Dhaka: The 38th homecoming day of Awami League president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is being observed today (Thursday) in a befitting manner.
On May 17 in 1981, Sheikh Hasina returned home from India after nearly six years in exile following the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members by a group of disgruntled army officers on August 15, 1975.
Bangabandhu’s two daughters – Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – survived the carnage as they were in Germany at that time.
The capital was turned into a city of procession as the countrymen welcomed Sheikh Hasina, braving storms and heavy rainfall.
The then Kurmitola International Airport and Shere-E-Banglanagar turned into a human sea to welcome her.
Tens of thousands of people chanting slogan —Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu — thronged the capital to have a glimpse of Sheikh Hasina.
Sheikh Hasina was elected Awami League president in her absence during the party’s national council session on February 14-16 in 1981.
Returning home, she started her struggle in retaining people’s rights, lost after the assassination of Bangabandhu.
In doing so, she had to overlook red-eyes of the military rulers by risking her life. For her pro-people efforts, she became recognised as the daughter of democracy.
In her long political career, Sheikh Hasina helped Awami League win power in 1996, 21 years after the assignation of Bangabandhu.
The AL returned to power in 2008 under her dynamic leadership and continued office for the consecutive second time through the 2014 general election.
The country also elevated to developing country status from the least developed status this year under her prudent leadership.
The AL president also vowed to turn the country into a middle-income one by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.
The ruling party has chalked up various programmes to mark the homecoming of its president Sheikh Hasina.
A discussion will be held at Agricultural Institution at Farmgate with AL presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury in the chair.
Noted citizens and national leaders are expected to take part in the discussion programme at 3:00pm.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader urged the people to observe the day in a befitting manner.
Juba League, Bangladesh Chhatra League and other associate bodies of Awami League will also organise programmes to mark the day.
President Abdul Hamid issued a message, marking Homecoming Day of Sheikh Hasina.
She has immense contribution to the development, progress and flourishing of democracy in Bangladesh, he said in his message.
“The country is moving ahead because of her farsighted and strong leadership and people-oriented activities,” he said.
“Sheikh Hasina has taken Vision 2021 and Vision 2041 programmes to turn the country into a happy and prosperous Sonar Bangla,” he added.
The President said the programmes taken by Sheikh Hasina for development of the country and establishing democracy will remain everlasting in the history of Bangladesh.
Abdul Hamid wished her and her family members long life, prosperity and continuous success of her government.
He described the launching of the country’s first satellite Bangabandhu-I as milestone progress of the present government.