Sheikh Russel was only one and a half years old when Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib took him to see Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhaka Central Jail. Little Russel refused to leave his father after the visit. Third grader Arisha has visualized the story heard from her teacher, and drew it on her canvas.
Another student of class-4 Labiba Rahman from Ideal School and College in the capital, has drawn another story on the canvas. According to his stroy, Sheikh Russel loved to run after grasshoppers. So, Russel loved the forest most. That's why he went out on his father's shoulder on the occasion of his birthday and the whole family celebrated the day in a beautiful flower garden.
Numerous such stories about Sheikh Russel became colorful on the children's canvas at the Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited Club Complex in the capital’s Bashundhara Residential Area.
Children aged between 6 and 10 were allowed to imagine and visualise whatever they like regarding Sheikh Russel, the youngest child of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib.
Russel was born on October 18 in 1964 at the historic Bangabandhu Bhaban in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi.
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited, the club named after him, organised a children’s art competition titled Shaheed Sheikh Russel Shishu Chitrangkan Protijogita marking his birthday.
If Russel had survived, he would have been 58 on Monday. But age turns into a mere number for dead people.
Since he was assassinated along with most of his family members on the fateful night of August 15, 1975 his age was stuck to 10 years and 10 months.
Over 200 children who took part in the competition were of his age. After being stranded inside their houses for over one and a half years due to coronavirus pandemic, when they stepped into the club field with their paint brush, colours and hard board, their faces were glittering with joy of relief and creativity.
Eminent author and director of East West Media Group Limited Imdadul Haq Milan was the chief judge of the one and a half hour-long competition while Shaheed Bir Uttam Lt. Anwar Girl’s College’s art teacher and freelance artiste Sheikh Farhana Parvin Tumpa and young artiste and daily Kaler Kantho’s cartoonist Prasun Halder were associate judges.
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited Chairman and Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, along with three children, cut the birthday cake of Sheikh Russel.
Evaluating the art works of the child artistes, chief judge Imdadul Haq Milon, also the director of the club, declared the names of three winners. Minhaj Zaman, a fourth grader of Adarsha Shishu Government Primary School, got the first prize of Tk 100,000 while Mithila Bhowmik, a class five student of Viqarunnisa Noon School, and Shreyoshi Saha, a fifth grader of Narayanganj Ideal High School, got the second and third prizes of Tk 50,000 and Tk 25,000 respectively.
Chief guest of the function Sayem Sobhan Anvir distributed prize money, crest and certificates among the winners and announced to provide with Tk 5000 to all participants.
Director-in-charge of Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited Ismat Jamil Akhond Lablu, sports director of the club Saleh Zaman Selim, Bangladesh Pratidin editor and director of the club Naem Nizam, among others, were also present on the occasion.
Later, 27 participants received different gifts and educational materials from the guests.
Minhaj Zaman, the first prize winner of the competition, said, “I am really delighted and encouraged as I have won the first prize. I have painted Bangabandhu, Sheikh Russel and their family members.”
Hundreds of guardians present in the club premise appreciated the initiatives.
“I and my husband often tell our son about Sheikh Russel and his family members. This competition has offered a great opportunity to him to paint those stories through his imagination. I thank the club authorities,” said Anamika Majumder, a guardian.
Director-in-charge of Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited Ismat Jamil Akhond Lablu, said, “Shaheed Sheikh Russel left his mark of talents in different sectors till his killing. He could maximise his talent and reach to the peak if he had survived. Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra wants to see that no child’s dream shatters untimely and all the children of our country realise their full potential.”
BDST: 1923 HRS, OCT 18, 2021