Faizannesa, Nurun Nahar

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Faizannesa, Nurun Nahar (1932-2004) educationist, researcher and leader of feminist movement. She was born on 21 May 1932 at village Chakda in Nadia district. Her father Khan Saheb Kazi Sadrul Ola was the Assistant Secretary in the Bengal Legislative Council and her mother Begum Retubannesa belonged to a Murshidabad noble family.

Nurun Nahar Faizannesa had her early education in sakhawat memorial girls’ high school in Calcutta. She passed Matriculation examination in 1946 from Victoria Institution and studied for some time in lady brabourne college. After partition of India, her family came to Chittagong. She passed IA examination in 1948 and BA in 1950 from Chittagong Government College. In 1950, she was married to Syed Maqsud Ali, a teacher of Political Science, Dhaka University. Faizannesa obtained MA degree in Political Science from Dhaka University in 1952 and B. Ed degree from Teachers' Training College, Dhaka in 1959. She went to USA for higher studies and obtained Doctor of Education degree from Colorado State University in 1966.

From her childhood, Nurun Nahar Faizannesa got freedom at family level for cultural activities and sports. She became a member of the Mukul Mela at the age of 8 or 9 and was assigned to lead and conduct the Kendriya Mukul Mela (Sister group) at the prime of her life. It was by her initiative that the 'Siraj Dibash' was observed in Kolkata Islamia Club ground on 3 July 1944.

While a student in Dhaka University she used to participate as actress in English and Bangla drama produced by the Dhaka centre of Radio Pakistan. Later she conducted the Mahila Mahfil programme of the Dhaka Radio. She conducted Chhotoder Khelaghar programme for nearly a decade.

Faizannesa started her professional career as a teacher in Siddheswari Girls' School (1953). Later she was a teacher in Viqarunnesa School. She joined as a Lecturer in Dhaka Teachers' Training College in 1959. She was the Headmaster of Dhaka University Laboratory School in 1960. In 1965 she joined as Lecturer in the Institute of Education and Research (IER) of Dhaka University. Faizannesa had been the Provost of Rokeya Hall of Dhaka University (1981-90). She was elected to the Senate of Dhaka University in 1977, and was the first elected women member of Dhaka University Syndicate in 1985-86. She was a member of the Board of Governors of Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre in 1986. She was a member of Wage Commission of the Bangladesh Government in 1996, and the same year she was elected a member of the governing body of Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre.

Faizannesa was associated with the women research organisation 'Women For Women' since its inception. She was the treasurer (1980-81) and vice president (1983-85) of the organisation. She was the president of the executive committee of 'Usha' and president of Mahanagar unit of Mahila Parishad.

Nurun Nahar Faizaunnesa was a great social worker. In the 1950s, she established Azimpur Ladies Club and as a venture of the club established Agrani School. She established Chhaya Neer, a day care centre for the children of the teachers of Dhaka University in 1986. It was by her initiative that the ladies co-operative shop was opened in Dhaka University. She erected a memorial in the Rokeya Hall of Dhaka University in honour of the martyrs in the War of Liberation. Nurun Nahar was the founder of Begum Rokeya Foundation. She was the founder of Sakhawat Memorial School Almunai Association and the first president of the organisation. She was the founder of a number of organisations including Begum Rokeya Prabin Abash. She had contribution towards the opening of the department of Women Studies in Dhaka University.

Among the publications of Faizannesa are Hater Lekha Sikshan Paddhati, Ekattorer Prachchhanna Prachchhad ed, Kaler Samukh Bhela (ed), Children's World of Effective Behaviour: Social and Political.

Nurun Nahar Faizannesa died in Dhaka on 31 March 2004. [Bilqis Rahman]