Volume 2 Issue 69 | November 7, 2009 |


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Behind the Scene

From Sylhet

Remembering Mohius
Sunnah Chowdhury

Iqbal Siddiquee

Mohius Sunnah Chowdhury, a renowned philanthropist and business leader, passed away in Sylhet on 4th October 2009 at the age of 89. He had been suffering from a number of advanced-age related ailments and was virtually bed ridden for the last two decades. As the news broke, thousands of people from all walks of life gathered at his house in the city's Dargah Mohalla. They congregated to mourn the loss of a man who had made an immense contribution towards the well-being of his community throughout his life.

Born to a zaminder family of Golapganj upazila in Sylhet, Muhius Chowdhury was the son of late professor Maj'd Uddin Chowdhury, who also used to be one of the distinguished principals of MC College and a member of the then Assam Civil Service Commission. Professor Chowdhury was one of the pioneer tea producers of the region under the British regime.

Mohius Sunnah Chowdhury, commonly known as Sunnah Chowdhury passed matriculation in 1936 from Sylhet Government Pilot High School and completed Bachelors, with Honours, and Masters Degree in Economics from the Aligarh University in 1943. In 1955, he and his father started M. Ahmed Tea & Lands Company. The company started operations with of eight tea gardens, and soon established itself as a forerunner in the industry.

Although prolific in his philanthropic contributions, Sunnah Chowdhury tended to stay away from public limelight. He was one of those rare personalities who was accepted by all, irrespective of political and social affiliations. He had donated generously to a number of educational, social and religious institutions throughout greater Sylhet. Kazi Jalal Uddin High School was established in the city in the 1950s on land he had donated. He had also made significant contributions to Sylhet government Mahila College, Madan Mohan College, Ambarkhana Girls School & College, Hajrat Shah Jalal Dargah Madrasah, and to Fulbari Aziria Madrasah, an institution established by the Chowdhury family.

Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith, the city's mayor Mr. Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, Sylhet Bar President Golam Rabbani Chowdhury, Press Club President Muktabis Un Noor, Sylhet Chamber's President Junnun Mahmud Khan, along with other social and political personalities, expressed their deep sorrow at the death of the dedicated philanthropist and business leader.

Sunnah Chowdhury was laid to rest in his family graveyard in Fulbari village of Golapganj. Thousands gathered to pay their last respects to a man whose generous contributions shall be remembered for years to come.