Even if she had wanted to, Halima Hossain could not continue her studies. Growing up in the '60s in Shayestabad under Barisal Sadar upazila, there was no secondary school in her neighbourhood.
But she was determined to make sure that her children would be able to pursue higher education.
The 68-year-old mother's dedication has paid off as all of her children -- six daughters and two sons -- are well established in the society. All her daughters are involved in teaching profession.
Her eldest child, a daughter, is an MPhil fellow at Dhaka University. One of her sons is a PhD fellow at DU and a teacher of Barisal University while the other is a physician and presently doing his master's thesis at Dhaka Medical College.
Yesterday, Halima got “Ratnagarva Ma Awards-2017”, an award given to mothers whose children have become successful in their respective fields.
Fifty mothers, including Halima, were given the award at a ceremony organised by Azad Products (Pvt) Ltd at Dhaka Club.
Among the honorees, 25 mothers were awarded under “general category” and 25 under “special category”. Marking Mother's Day, Azad Products has been organising the ceremony since 2003.
Meanwhile, veteran singer and researcher Mustafa Zaman Abbasi was accorded “My Dad Wonderful” award at the ceremony.
Speaking as the chief guest, Bishwo Shahitto Kendro founder Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed said children shine in their lives because of the dedication and hard work of their mothers.
At the event, Deputy Minister for Environment and Forests Abdullah Al Islam Jacob also shared his mother's contribution to his life. “She not only raised me and my three siblings successfully, but also helped many women become solvent in Bhola,” he said.
His mother, Begum Rahima Islam, was awarded “Ratnagarva Ma”.
Md Abul Kalam Azad, managing director of Azad Products, said mothers are the ones who should be credited for their children's success.
Rubana Huq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, stressed the need for emergence of more women entrepreneurs and professionals.
Khairul Majid Mahmud, former president of Dhaka Club; MM Imrul Kayes, prime minister's assistant press secretary, whose mother Suraiya Begum was awarded at the event; and Faruk, a veteran actor; among others, spoke as guests.