Commemorating the legendary literary personality of Bangladesh, the Exim Bank - Anyadin Humayun Ahmed Sahitya Puroshkar 2019 was held at the ASKB Auditorium of Bangla Academy yesterday.
Every year on November 12 – the day before Humayun’s birthday – this honour is awarded to an upcoming writer and a writer with significant contribution in Bangla literature. Young author Sadat Hossain received the award in the former category this year. For the senior category, notable female author Rabeya Khatun was awarded in the fifth instalment of the event.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr A K Abdul Momen, MP, was present as the chief guest. Eminent actor and politician Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, was present as the special guest of the programme along with Managing Director of Exim Bank Dr Mohammed Haider Ali Miah, and Editor of Anyadin Mazharul Islam. National Professor Anisuzzaman presided over the ceremony.
Family members of Humayun Ahmed, who spoke at the occasion, included author and educationist Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, and media personality and wife of Humayun Ahmed, Meher Afroz Shaon. They congratulated this year’s recipients in their speeches.
The ceremony began with a dance performance by Munmun Ahmed and students of Rewaaz Performing School. An audiovisual of the previous award ceremonies followed the performance.
Elated at receiving the award for his book 2018 book Nisshongo Nokkhotro, Sadat Hossain expressed, “It is humbling to receive an award that carries the name of our beloved Humayun Ahmed. I am truly grateful to the jury for the recognition.”
The octogenarian novelist Rabeya Khatun remembered Humayun Ahmed deeply at the ceremony. “I have received many awards in my life. However, this one is special. I am truly honoured,” she said.
The winners received a prize money of BDT 1 lakh and 5 lakh, respectively, along with crests and certificates.
“I had a wonderful relationship with Humayun,” recalled Asaduzzaman Noor as he shared stories of the late author. “I hold our friendship in the highest regard.”
Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen referred to Humayun Ahmed as a great communicator. “He wrote for all and was loved by all. Humayun and his works are our country’s treasure,” he said.