DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally handed over prestigious Ekushey Padak to 17 eminent personalities at a ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Monday.

Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor chaired the program.

The Padak recipients are: Sculptor Syed Abdullah Khalid, Filmmaker Tanvir Mokammel, theatre activist Sara Zaker and dancer Shamim Ara Nipa. Prof Dr Sharifa Khatun, Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Syed Akram Hossain, Prof Emeritus Dr Alamgir Muhammad Serajuddin, Poets late Omar Ali and Sukumar Barua received the award for their contribution to language and literature.

Besides, singer Mahmud Selim, also former general secretary of Udichi Shilpi Goshthi got the award under fine arts category. The others recipients are Sushma Das, Julhas Uddin Ahmed and Ustad Azizul Islam. Under journalism category, Abul Momen and Swadesh Roy received the award. The award under social welfare category went to Prof Dr Mahmud Hasan.

Each winner received a medal of 35 grams 18-carrat gold and Tk 2 lakh cash.

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