Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked all to identify and honour the dedicated souls who have been working silently for the welfare of people in different parts of the country.

"There are many dedicated souls in different areas - villages and urban areas-of the country. I would like to call upon you to find such dedicated persons who have been working not for themselves but for the welfare of the people. They never can come to the limelight or don't want to come to limelight," she said.

The premier made this call while giving out the Independence Award-2024 to 10 distinguished individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the country.

She handed over the highest civilian award to the recipients or their family members at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.

The prime minister said it would be a great thing if all make efforts to find out the persons who are working for the welfare of the people with their own ventures being self-motivated and they can be awarded. "We've been trying our best to do so," she said.

She greeted all the awardees who received the Independence Award-2024 for their contribution in different fields.

"I believe that many people will be inspired to work for the welfare of the country and people (after seeing recognition of good works) with conferment of the award," said Hasina.

Freedom fighter Kazi Abdus Sattar Bir Pratik, Freedom fighter flight sergeant Md Fazlul Haque (posthumous) and Freedom fighter Shaheed Abu Nayem Md Nazib Uddin Khan (Khurram) (posthumous) received the prestigious award for their contributions to Bangladesh's independence and the Liberation War.

Dr Mobarak Ahmad Khan was honoured with the award for his contribution to science and technology, while Dr Harishankar Das for his contribution to medicine.

Mohammad Rafikuzzaman and Firoza Khatun received the honour for their contribution to culture and sports respectively.

Aranya Chiran, freedom fighter Prof Dr Mollah Obaidul Baki and SM Abraham Lincoln were given the award in the social service category.

On behalf of the awardees, Rafikuzzaman expressed his feelings in the award giving ceremony.

Cabinet Secretary Md Mahbub Hossain moderated the function and read out the citations with a brief life sketch of the recipients.

Bangladesh has been honouring individuals and institutions with the award every year ahead of Independence Day on March 26 since 1977.

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