Sanjida Khatun, Selina Hossain, Swaralipi get BRAC Bank-Samakal Literature Award 2018

Published: 16 Nov 2019     Updated: 16 Nov 2019

Special Correspondent

Distinguished cultural personality and author Sanjida Khatun, renowned novelist Selina Hossain and young poet Swaralipi have won BRAC Bank-Samakal Literary Award 2018.

They received the honours at a gala event at the carnival hall of Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on Friday evening.

Bangla daily Samakal and Brac Bank have been conferring the award since 2011. 

In a bid to recognise the fundamental literary works, 'BRAC Bank-Samakal Literary Award' has been introduced by Golam Sarwar, the founding editor of the Daily Samakal, with the financial support of BRAC Bank.

They have been selected for the award by a jury board comprising some of the country's leading literary figures for their books published in 2018.

The head of the jury was fiction writer Hasan Azizul Haque while the other members are fiction writers Syed Manzoorul Islam, Anwara Syed Haque and poet Helal Hafiz.

Hon'ble National Professor Anisuzzaman presented the award as the chief guest on the occasion.

BRAC Bank managing director and CEO Selim RF Hossain, jury members Anwara Syed Haque and poet Helal Hafiz spoke on the occasion chaired by Mustafiz Shafi, acting editor of the Daily Samakal.

Hasan Azizul Haque could not attend the event due to his illness while Syed Manzoorul Islam was also absent as he is now staying abroad.

The event was moderated by Mahbub Aziz, feature editor of the Daily Samakal.

The prize was given in three categories - 'Poetry and Fiction', 'Essay, Autobiography, Travel and Translation' and 'Humayun Ahmed Young Literary Award'.

This year, 487 books were submitted while a four-member jury chose the winners from a shortlist of 18 books, six in each category.

Sanjida Khatun won the award for “Nazrul Mans” in the category “essay, autobiography, travelogue and translation”. The book was published by Nobojug Prakashani.

Salina Hossain received the award in the category “poetry and fiction” for his fiction “Saat-e Marcher Bikel”, published by Bengal Publications.

Swaralipi received the “Humayun Ahmed Young Litterateur Award” for his fiction “Mrittur Paragayan”, published by Arbak.

As part of the award, Sanjida Khatun and Salina Hossain received crests and Tk 200,000 each while Swaralipi received a crest and Tk 100,000.

Paying tribute to the late author Humayun Ahmed, the last category has been included in the name of the author in 2013.

Under 40-year-old litterateurs are considered for the award in this category.

Speaking as the chief guest, National Professor Anisuzzaman said that in the book 'Nazrul Mans' by Sanjida Khatun, the close and historical relationship of the author's family with poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and Nazrul's works is rich in the view of the author's own extraordinary analysis.

Selina Hossain's novel "Saat-e Marcher Bikel" has become an important part of the history of Bangladesh. It will be an invaluable literary piece written in the combination of extraordinary narration and imagination. 

Welcoming young poet Swaralipi to the literary world, Anisuzzaman said, "His creations say he can go far."

Mustafiz Shafi, acting editor of the Daily Samakal, said our expectation is that as long as there is the Daily Samakal and BRAC Bank, the award will be conferred continuously. Whenever the award is given, the late editor of the Daily Samakal, Golam Sarwar, will be remembered. 

Shafi said, “This award is being provided wholeheartedly to encourage those who are involved with the creation of literature. We want to contribute to the literary works to some extent. Samakal has been moving forward rearing the spirit of the War of Liberation. Considering the practice of free thought, Samakal will move forward. Samakal is proud of honouring the two respected personalities and young people who have received the awards."

BRAC Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Selim RF Hussain said BRAC Bank is proud to be a part of the award giving program.

"It is a matter of great pride that all three awardees are women. It is also a milestone. He also announced that the award would be continued in collaboration with the Daily Samakal," he added.