Noted sculptor and freedom fighter Ferdousi Priyabhashini died of cardiac arrest at Labaid Hospital in Dhaka this afternoon at the age of 70.
Priyabhashini breathed her last around 12:45pm at the hospital where she was admitted on February 23, Saifur Rahman Lenin, assistant general manager (Corporate Communications) of Labaid Group, told The Daily Star.
She was admitted to the hospital last month with kidney complications. Apart from this, she had been suffering from orthopedic problems, the official said.
On completion of the hospital formalities, her body will be taken to Pink City residence. The body will be kept at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) mortuary, Prof Mohammad Samad, president of Jatiya Kabita Parishad, informed the reporters.
Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee President Shahriar Kabir and its General Secretary Kazi Mukul among others were present at the hospital.
The body will be buried at Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard in Mirpur on Thursday on the arrival of her two sons in Dhaka from aboard.
People from all walks of life can pay their last respects around 11:00am at Central Shaheed Minar in the capital on the same day. Her namaj-e-janaza will be held at Dhaka University central mosque after Johr prayer the same day.
She leaves behind a host of relatives including two daughters and three sons.
Born in 1947, in the district of Khulna; she got her unique name from her grandfather. At a young age, she received a lot of prizes for various competitions from Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Haq. Being a book worm, she considered herself to be the happiest woman in the world when she received books as prizes.
Priyobhashini started sculpting when she lived in Jessore during 1984-1988. She started to decorate her house with bamboos and other natural elements which attracted a lot of visitors.
Priyabhashini recognised as freedom fighter in 2016
Priyabhashini was one of the victims of the Pakistani occupation forces that together with their local collaborators violated almost a quarter of a million Bangalee women.
Aged 23 during the Liberation War, she was not one to be silenced by the torment she had gone through.
After being freed from the clutches of her tormentors towards the end of the war in 1971, she stood by the women abused like her and spoke of her ordeal in public, unlike most others who buried their agonies deep inside them because of the social stigma associated with it.
The government on August 11, 2016 issued a gazette notification acknowledging the Birangana as freedom fighter.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of noted sculptor and freedom fighter Ferdousi Priyabhashini, according to BSS.
In a condolence message, the premier recalled with profound respect outstanding contributions of Priyabhashini to the Liberation War.
"The nation has lost a valiant freedom fighter in her death," she said, adding her death is also an irreparable loss to the field of sculpture.