Bandhu hosts Award Giving Ceremony 2019

Bandhu, a national organisation for the overall well-being of the Hijra population in Bangladesh, organised an Award Giving Ceremony on 26th June 2019, Wednesday at Hotel Amari, to recognise the contributions of individuals, institutions, groups and community towards the disadvantaged Hijra minority group.

H. E. Earl R. Miller, U. S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, was present at the programme as the Chief Guest. H. E. Julia Niblett, High Commissioner, Australian High Commission in Bangladesh and H. E. Winnie Estrup Petersen, Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy in Bangladesh were present as Special Guests.

The categories of awards and their recipients are listed below:

  1. Community Entrepreneurship: The award was received by Poly Hijra, a representative of the Hijra community. She is the president of Diner Alo Shangho, Rajshahi. She is the owner of a boutique business which currently employs nearly 400 individuals.
  2. Law Enforcement Agency: This award was received Bidhan Tripura. He is currently working as an Assistant Inspector General of Police (Land and Estate). He has motivated many Hijra communities to become self dependent by helping them acquire vocational skills, such as sewing.
  3. Alternative Livelihood: This award was received by a Chattogram based industry, Denim Expert Limited, lead by Muhammad Mostafiz Uddin who is the Managing Director. This industry offers equal employment opportunities for all regardless of gender.
  4. Academician: This award was received by Professor Robaet Ferdous, Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Dhaka University. He has produced more than 200 articles on gender issues, anti-fundamentalism, postmodernism, development journalism etc.
  5. Health Service: This award was received by Professor Dr Muhammad Shamiul Islam, Director (MBDC) and Line Director, TB-L & SSP. He is working at the Directorate General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Some of his notable work include: ensuring HIV treatment for the gender diverse population and conducting health care programmes to prevent STI and HIV among Hijra communities. 
  6. Legal Service: This award was received by National Legal Aid Services Organisation (NLASO). This organisation provides legal support to the poor and deprived people, including the gender diverse population.
  7. Media and Communication: This award was received by Channel i. One of the TV shows from the channel, ‘Jibon Jekhane Jemon’ portrayed the social inclusion of Hijra community.
  8. Civil Society Organisation: This award was received by Ain O Salish Kendra, an organisation that provides legal aid and social support to the disempowered. 
  9. Celebrity: This award was received by Professor Dr Ratan Siddique. He conducted a social research titled ‘The Underprivileged Population: Hijra’, and developed a supplementary reading material ‘Diverse Population’ which was distributed in various secondary schools. 

The ceremony ended with a vibrant dance performance by a community dance group, ‘Essence of Soul’. This group ‘poses, portrays and projects the voice, vulnerabilities and vital needs of individuals in terms of human rights and health care issues through their mesmerizing performances’ (

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