According to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, Jharna Dhara Chowdhury, Secretary of the Gandhi Ashram Trust in Noakhali, is possibly the first Bangladeshi citizen to be named for the award.
She has been selected for the award for her ‘distinguished service in the field of Social Work’, said a media release.
The Padma awards are conferred every year in January to recognise exceptional contributions to various fields of activity. Only a few of the awards are given to foreign nationals, the media release said.
It read: “The Award is a recognition of Chowdhury’s long standing and selfless service to the people of Bangladesh, in particular of the Noakhali region.”
The awards are given away by the President of India at a ceremony held in March-April at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
The Gandhi Ashram Trust is a philanthropic and development organisation working in Noakhali since 1946 with Gandhian philosophy of rural development.
The Father of the Nation of India, Gandhi rushed to the region after brutal riots in late 1946 killed thousands of people, and went barefoot around villages for about four months preaching them his usual communal harmony and non-violence ideas to end the clashes.
The trust was built in his memory.
Chowdhury has been working there since her childhood and it is said that due to her endeavour, the trust flourished to work for the needy people of the region. In 2000, a museum was opened on the trust premises located in Begumganj.bdnews24.com