The Last Letter | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 07, 2018


The Last Letter

War heroine Rama Chowdhury, a fighter till the end

Ekattorer Janani' and freedom fighter Rama Chowdhury breathed her last after a long battle with illness on September 3.

She was born in 1936 in Popadia village of Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong and went on to obtain her MA in Bengali Literature from Dhaka University in 1961. She was the headmistress of Cox's Bazar High School in 1962.

When the war broke out in 1971, Rama refused to take refuge in India even though her husband insisted on it. He ended up leaving her. 

A fighter to the end, Rama was tortured by the Pakistani army on May 13, 1971 who also torched her house at Popadia.

After the war, she was homeless as none of her relatives or neighbours gave her shelter and she had to live in the open with her three children and often went hungry. Her two sons died soon after the war.

Despite monetary troubles, she never accepted any offers of financial assistance including the one made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2013.

To make ends meet, Rama took to writing and penned 18 books, including 1001 Din Japoner Padya, Bhab-Boichitre Rabindranath, Agun Ranga Agun Jhora and Ashru Veja Ekti Din. Ekattorer Janani (Mother of 71) details her memory of the nine-month war.

Birangana Rama Chowdhury was laid to rest at Popadia village beside the grave of one of her sons.

Below is a handwritten letter to the country by Rama where she pens her love for Bangladesh, her will to live for a hundred and more years and her undying spirit that wants to continue working for this nation.

Rama's letter was sent to Star Weekend by photographer Mashruk Ahmed. Under a personal multimedia project 'The War is not over yet', Mashruk Ahmed is collecting photographs, war memorabilia, videos and memories shared by freedom fighters since 2016. Rama Chowdhury's letter dated October 19, 2016 is part of the project. 

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