The nation today celebrates the 95th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, with due respect and festivity. The day has been declared general holiday. It coincides the National Children's Day.
Ninety five years ago, on this day in 1920 the undisputed leader of Bengalis was born as the first child of Sheikh Lutfor Rahman and Saira Begum in Tungipara, far-flung village of a remote district called then Faridpur.
As he grew older he left Tungipara for Calcutta (now Kolkata) for higher study at the Islamia College. Later he was admitted to University of Dhaka for further education. At the age of 18, Bangabandhu married Fazilatunnesa. They became happy parents of two daughters and three sons.
He was a preeminent Bengali nationalist leader of Bangladesh. He headed the Awami League (AL) and was the first President of Bangladesh during the Bangladesh Liberation War, and later became Prime Minister in independent Bangladesh.
Sheikh Mujib, known as Bangabandhu or friend of Bengal, led Bangladesh to independence from Pakistan in 1971, and became Father of the Nation as well as the "Greatest Bengalee of All Time".
AL, its associate bodies, different political parties, socio-cultural-professional bodies and institutions have chalked out elaborate programmes in observance of his birth anniversary.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion.
The ruling AL's programmes for the day include hoisting of the national and party flags at 6-30 am and placing of wreaths at Bangabandhu's portrait at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi at 7-30 am.
To mark the day national dailies will publish special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and other private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes on his eventful life marking the day. Special prayers will be offered at all the places of worships in the country.
As part of the national programme, AL President Sheikh Hasina along with her party stalwarts and members of the cabinet will lay wreaths at the grave of the great leader in the Mausoleum Complex at Tungipara at 10 am. The Prime Minister will be given a "Guard of Honour" there.
Sheikh Hasina will attend a children's rally, discussion, book fair and a cultural function to be organised at Tungipara marking the occasion.
In observance of the day AL will organise a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital at 3 pm on March 18 (Wednesday).
Party President Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion. AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam urged all to observe the birthday of Bangabandhu with due respect.
The Cultural Affairs Ministry, Religious Affairs Ministry, Social Welfare Ministry, Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shishu Academy, Nazrul Institute, Islamic Foundation and other institutions will hold separate discussions and cultural programmes to mark Bangabandhu's birth anniversary. Bangladesh missions abroad will also observe the day organising identical programmes.
Kendrio Banganandhu Shishu Kishore Mela will organise a discussion and rally of children at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at city's Dhanmondi-Road-32 in the morning. Besides, Bangladesh Chhatra League will hold a discussion in the afternoon there.
Dhaka University (DU) also chalked out an elaborate programme to mark the Day. Its Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, Pro-VC, deans, senate and other officials will place wreathes at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 7 am.