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, communications, energy and power, trade and commerce, ICT and the SME.

Her role in extending humanitarian support to over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, who now took shelter in Cox’s Bazar, was lauded by global leaders, institutions and eminent personalities.

Last year the UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) conferred ‘SDG Progress Award’ on Sheikh Hasina for Bangladesh's steady course in responding to the universal call to take action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all.

Sheikh Hasina got various honorary degrees, accolades and awards in recognition of her leadership excellence and intellectual flair. These accolades include: honorary Doctor of Laws by 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 Australian National University, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Bridgeport University, USA, honorary Doctor of Laws by Dhaka University, Paul Haris Fellowship by Rotary International, UNESCO’s Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize in 1998, MK Gandhi Award in 1998, Mother Teresa Award in 1998 and 2006, Pearl S. Buck Award by Randolph Macon Women’s College, 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.