Vol. 5 Num 368 Fri. June 10, 2005  

48 get Begum Rokeya Shining Award-2005

A total of 48 outstanding personalities--34 women and 14 men--received Begum Rokeya Shining Personality Award-2005 from Narikantha Foundation yesterday in recognition of their significant contributions to the society.

The foundation also honoured theatre personalities Aly Zaker and Sara Zaker as the best couple of the year at a ceremony at Osmani Memorial Hall in the city.

"Women bring changes to the family, economy and social structure and they change themselves," said Rokia A Rahman, former advisor to the caretaker government and president of Women Entrepreneurs' Association.

The outstanding women awardees include geologist Afia Akhtar, actress Kabori Sarwar, entrepreneurs Kona Reza, Jeba Rashid Chowdhury, Jabin Noman, Jasmin Ahmad, Masuda Khan, Leeon Rokeya Islam, Hsina Doula and Hfiza Momtaj Hashi.

The other women awardees are Prof ZN Tahmida Begum (public administration), organiser Jinat Ara Bhuyan, sports organiser Jobera Rahman Linu, Barrister Tania Amir, Dilara Hafiz (education), Parvin Haq Shikdar (banking), theatre personality Ferdousi Majumder, Ferdous Ara Begum (public administration), fashion designer and model Bibi Rasel, Bilkis Mansur (business), Valory A Teilor (humanitarian service), Roeyna Hossain (education), Rozalin Costa (human rights), Prof Rowshan Ara Begum (social work), organiser Rehana Banu, Roksana Zaman (banking), Dr Rashida Begum (medical science), Shaheda Obaed (education), Shahin Samad (music), Advocate Sultana Kamal (human rights), organiser Shirin Akhtar, Sarwat Ahmed (business) and Dr Halida Hanum Khondker (Aids prevention).

Outstanding men awardees are retired Major General Amjad Khan Chowdhury (agriculture), Anisul Haq (business organiser), Kabir Ahmed Bhuyan (medical service), Tara Mia Khan (social work), Nasir A Chowdhury (insurance), Nazmul Hasan (medicine industry), Mofizuddin Sarkar (investment), Mahbubur Rahman Shahin (human development), Dr Mostak Ahmed (medical research), Kazi Monsur-ul-Haq (social work), M Shahjahan Bhuyan (banking), Dr Saleh Uddin Ahmed (rural economy), Md Sabur Khan (IT) and Hsan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron (debating).

"Bangladesh women constitute a vulnerable group in the society and continue to be victimised," said Australian High Commissioner Loraine Barker, "But these shining women are examples of women empowerment in a very difficult situation."

The Us ambassador Harry K Thomas said that he was impressed with the determination of these outstanding women to go beyond the limits. " I will leave Bangladesh in a few weeks, but I will remember the opportunities I have had in this country."

Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed of Biswa Sahitya Kendra, First Secretary of the European Union Anne Marchel and the Narikantha Foundation Executive Director Farhana Reza spoke among others.