Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (Feb 20) distributed the ‘Ekushey Padak-2023’ to 19 eminent persons and two organizations for outstanding contributions to different fields in the country. She handed over the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award in Bangladesh, at a ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka. Ministry of Cultural Affairs organized the award-giving function on the occasion of the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day, local media reported.
With State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid in the chair, Secretary of the ministry Md. Abul Monsur delivered the welcome address. Cabinet Secretary Md. Mahbub Hossain conducted the ceremony and read out the citations of the recipients.
The Ekushey Padak was introduced in the memory of the martyrs of the Language Movement in 1952. The award is given to individuals and organizations in recognition of contributions to a number of fields including the War of Liberation, literature, music, education, journalism, poverty reduction, research, and visual arts.
The nation is set to observe the ‘Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day’ on Tuesday to pay glowing tributes to the Language Movement martyrs who made supreme sacrifice for the cause of the mother tongue on Feb 21 in 1952.
The cultural affairs ministry confers the award with a gold medal, a certificate of honour and a cheque of Tk 4 lakh.
Earlier on Feb 12, the government announced the names of 19 eminent citizens and two organizations for the ‘Ekushey Padak-2023’ for their outstanding contributions to respective fields.
This year three persons got the award in the Language Movement category, one in the Liberation War, eight in Shilpakala (acting, music, recitation, arts and painting), two in politics, one person and one institution in education, one person and one institution in social service and one each in journalism, research, and language and literature.
Khaleda Manzur-e Khuda, valiant freedom fighter AKM Shamsul Haque (posthumously) and Haji Mohammad Majibur Rahman were given the award in the Language Movement category.
Masud Ali Khan and Shimul Yusuf received the award in the category of Shilpakala (acting) while Monoranjan Ghoshal, Gazi Abdul Hakim and Fazal-e-Khuda (posthumously) were named for the award in the category of Shilpakala (music) and Jayanto Chattopadhyay in Shilpakala (recitation) category, Nawazish Ali Khan for Shilpakala, and Kanak Chanpa Chakma for Shilpakala (painting).
Momtaz Uddin (posthumously) was given the award in the Liberation War category, Md Shah Alamgir (posthumously) in journalism, Dr Md Abdul Majid in research, Professor Dr Mazharul Islam (posthumously) in education, Md Saidul Haque in social service, Advocate Manjurul Imam (posthumously) and Akhter Uddin Mia (posthumously) in politics, and Dr Maniruzzaman in language and literature.
Bangladesh National Museum received the award in the category of education while Bidyanondo Foundation in social service.
Till 2022, a total of 543 distinguished individuals and reputed institutions were awarded ‘Ekushey Padak’ in recognition of their contributions to various fields in national life.