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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday handed over prestigious Ekushey Padak, the country’s second highest civilian award, to 21 eminent personalities in recognition of their contributions to various fields, reports news agency UNB.

Liberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Haque handed over the Ekushey Padak among the recipients on behalf of the prime minister, who joined the programme virtually from her official residence, Gonobhaban.

The cultural affairs ministry organised the programme at Osmani Memorial Auditorium with state minister KM Khalid in the chair.

Motahar Hossain Talukdar (posthumous), Shamsul Haque (posthumous), and advocate Afsar Uddin Ahmed (posthumous) have been recognised for their roles in the Language Movement.

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Begum Papia Sarowar has been recognised for her contributions to music while Raisul Islam Asad and Salma Begum Sujata for performing art, Ahmed Iqbal Haidar for drama, and Syed Salahuddin Zaki for film.

Bhaskar Bandopandhay has been recognised for his contributions to recitation, Pavel Rahman for photography and Golam Hasnayen, Fazlur Rahman Khan Faruk, Syeda Issabela (posthumous) for their contributions to the Liberation War.

Ajay Dasgupta has been recognised for his contributions to journalism, professor Samir Kumar Saha for research, Mahfuza Khanam for education, Mirza Abdul Jalil for economics, and professor Kazi Kamruzzaman for social service.

Kazi Rozy, Bulbul Chowdhury and Golam Murshid have been recognised for their contributions to language and literature.

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