Letters to celebrate the father-daughter bond

Fathers and daughters, write to each other, share your untold tales

Letters to celebrate the father-daughter bond: Kotha Hok

Fathers and daughters cherish a very special bond. But for a myriad of reasons, these feelings, that love, the emotions, the hurt, the grievances, the affection, the bond, all too often remains locked in the heart, unspoken.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has taken up an initiative for fathers and daughter to open up and express these untold words in letters written to each other.

Under the UNFPA 'Celebrating Daughters' campaign, prothomalo.com is partnering in this initiative, 'Kotha Hok' (Speak Out).

With the slogan 'Kanya Ononya' (A daughter is special), this initiative will involve innumerable young ones all over Bangladesh through various online and offline programmes. According to certain studies, a father plays a vital role in a woman's academic achievements, success in her career, her mental health, communication skills, self-confidence and, above all, in the spread of gender equity in society. This initiative will throw light on this bond between father and daughter as well as the positive impact this has on society.

'Kotha hok', speak out. Fathers and daughters will speak out, will share their unspoken feelings in letters and words.

Using the #CelebratingDaughters hashtag, social media users can write letters to their fathers, or their daughters, on their own walls, and tag friends as well in order to encourage them to write too.

A special video will be made based on the two best letters selected by the judges from among the submissions and a book will be published with 50 of the letters. There will be extra arrangements for the senders and recipients of the selected letters. A special exhibition of the letters will also be organised.

Submission rules and requirements:

1. The letters between father and daughter can express love, emotions, feelings, gratitude, thanks, grievance, regret and the shared bond.

2. The letter can be written in Bangla or English, with a maximum 600 word limit.

3. The letters can be posted in three ways:

·       Written on paper, then photographed or scanned

·       In a Word/PDF file as an attachment

·       Writing on one's Facebook profile and then submitting the link

4. The sender may include a father-daughter picture or two separate pictures of father and daughter as an attachment.

5. The name of the letter writer, full address and mobile number must be clearly mentioned.

6. The letter must be send to the email address: [email protected]

7. The submitted letter may be used for non-commercial purposes in various exhibitions and initiatives under the campaign. In that case, UNFPA and Prothom Alo retain the copyright to the letters.

8. The deadline for submitting the letters is 12:00 am (midnight), Thursday, 15 February, 2024.

9. All decisions of the authorities regarding the initiative will be considered final.

This unique letter-writing initiative will serve to highlight the crucial role of fathers in the upbringing and welfare of their daughters. It is felt that this endeavour will also play a role in transforming social values and norms related to son preference and daughter aversion.