Eminent Bangladeshi sculptor and freedom fighter Ferdousi Priyabhashini died of cardiac arrest at a city hospital here this afternoon at the age of 70.
Priyabhashini suffered a massive cardiac arrest around 12:45 pm while undergoing treatment at the hospital. She was admitted to the hospital on February 23 with kidney and other ailments, hospital sources said, reports BSS.
She is survived by three sons, three daughters, relatives and a host of admirers.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of the noted sculptor and freedom fighter.
In separate condolence messages, the President and the Prime Minister conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family members of Priyabhashini and prayed for eternal peace of departed soul.
Priyabhashini’s body will be taken to her Pink City’s residence after the completion of the hospital formalities and later the body will be kept at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) mortuary, family sources said. On Thursday, her body will be kept at Central Shaheed Minar for one hour from 11 am so that people of all strata of life can pay their last tributes to the freedom fighter.
Her namaj-e-janaza will be held at Dhaka University central mosque after Johr prayers on the same day. She will be laid to eternal rest at Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard in Mirpur on the arrival of her two sons in Dhaka from aboard.
A civic mourning meeting will be organized for the noted sculptor and freedom fighter at the Central Shaheed Minar at 4 pm on March 10.
Born to Syed Mahbubul Hoque and Rowshan Hasina in Khulna on February 19, 1947, Priyabhashini got her unique name from her grandfather Abdul Hakim who became speaker of United Front government in 1954.
At the young age, she received a lot of prizes for various competitions from Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Haq. Priyabhashini was one of the victims of the Pakistani occupation forces that together with their local collaborators violated almost a quarter of a million Bangalee women.
She was given the freedom fighter status in 2016, paying the utmost respect to her immense struggle during the 1971 Liberation War. Priyabhashini was the first one to publicly announce herself as Birangona, a term coined by Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the rape victims of the 1971 Liberation War of the country.
In personal life, she was married to an artist in 1963. She had to work in a jute mill for her family. But financial problems grew and the couple got separated in 1971.
Priyabhashini later became a sculptor. Since 1990, she exhibited her works while her first exhibition was jointly inaugurated by artist SM Sultan and poet Sufia Kamal, and anchored by poet and writer Syed Shamsul Haque.
Priyabhashini married Ahsanullah Ahmed in 1972. They have three sons and three daughters. The government awarded her Independence Award, the highest state award, in 2010.