Noted sculptor Ferdousi Priyabhashini passed away in a city hospital on Tuesday (Mar 6). She was 70. Ferdousi Priyabhashini, who had been suffering from multiple complications including kidney ailment, diabetes, high blood pressure, orthopedics and heart disease, and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital, breathed her last around 12:45 p.m., local media reports said citing her family sources.
Earlier, she was admitted to the hospital in November after she fell on the floor of her Gulshan residence and hurt her leg.
She will be laid to eternal rest at Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard in Mirpur on the arrival of her two sons in Dhaka from aboard. A civic mourning meeting will be organised for the noted sculptor and freedom fighter at the Central Shaheed Minar at 4 p.m. on Mar 10.
Born to Syed Mahbubul Hoque and Rowshan Hasina in Khulna on Feb 19, 1947, Priyabhashini got her unique name from her grandfather Abdul Hakim who became speaker of United Front government in 1954.
At the young age, she received a lot of prizes for various competitions from Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Haq.
Priyabhashini was one of the victims of the Pakistani occupation forces that together with their local collaborators violated almost a quarter of a million Bangalee women.
She was given the freedom fighter status in 2016, paying the utmost respect to her immense struggle during the 1971 Liberation War. Priyabhashini was the first one to publicly announce herself as Birangona, a term coined by Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the rape victims of the 1971 Liberation War of the country.
In personal life she was married to an artist in 1963. She had to work in a jute mill for her family. But financial problems grew and the couple got separated in 1971.
Priyabhashini later became a sculptor. Since 1990, she exhibited her works while her first exhibition was jointly inaugurated by artist SM Sultan and poet Sufia Kamal, and anchored by poet and writer Syed Shamsul Haque.
Priyabhashini married Ahsanullah Ahmed in 1972. They have three sons and three daughters.
The government awarded her Independence Award, the highest state award, in 2010.
President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep shock and sorrow at the death of the war heroine. Besides, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor condoled her death.