Sufia Kamal’s 17th death anniversary tomorrow

The 17th death anniversary of Poet Sufia Kamal, founding president of Bangladesh Mohila Parishad and also a pioneer of Bengali women's emancipation, will be observed tomorrow.

Different social and cultural organizations have chalked out various programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.

Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote leaders and activists along with noted

cultural personalities will pay tributes to the poet by placing floral wreaths at her grave at Azimpur graveyard here at 9am.

Samajik Protirodh Committee will organize a memorial meeting at Bangladesh Mahila Parishad at 3pm.

Poet Sufia Kamal was born on June 20, 1911 at her maternal uncle's home at Shayestabad, Barisal. Her father's name was Abdul Bari. Despite being born to a conservative Muslim family, she was taught Bengali by her mother Sabera Begum.

Apart from her literary pursuits, Sufia Kamal fought for women's

emancipation, humanity's emancipation and restoration of democracy. She was also active in the Language Movement of 1952.

She was also involved in the movement to protest the embargo on Tagore imposed by then government in the late '60s. She was also involved in the mass-upsurge of 1969 and the non- cooperation movement of March 1971. She also renounced the" Tamgha-I-Imtiaz" award given to her by the Pakistan government.

She was an excellent organizer. In the politically charged atmosphere of 1970, she organized the Bangladesh Mohila Parishad.

Earlier, in 1956, she had organized the children's organization "Kochi-Kachar Mela".

She edited the women's magazine "Begum" before partition of the

subcontinent in 1947. Her first poem "Bashanti" was printed in the "Saogat" in 1926. Since then, she has written prolifically: poems, short stories and travelogues. Her "Ekatturer Diary" tells the untold stories of the Bengalis in 1971.

Her struggle for a society free of disparity and her politics earned her over 50 awards including the "Ekushey Padak", "Swadhinata Dibash Padak" and "Bangla Academy Padak".

She played a crucial role in the emancipation of women in post-liberation Bangladesh. She was uncompromising about communalism and fundamentalism. The poet died on November 20, 1999. She was the first Bengali woman to be buried with state honors.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)