Born in February 19, 1947 in Khulna, Ferdousi Priyabhashini was the eldest among 11 children.
She won the Swadhinata Padak in 2010 and was declared a freedom fighter in 2016 for her contributions during the Liberation War. In her last years, she concentrated on creating many works of art and garnered much critical acclaim.
Reminiscing the late sculptor Priyabhashini, her close associate Israt Ara Hira shared some highlights from the artist’s early life to this correspondent. Israt is the founder and general secretary of Shonali Din, an organization dedicated to helping the disabled. Priyabhashini was a founding advisor of the organization.
Recalling the artist’s early life, Israt said Priyabhashini joined People’s Jute Mill as a telephone operator in 1966. After working there for few years, she joined Platinum Jute Mill in the same position and a few years later, she joined Crescent Jute Mill.
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After the Liberation War and her divorce with her first husband Kazi Sirajul Islam, she married Ahsan Ullah Ahmed in 1972 and lived in Jessore, Sylhet and Rangpur with him.
Israt further said even though Priyabhashini wanted to become a Rabindra Sangeet artist, she gained fame as a sculptor. Her journey started after she created an artwork on a piece of wood one day while returning from Sylhet. Artist SM Sultan saw the piece and became very impressed. He encouraged her to pursue sculpting.
Later in 1980, she came to Dhaka with her husband and worked at the Canadian High Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organization among other organizations.