The 74th birthday of Prime Minister and Bangladesh Awami League President Sheikh Hasina was celebrated on Monday across the country and elsewhere in the world.
Born inTungipara in Gopalganj district on September 28 in 1947, Sheikh Hasina, the eldest among five children of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is said to the best statesman of Bangladesh for her patriotism, quality and charismatic leadership. Her mother was Begum Fazilatunnesa.
Sheikh Hasina, who survived repeated threats on her life, has been leading the nation with her intellectual thinking, honesty, dedication and far sighted vision. Today Bangladesh is well recognized as a nation heading to attain the status of a developed country under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Once termed as so-called 'bottomless basket' of poverty and famine, Bangladesh is now embarking on a new journey of world conquest.
Under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has many success stories which the nation is proud of. Girls free education, gender equality, raising life expectancy, empowering women, building massive employment opportunities and building a stronger economy are a few of the role models that many developing nations are following.
Her most recent role in extending humanitarian support to over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, who have taken shelter in Cox’s Bazar, drew accolade from global leaders, institutions and eminent personalities.
The peace treaty of the country’s Chattogram Hill Tracts, trials of the Bangabandhu assassinations and the LiberationWar criminals of 1971, the restoration of the spirit of the great liberation war through the amendment of the constitution, the settlement of maritime disputes with India and Myanmar and the establishment of Bangladesh's sovereignty over the sea are among her other great achievements.
Building mega projects like the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, metro rails, nuclear power plants, new sea ports, twin Karnaphuli tunnel, elevated expressways, new flyovers, upgrading of highways to four lanes, upgrading all district towns, setting up of LNG terminals are under construction. Once commissioned the completed projects are expected to substantially contribute to the fast-growing economy.
Bangladesh is also praised for achieving certain targets including reducing poverty rates, increasing power generation capacity exceeding 23,000 MW, distributing free textbooks for all public schoolstudents, building a digital Bangladesh, and introduction of 4G mobile technology.
Like previous years, Awami League and all of its affiliated organisations celebrated the day through various programmes highlighting the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina.
On the occasion, discussions, milad and doamahfils, special prayers and photo exhibitions were held abiding the appropriate health safety regulations.
Sheikh Hasina spent much of her childhood in the small hamlet where she was born. She started her schooling there. When Bangabandhu was elected a legislator, his family moved to Dhaka in 1954.
She was enrolled to what is now Sher-e-Bangla Girls’ School and College and later to Azimpur Girls’ High School from where she completed her secondary education in 1965. She was then admitted to Badrunnessa Government Girls’ College.
During her bachelor course, she was elected as the vice-president of the students’ union of Eden Girls’ College. Later, she enrolled into her Masters’ degree programme at the Bengali Department of Dhaka University.
As a student leader, Sheikh Hasina 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 1968, she got married to nuclear scientist Dr Wazed Miah.During the Liberation War, Sheikh Hasina and her family were interned in a house in Dhaka. On July 27 in 1971, her first child SajibWazed Joy was born. Her second child Saima Wazed Hossain was born on December 9, 1972.
After the assassination of her parents in 1975, Sheikh Hasina and her family were offered political asylum in India, where she stayed till 1981 when she was elected as the president of the Awami League in her absence.
Sheikh Hasina returned home on May 17, 1981 when she was greeted by a mammoth crowd that extended from the Airport to Farmgate and Manik Miah Avenue where she addressed a public rally.
In the 1986 parliamentary election, Sheikh Hasina was elected as parliament member from three different constituencies. After the overthrow of autocracy in 1990, she was elected as the Leader of the Opposition in the House.
In 1996, 21 years after her father was assassinated, Sheikh Hasina led the Awami League and helped the party assume power and became the prime minister for the first time.
On August 21, 2004, Sheikh Hasina, the then opposition leader, barely escaped an attempt on her life as grenades were lobbed at an AL rally on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital.
In 2008, she led the Grand Alliance to an overwhelming victory acquiring 90 percent of parliament seats in the general elections. She was elected the prime minister on January 5, 2014 for the second time in a row.
Sheikh Hasina assumed office of the Prime Minister for third consecutive term with a thumping victory in general elections in December 2018.
She also received the prestigious ‘Vaccine Hero’ award given in recognition of Bangladesh’s outstanding success in vaccinationprogramme. The premier was conferred with the award ‘Champion of Skill Development for Youth’ for Bangladesh’s great success in youth skill development.
Sheikh Hasina also received the Dr Kalam Smriti International Excellence Awards-2019, introduced in memory of eminent scientist and former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.