Bangladeshi industrialist and entrepreneur Abul Khair Litu, who is known for his involvement in the promotion of Bangladesh's culture, art, music, theatre and literature, was recently honoured with the award, 'Jibon Kriti Samman Shadok', during the Swara Samrat Festival 2018, organised at the Nazrul Mancha auditorium in the city of Kolkata.
He received the award from Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty and renowned painter Jogen Chowdhury. Litu's interest in the arts and culture of Bangladesh was sparked off by his uncle – Professor Abdur Razzaque, an eminent academic and social scientist. Professor Razzaque introduced Litu to some of Bangladesh's most well-known artists, including Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. Litu's interaction with the artists whom he met through his uncle soon inspired him to start his own art collection. As part of his endeavour to promote and showcase Bangladeshi art on a larger platform, Litu set up the Bengal Foundation in 1986, of which he is still the chairperson. Since its inception, the Bengal Foundation has promoted a variety of visual and performing arts and crafts, with regular local, regional and international events. One of the most popular events organised by the Bengal Foundation is the Bengal Classical Music Festival. Litu was recognised at the programme not just as a leading industrialist, but also for his lifelong commitment to promote Bangladeshi art and culture through different measures.