SA Games Gold medalists Mahfuza Khatun Sheela and Mabia Akhter Shimanto on Tuesday expressed their 'heartfelt gratitude' for the personal magnanimity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who assured better housing facilities for them.
"It was a pleasant surprise for me when I came to know that the Prime Minister instructed the concerned officials to take steps for arranging better accommodation for me," Mabia, who won gold medal in weight lifting in recently held South Asian Games in India, told the daily Observer.
"Our beloved Prime Minister gave such assurances even without any appeal or prayer from our side," she said adding, "It would help me devote deeply to my athletic pursuits and hope I shall be able to bring much more covetous prizes for the nation in future."
While expressing her reaction to this correspondent, Mahfuza Khatun Sheela, who lifted the gold medal in swimming said, "It was beyond my expectation that such a big announcement will come from the Prime Minister."
"I never thought that such a big surprise is awaiting for me - I cannot express in words what a pleasant moment is for me after hearing such sweet assurances from Sheikh Hasina," Mahfuza said.
"Hitherto we have seen that such big awards are given to Cricket players and athletes of other disciplines. It was beyond our imagination that the Prime Minister will make us feel so honoured," the gold winner said.
Mahfuza said, "It is customary that when any team leaves the country for any big event, various assurances are given to them on their return home after registering any big victory. But when we left the country for SA Games no such commitments were given for our achievements. But despite that the Prime Minister voluntarily announced such big awards for us that we shall remember forever."
"We are thoroughly moved by the generosity and noble gesture of our beloved Prime Minister," both Mahfuza and Mabia said.
While presiding over the regular weekly cabinet meeting on Monday at the Secretariat, the Prime Minister came to know the plight of these two athletics who brightened the face of the nation by winning gold medals at SA Games, she instantly ordered the PM office to take necessary steps for providing better residential accommodations for them.