Hopes lost with death of Bangabandhu

About to step into the 41st year of the country’s independence, “Birangonas” (war heroines) are yet to be properly recognised and paid the due honour and respect for their sacrifices, said speakers at a programme yesterday.

Though Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took a step for the rehabilitation of Birangonas, all activities stalled after his death on August 15, 1975, they added.

The programme was organised by Sammilita Sangskritik Jote at Liberation War Museum in the city to present 21 Birangonas from Sirajganj with clothes and financial assistance to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr from a fund of the film Guerrilla.

Talking to this correspondent, these Birangonas spoke of their suffering and ordeals through the years. Most of them said neither their family members nor the society takes care of them rather they are bound to work as domestic helps for a living.

“We were given all-out assistance from the state during the Sheikh Mujib government, but it is our bad luck that he was murdered and we were deprived of all assistance from the state,” said Rahima Khatun, a war heroine.

With tears rolling down her eyes, another war heroine Shamsun Nahar said, “People of our village, even my own sons, have no respect for me and do not take care of me. Sometimes I think it was better to die.

“Our greatest grief is that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, being the daughter of Sheikh Mujib, does not take care of us.

“We always think she will take pity on us and take steps so that we can live with our heads held up high, but nothing happens.”

The country’s constitution too has not acknowledged these Birangonas though many freedom fighters are receiving benefits from the state, said the speakers.

“The government does not acknowledge us for our sacrifice,” said Rahima.

“We want the government to give constitutional recognition to Birangonas and provide them state allowance regularly like that to freedom fighters,” said the jote President Nasiruddin Yusuf.

Sirajganj Uttaran Mahila Sangstha Director Shafina Lohani, working for the state recognition of these Birangonas for the last 31 years, said neither the government nor Muktijoddha Sangsad took any steps for Birangonas.

Arif Hasan, Golam Kuddus, TV actress Joya Ahsan and Esha Yusuf were present at the programme.

Source : Daily Star