The country is set to celebrate the 99th birthday of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman today, Sunday in a befitting manner.
Since the re-assumption of state power in 1996, Awami League has been observing the day as the National Children’s Day as Bangabandhu liked to spend time with children on his birthday.
The nation will celebrate the day through extensive programmes with fanfare and gaiety. The day is a public holiday.
The president and the prime minister will lay wreaths at the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at Tungipara in Gopalganj Sunday morning and join a milad and doa mahfil.
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force will give a guard of honour on the occasion.
Later, prime minister Sheikh Hasina will attend a children’s rally, book fair and cultural event to be organised on the premises of Bangabandhu Mausoleum.
The premier will release memorial postal stamp in memory of Sheikh Russel, unveil the book of ‘Amader Chhoto Russel Shona’, distribute sewing machines and enjoy the video exhibition titled ‘Uthbo Jege, Chutbo Bege’.
The ruling Awami League (AL) and its associate bodies have chalked out a different programmes in observance of the day.
The programmes include hoisting of national and party flags atop of their offices and placing of wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road-32 in the capital.
Milad and doa mahfils will be organised at mosques while prayer sessions will also be arranged at other places of worship across the country seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and his family members.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and other private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the significance of the day in the life of Bangalees. The national dailies will publish special supplements on the occasion.
AL’s associate and likeminded bodies and other socio-cultural-professional organisations including Awami Juba League, Awami Swechchasebak League, Jatiya Sramik League, Mahila Awami League, Juba Mahila League, Krishak League and Chhatra League have also drawn up extensive programmes to mark the day.
Apart from national programmes, children’s gatherings, public rallies, discussions and cultural functions will be organised at district and upazila levels.
Bangladesh missions abroad have also chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day.
On this day in 1920, Bangabandhu, the vivacious leader of the Bangalee nation, the architect of independent Bangladesh and the greatest Bangalee of all times, was born in a greatly respected Muslim family in Tungipara village of Gopalganj sub-division, now district. He was the third among four daughters and two sons of his parents – Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Saira Khatun.
At the age of seven, Sheikh Mujib was admitted to nearby Gimadanga Government Primary School and later he studied in Madaripur Islamia High School, Gopalganj Government Pilot School and Gopalganj Mission School.
While studying at the secondary level he was attacked by beriberi disease and had to undergo treatment in Calcutta. As a result, there was a gap in his studies for few years. After passing the Matriculation examination in 1942, Sheikh Mujib was admitted to Islamia College in Calcutta having residential accommodation in famous Baker Hostel. He passed the BA examinations in 1946.
He was elected general secretary of Islamia College Students’ Union. During his hostel days, when the ‘quit India’ movement was gaining momentum against the British domination, he came in touch with the legendary politicians like Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy and Abul Hashim. That was also a turning point in his long political career to pursue politics of secularism and patriotism.
After partition of the sub-continent, Sheikh Mujib chose Dhaka as the centre of his political activities and took admission in the Law Department of Dhaka University.