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Hundreds of people line up to pay final respects to Dr Zafrullah at Shaheed Minar

BI Report || BusinessInsider

Published: 12:45, 13 April 2023   Update: 12:46, 13 April 2023
Hundreds of people line up to pay final respects to Dr Zafrullah at Shaheed Minar

Photo: Collected

Hundreds of admirers of late Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury thronged the Central Shaheed Minar on Thursday to pay their last respect to the coffin of the valiant freedom fighter.

Chowdhury was the founder of the Gonoshasthaya Kendra, the first health center or hospital in independent Bangladesh.

A refrigerated van carrying his body was taken to the Shaheed Minar from the mortuary of BIRDEM hospital around 10:00 am.

He will be given a guard of honour at the Shaheed Minar, where his body will be kept till 1:00 pm so that people from different classes and professions can pay their last respect.

He died around 11 pm on Tuesday at the age of 81 while he was undergoing treatment at the Gonoshasthaya Kendra.

Chowdhury was suffering largely due to kidney ailment alongside liver problems and Septicemia since he was inflicted by Covid-19.

On information, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of the veteran freedom fighter.

Foreign Minister, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Bangladesh Awami League, Dhaka north and south city corporations, BNP and some left-leaning political parties and different socio-cultural organisations have also issued condolence messages expressing shock and sorrow at the death.

Awami League Advisory Council Member and Central 14-party Coordinator and Spokesperson Amir Hossain Amu, Agriculture Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian also expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury.

Chowdhury was a Bangladeshi public health activist from December 27, 1941, to April 11, 2023.

He was the founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra, a rural healthcare organisation. He was known more for his work in formulating the Bangladesh National Drug Policy in 1982.

His work in population control earned him the inaugural Independence Day Award in 1977.

Among other awards, he was given the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1985 and the Right Livelihood Award in 1992 for his work in the public health sector.

Chowdhury spent his childhood in Kolkata and later his family settled in Bangladesh. He was one of ten children of his parents.

After attending Nabakumar School at Bakshibazar, he studied at Dhaka College.

He studied medicine at Dhaka Medical College, where he was involved in leftist political ideologies.

He finished his MBBS degree in 1964 and left for the UK for post-graduate studies in general and vascular surgery. He took part in the Liberation War in 1971.