Brac Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed yesterday spent a busy day at work despite it being his 80th birthday, carving out time to enjoy a 4D exhibition and a festive programme when a book containing articles about him written by noted personalities was also unveiled.
Former diplomat Faruk Chowdhury, who edited the book, presented Sir Fazle with a copy and the latter cut a cake, said a press release.
Born in 1936 in Bangladesh, Sir Fazle was educated at both Dhaka and Glasgow universities.
He was a professional accountant in his thirties, working as a senior corporate executive at Shell Oil when the 1971 Liberation War had a profound effect on him, dramatically changing the direction of his life. He left his job, moved to London and devoted himself to Bangladesh's war of independence.
When the war was over, he returned to the newly independent Bangladesh, finding the economy in ruins.
In 1972, he established Brac to rehabilitate the returnee refugees from India in a remote area in north-eastern Bangladesh. He directed his policy towards helping the poor develop their capacity to better manage their lives.
Sir Fazle has been honoured with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading Brac, including the World Food Prize (2015), Inaugural WISE Prize for Education (2011), Entrepreneur for the World Award (2009), Gates Award for Global Health (2004) and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1980). In 2009, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) by the British Crown. In 2014, he was named in Fortune Magazine's List of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders.