Rafiqul Haque, children’s literature author, poet, playwright and journalist, also known as 'Dadu Bhai' is has passed away, reports bdnews24.com. He was 84.
Haque passed away due to complications from old age at his residence in Mugda, Dhaka at 11 am on Sunday, said his nephew Nurul Islam.
Last year, Haque had to be hospitalised after contracting COVID-19 two times. He joined Jugantor after recovering from the disease but was completely bedridden for six months before breathing his last.
Haque, born on Jan 8 in 1937, hailed from Rangpur’s Kamal Kachna. He has a daughter and two sons, one of whom lives abroad.
He will be laid to rest at the Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard after two funeral prayers held at his workplace and Basabo Jamme Mosque respectively on Sunday evening.
On 1974, Rafiqul Haque founded “Chader Haat,” an organisation for children and teenagers. Before that, he supervised a children’s page at the Daily Purbodesh, which also had a similar name. Since then, he has been known as “Dadu Bhai”.
On the event of Bangabandhu’s return in 1972, the Daily Purbodesh published a special issue where Dadu Bhai’s poem “Ghore Esho Bondhu,” or “Come Home, Friend” got a place on the front page.
He was awarded the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 2009 for his significant contribution to children’s literature. He was also honoured with the Bangladesh Shishu Academy Shishu Sahitya Puraskar among other prizes for literary works.
During his career as a journalist, he managed important teams at different newspapers. Besides being the editor-in-chief at Jugantor’s literature section, he was the executive editor of Daily Rupali. Before that he was the executive editor of Daily Janata. He also worked at the Bangladesh Observer, Azad and Daily Lal Sobuj.
In the seventies, he led and managed a weekly for children called “Kishore Bangla.”
In the eighties, he wrote a play called “Nidhua Pathar Kande” for Bangladesh Television. He penned a total of seven books including “Borgi Elo Deshe.”
Lutfor Rahman Riton, a poet, wished Dadu Bhai on his 80th birthday, saying: “The arts, literary and journalism luminaries of today’s Bangladesh are indebted to the long days and long nights of love by Rafiqul Haque Dadu Bhai.”
Riton mentioned that the first story authored by today’s celebrated writer Imdadul Haq Milon was published on the “Chader Hat” page at Daily Purbodesh.
Once at a birthday party of Dadu Bhai, Milon said, “If the ever-youthful Dadu Bhai was not there, there wouldn’t be an author named Imdadul Haq Milon. Chader Hat produced a lot of bright stars.”