In a grand celebratory gala, organised at Dhaka's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Friday, 15 February, 2019, PRAN awarded the winners of the annual national pickle competition 2018.
The extraordinary idea of honouring the women of Bangladesh through something so-often overlooked, and yet relished on a spoon or with a side of rice, lentils or curry, was first instilled by the founder of the conglomerate, PRAN-RFL Group, the late Amjad Khan Chowdhury. Through this competition, his legacy lives on, and women from around the country are rewarded and appreciated for the magic they create in the kitchen and store in up-cycled glass jars.
With respected education minister, Dr Dipu Moni gracing the event as chief guest, she says, “When we first heard of a nation-wide pickle competition, it seemed quite amusing really. But PRAN's efforts have proven successful in crowning women who are skilled at making pickles with a few ordinary ingredients and keep an integral part of Bengali cuisine alive.”
A ten-member judging panel tasted 7,892 samples of pickles, sent in by around 3,796 participants and sealed their verdicts. The contestants were judged in four categories of sweet, sour, hot and mixed, for which Jashore's Sayeda Asma, Nowrin Ahsan of Dhaka, Khulna's Morjina Khanom and Farzana Afrin respectively won first prizes of Tk 50,000 each. Moreover, Nowrin Ahsan rose to be triumphant amongst all with the title of 'Pickle of the Year' and cash prize of Tk 2 lakh.
Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, Chairman and CEO of PRAN-RFL; Uzma Chowdhury, Director (Corporate); Eleash Mridah, Managing Director; and Israrul Haque, Executive Director of Channel-i were amongst the elite guest-list.
Prominent television anchor, Rumana Malik Munmun breathed life into the event as host and the prize-giving ceremony drew to a starry end with spectacular performances by singer Salma and artists of Shurer Dhara.