A freedom fighter’s last tribute
He even spent the last days of his life working for the welfare of the nation. There was no Shaheed Minar in Nagor union of Netrakona's Khaliajury upazila to pay homage to the martyrs of 1952 Language Movement. Nobody bothered to build a permanent structure there even years after the language movement.
But freedom fighter (FF) Khelon Talukder could not sit idle noticing such negligence towards the language heroes and built a Shaheed Minar on the courtyard of his house at Udaypur village in 2018, said locals, adding that it is now the only one Shaheed Minar, a monument to commemorate the language martyrs, for thousands of people in the union.
Khelon died at the age of 71 in January last year, said his son Subrata Talukder.
"As there was no Shaheed Minar in the union, my father built it with the money that he received from the allowance meant for freedom fighters," said Subrata, adding that Tk 15,000 was spent for construction of the permanent structure.
Prantosh Samonto, headmaster of Udaypur Government Primary School, said there are 13 educational institutions, including 10 government primary schools, in the union but there was no Shaheed Minar in the institutions.
In 2018, late freedom fighter Khelon built a Shaheed Minar on the courtyard of his home and since then they have been placing floral wreaths at the monument on February 21 every year to pay homage to the language heroes, said the headmaster.
The late freedom fighter will be remembered forever for his contribution to the nation, said Prantosh.
"We are grateful to the freedom fighter for taking such great initiative towards the language heroes," said Anik Sarker, a college student of Udaypur village.
"We can now pay tribute to the language heroes by offering floral wreaths at the Shaheed Minar during the Language Martyrs' Day and International Mother Language Day on February 21," said Sumita Samanto, a Class V student of the primary school.
Haridhan Sarker, chairman of Nagor Union Parishad, said it is the only one Shaheed Minar for some 15000 people in the union.
They have already taken initiative to build Shaheed Minar at least three schools in the union, said the chairman.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer AHM Ariful Islam said they have already taken initiative to build Shaheed Minar at every educational institution.