Veteran leftist Hena Das passes away | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, July 20, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, July 20, 2009

Veteran leftist Hena Das passes away


Eminent leader of women rights and leftist movement Hena Das died at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) yesterday morning at the age of 85.
She had been suffering from old age complications and breathed her last at 11:30am.
Her body is kept at the BSMMU mortuary. The funeral may take place on Thursday after the arrival of her younger daughter from Germany on Wednesday.
She will be taken to the offices of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Teachers Association on Thursday. Then, she will be taken to the Central Shaheed Minar premises at 12 o'clock where people will get the opportunity to pay their last tribute to the selfless leader.
She will be cremated in Narayanganj, said CPB leaders.
Hena Das was admitted to the city's Labaid Hospital Friday morning soon after she had lost consciousness at her residence inside the Buet quarters. She was shifted to BSMMU Sunday afternoon.
Leaders and activists of CPB and different rights organisations thronged the BSMMU at the news of her death.
"She was a valiant lady and took part in different movements including the language movement and liberation war," said CPB General Secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim, adding that she also contributed a lot in teachers' movement and women rights movement.
She also played a significant role in cultural movement and her dedication and activities will remain a source of inspiration for all, he added.
Hena Das fought for building a humanitarian society throughout her life and also worked hard for the cause of women's rights, said Bangladesh Mahila Parishad President Ayesha Khanam. She was the vice president of the first committee of Mahila Parishad and served as its president for long eight years after the demise of Begum Sufia Kamal.
"Hena Das is one of the persons whose sacrifice, devotion and activities inspired me in politics," said Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury while visiting the leader at BSMMU. She never compromised with her ideology and she was a rare person, Matia added.
Hena Das was born in Sylhet on February 12, 1924. The anti-British movement influenced her while she was a class-VII student. In 1938, she joined progressive students' organisation, Students' Federation.
She earned membership of Communist Party in 1942 and married Communist leader Rohinee Das in 1948.
She organised women during the Nankar Movement in 1948-49 and later organised female tea garden workers for trade union to realise their rights.
She came to Dhaka and took up teaching in 1958. She served as headmaster of a non-government school in Narayanganj. She joined the Liberation War in 1971 and distributed relief among the refugees who took shelter in India.
She got involved with the Teachers' Association in 1978 and was the elected general secretary and vice president for long 14 years. She was one of the members of the first education commission headed by Dr Qudrat-e-Khuda.
She got many awards. In 2001, she received the national award--Begum Rokeya Padak.
She authored a number of books that include Amar Shikkha O Shikkhokota Jibon, Sritimoy Dingulo, Smritimoy Ekattor, Pancham Purush and Char Purusher Kahini.

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