Sufia Kamal's 110th birth anniversary today

Begum Sufia Kamal

The 110th birth anniversary of poet Begum Sufia Kamal is being marked today, Sunday.

Also revered as the trailblazing woman rights activist, poet and educationist Sufia Kamal took part in the Bengali nationalist movement of the 1950s.

Established herself as one of the iconic civil society leaders in independent Bangladesh, Sufia Kamal was born on 20 June, 1911, at Shayestabad, Barisal in then British India.

The day is being observed in befitting manners by different socio-cultural organisations.

Commemorating the day, several socio-cultural organisations including Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Chhayanaut are organizing special programmes.

Due to the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad is hosting a special online event at 3:00pm on its official Facebook page.

Celebrating the founding president's birth anniversary and the return of monsoon, is organizing a special online event featuring songs, poems and dances of the rainy season, alongside a special speech of Sultana Kamal, daughter of Sufia Kamal.

The programme will be telecast through the digital platforms of Chhayanaut including its Facebook page and YouTube channel on Sunday at 9:00pm.

Sufia Kamal played active role in the 1952 language movement and during the 1971 Liberation War.

In the independent Bangladesh, she took part in every major human rights movement till her demise.

Despite lacking formal education during her childhood, she learned multiple languages at her home including Bengali, Hindi, English, Urdu, Arabic, Kurdish and Persian.

Her first book of poems, Sanjher Maya (The Eventide Spell), was published in Kolkata in 1938.

Her documentary book Ekatturer Diary (Diary of 71) narrated the horrific stories during the 1971 Liberation War. She was the founding editor of Begum, Bangladesh's maiden women's magazine.

She was also the first chairperson of Brac.

Sufia Kamal received many awards including the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (1961), a major national award conferred by the Pakistani government that she returned in 1969 in protest against the then government's oppressive treatment to Bengali people.

Her major achievements include Bangla Academy Award for Literature (1962), Ekushey Padak (1976), Jatiya Kabita Parishad Award (1995), Begum Rokeya Padak (1996), Deshbandhu CR Das Gold Medal (1996), Independence Day Award (1997), Czechoslovakia Medal (1986) and more.

Sufia Kamal passed away on November 20, 1999. For her tremendous contribution in the society, she became the first woman to receive a state funeral in Bangladesh.