Marking the 105th birth anniversary of Sufia Kamal -- one of Chhayanaut's founders, the leading cultural organisation of the country is set to hold a programme at its Ramesh Chandra Memorial Auditorium today. Solo and choral songs and recitation will feature at the programme, beginning 11am.
Sufia Kamal, born to Shayestabad's Nawab family in Barisal in 1911, is an iconic figure in the positive transformation of the status of women as well as the Bangladeshi society. She dedicated her life to empowering women, and was at the forefront of all political, social and cultural movements during her lifetime.
During her childhood, women's education especially for Muslims was prohibited. Sufia Kamal was taught to read and write Bangla by her mother. At the age of 12, she got married to Syed Nehal Hossain, her cousin. She left Shaistabad and settled in Barisal, where she got involved in social work along with the progressive Brahma women. She also took part in the non-cooperation movement called by Mahatma Gandhi. Inspired by her husband who was an aspiring writer, she wrote a short-story, “Sainik Badhu” and a few poems which were published in a literary journal. She got involved in literary activities, came to know Kazi Nazrul Islam and Mohammad Nasiruddin (1888-1994), a great patron of Muslim authors. Nasiruddin, the editor and publisher of literary journal Showgat, inspired Sufia Kamal to engage herself into writing. She also had a short but fruitful contact with Rokeya Sakhawat's social organisation promoting awareness among women, especially in the slums.
She took part in all political movements that defined the future of the country since 1947. Her role in the struggle leading to the 1971 Liberation War, anti-autocratic movement in 1990 and the anti-collaborator movement in 1992 are memorable.
Sufia was instrumental in establishing the Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Chhayanaut and Kachi Kanchar Mela.
She was honoured with the Independence Day Award, Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Award, Deshbandhu CR Das Gold Medal, and many other national and international accolades.