'Bir pratik'Taramon Bibi







Taramon Bibi (Bangla: তারামন বিবি) is the one of the two decorated female freedom fighters in Bangladesh, engaged in  . She fought for the Mukti Bahini (Liberation Army) which was a guerilla force that fought against the Pakistan military in during Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971.

She fought in her village home in Shankar Madhabpur, Kurigram District. She was in Sector 11 under the leadership of Sector commander Abu Taher.

It was Taramon's Godfather, Muhib Habildar, who motivated her to become a freedom fighter. He was a solider who was on duty in a camp close to her village. Taramon was about 13 or 14 when she joined the camp. At first, she was brought to the camp mainly to do the cooking and cleaning, but later when Muhib saw that she was a very strong and brave young lady he taught her how to use arms like the rifle and stein gun.

Taramon recalls the first time she attacked the enemy with arms. She was having lunch at the camp. Suddenly, the muktijoddhas came to know that a gunboat carrying the Pak army was heading towards where they were located. Taramon got prepared for combat with her comrades, and together, they succeeded in getting rid of the enemy. After that, Taramon had to fight with arms on many occasions. In fact, she has encountered the Pakistanis so many times, that she lost count of the number. She said, she obeyed instructions from her mentor and Godfather, Muhib. The muktijoddhas praised her for being a good marksman. In those days, she never thought about the risks involved in what she was doing. "We were fighting to free our country," she says, " the last thing on my mind was worrying about my own safety." She was totally committed to the cause of her motherland just like so many others at the time. Taramon and her camp mates sought refuge in bunkers when the enemy changed their tactic and started an air-bombing onslaught. The Pak army raided the camp a few times and hurled bombs killing several people. But fortunately, Taranmon escaped death. When the war was over Taramon came to Dhaka with her Godfather. Muhib Habildar always used to inspire her. He would say that they fought againts great odds, to gain independence. All the hardship and sacrifice were for the cause of the motherland.

However Taramon has a complaint. The country has given recognition to many freedom fighters and also provided a certain amount of financial assistance to them. But she never received any kind of monetary benefit from any of the governments till date. She feels that she was ignored because she is a woman and people don't take women freedom fighters seriously. Taramon lives with her farmer husband and two children in Kaliakoir, Comilla


 After the war, she was awarded honored with the title Bir Protik (Symbol of Valor) by the Bangladesh government. But her whereabouts were unknown and the award was never handed over to her. She herself remained unaware of this until 1995, when a researcher from Mymensingh discovered her. She was finally given her award by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on December 19, 1995

Even on the Wikipedia it's written that taramon Bibi is the only woman to confront the Pakistani soldiers which is absolutely wrong.You can go to the liberation war museum and see the photos and newspaper articles and also many other things that bears the testimony of many other  female freedom fighters who confronted the enemies with courage.

courtesy:'tales of indurance' by-Aasha Mehreen Amin, Lavina Ambreen Ahmed and Shamim Ahsan

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