LIBERATION War of Bangladesh that occurred in 1971 is a life-changing experience and an event of great pride for all Bangladeshis. Besides men, women have many contributions in the liberation war, but contributions of women are not equally accredited.
The liberation war heroes are the people who not only fought against Pakistani army face to face with weapons, war heroes are also who took care of the wounded freedom fighters, supported the fighters with foods, shelters, and money; and also who became a subject of sexual violence in the wartime.
Considering the above points, women have a significant contribution to the liberation war of Bangladesh, which is impossible to describe in this short blog post. The purpose of this post is to introduce the great heroes who fought with weapons against Pak army in 1971 and to tell their heroic stories shortly.
1. Kakon Bibi
Kakon Bibi was born in a tribe community. Kakon joined to the liberation war, leaving her three-day older infant in the home. She participated in around 20 frontal fights under Sector 9. She was not only a freedom fighter but also acted as a war spy. The brave girl was known as the freedom girl of Khasi*. She has died on 12 March 2018.
2. Sitara Begum
Sitara was a medical student. After receiving the medical degree, Sitara joined as a lieutenant in the medical force of army in 1970. During the wartime, Captain Dr. Sitara was the Commanding Officer of the hospital under Sector 2. Besides Taramon Bibi, Sitara Begum is another woman who honored with the Bir Protik title.
3. Taramon Bibi
Taramon joined the Liberation Army when she was only 13 or 14 years old. The brave teenager girl had fought bravely in the direct battles against the enemies. Taramon honored with the Bir Protik* title by Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman in 1973 for her active role in defying the Pakistani force with arms under Sector 11*.
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4. Geeta Kar
The Pakistani military killed Geeta’s father in the liberation war of 1971. Geeta was shocked but not afraid; she decided to fight for her motherland. For receiving fighting training, the 15 years old girl left home headed for India. After completing the training, Geeta enlisted her name in the Mukti Bahini.
5. Shirin Banu Mitil
Shirin was studying graduation at Pabna Edward College in 197. Shirin was preparing herself for fighting when got directions from Bangabandhu on March 7, 1971. But being a woman, she was at a disadvantage for participating in direct combat. Even so, her determination helped her to find an alternative. She disguised herself as a boy and joined the war.
6. Rounak Mohal Dilruba Begum
When the liberation war started, Rounak preferred to fight instead of being a refugee in the neighbor country. She also played the role of a trainer and prepared six groups of young people for fighting. Fighting for motherland as a woman is a great satisfaction that shows on Rounak’s expression whenever she talks about the war.
*Bir Protik – the fourth premier gallantry award in Bangladesh.
*Sector – During the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, the Forces were divided into 11 divisions (known as sectors) according to the geographical area.
*Khasi – Khasi people are an indigenous ethnic group that lives in some regions of Bangladesh, and also in Meghalaya and Assam in northeastern India.
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