Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the country's affluent people to come forward for the welfare of the distressed people following the example set by Ranada Prasad Shaha through his philanthropic activities.
“In our country, there are many wealthy people who can follow the examples set by the Kumidi Welfare Trust [founded by Ranada Prasad] for the promotion of women's education and services of distressed people,” she said.
The PM was addressing a function marking the distribution of the “Danveer Ranada Prasad Shaha Memorial Gold Medal” at Kumudini Complex in Tangail's Mirzapur upazila.
Hasina said no one can now treat Bangladesh as a poor country, rather the whole world considers it as a role model of development.
She said her successive governments could bring the changes in the last 10 years. The government wanted to further develop the country, she added.
The PM's younger sister Sheikh Rehana was present as a special guest at the function, organised by Kumudini Welfare Trust of Bengal (BD).
Hasina handed over the award to four eminent personalities. This year's winners are former Pakistan prime minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (posthumous), National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (posthumous), Nazrul expert and researcher National Professor Rafiqul Islam and renowned artist Shahabuddin Ahmed.
On behalf of Suhrawardy, Rehana received the gold medal from the PM, while Khilkhil Kazi, granddaughter of Nazrul, received the award on the national poet's behalf.
Rajiv Prasad Shaha, chairman and managing director of the Kumudini Welfare Trust of Bengal, also spoke at the programme, chaired by its director and language movement veteran Protiva Mutsuddi.
The event was organised on the occasion of the 86th founding anniversary of Kumudini Welfare Trust.
At the function, two documentaries on the life and works of Ranada Prasad Shaha and the 86-year journey of Kumudini Welfare Trust were screened.
Hasina witnessed an attractive drill of students of Bharateswari Homes.
Earlier, she opened and laid the foundation stones of 31 development projects in Tangail.
Ranada Prasad Shaha (1896-1971), widely known as RP Shaha, was a social worker and promoter of education.
Between 1938 and 1944, he had set up a free dispensary and Kumudini Hospital (named after his mother).
He had also established Bharateswari Homes, Kumudini Girls' College and Debendra College. In 1944, he had donated Rs 2.5 lakh to the British Red Cross.
On May 7, 1971, RP Shaha and his son Bhabani Prasad Shaha were abducted by the Pakistan army and their collaborators from Narayanganj. They never returned.