2020-03-17 21:06:42 BdST

Bangabandhu year celebrations begins

Bangladesh started celebrating the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through the national anthem, songs, poetry and fireworks on Tuesday.

A scaled-down inaugural ceremony started at a leafy venue inside the Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka at 8pm, the moment of his birth, as the government restricted gatherings due to coronavirus pandemic. 

The ceremony titled “Muktir Mahanayak” (The Great Hero of Freedom) began with the national anthem and fireworks. The city corporations also organised fireworks in parts of the capital.

The streets of the capital city, Dhaka, were decorated with colorful festoons and billboards depicting the life of the Father of the Nation and important landmarks and buildings were garlanded with decorative lights.

President Abdul Hamid delivered his speech, followed by a musical session by 100 children. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also addressed  the nation and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana is sharing her thoughts and sang the theme song of Mujib Barsha, (Mujib Year).

Hasina recited  a poem, written by Rehana, that depicts the sorrows of a daughter who lost her father.

Recorded speeches by the heads of state and government, including the prime ministers of India, Nepal, Bhutan and general-secretaries of the United Nations and OIC, will be broadcast.

Later, a pixel mapping, a video display system, and a laser-show will take place at the south plaza of the parliament.

Hasina launched a souvenir and a commemorative stamp from her official residence Ganabhaban in the afternoon.

The president and prime minister placed a wreath at the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at 10am in Tungipara. They stood there in silence, for some moments, in remembrance of the founder of independent Bangladesh. 

Later, the president, prime minister and top leaders of the ruling party, Awami League, prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu as well as other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.

A two-hour programme was organised in Tungipara, the birthplace of the Father of the Nation.

Bangabandhu's youngest daughter Sheikh Rehana, grandson Radwan Mujib Siddiq and granddaughter Saima Wazed Hossain were also present at the programme.

Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tribute by placing a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu, in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No 32, in Dhaka.

Cabinet members, the prime minister's advisers, parliament members, and senior leaders of the party were also present there.

Awami League held programmes including hoisting party flags atop all Awami League offices across the country – including Bangabandhu Bhaban and the party's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue. 

Special prayers were arranged at all religious institutions across the country while special food was distributed among orphans and destitute people.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen inaugurated Bangabandhu Corner at his ministry. 

The Bangabandhu Corner on the ground floor of the ministry's main building displays different books and documents related to the diplomacy of the country's founding father. The corner will preserve documents about Bangabandhu and the country's foreign relations. 

All 77 Bangladesh missions abroad also held special programmes to mark the day. 

People across the country placed floral wreaths at the portraits of Bangabandhu and  brought out colorful processions to celebrate his birth anniversary. 

In many townships, special cleaning drives were conducted and blood donation camps were set up.

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