Twenty-one eminent personalities have been handed the Ekushey Padak, the second-highest civilian award in Bangladesh, for their contributions in various fields

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina joined the award ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka via video conference from Ganabhaban on Saturday.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, on behalf of Hasina, handed over the award to the winners and their representatives.

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs announced the names of the nominees on Feb 4.

The winners of the award received a gold medal weighing 35 grams, Tk 400,000 and certification of honour.

Three people received the second-highest civilian award posthumously for their contribution to the Language Movement this year. They are Motaher Hossain Talukder aka Motaher Master, Shamsul Haque and Afsaruddin Ahmad.

Valiant freedom fighter Syeda Isabela received the award posthumously for her contribution to the Liberation War. Golam Hasnayen and Fazlur Rahman Khan Faruk also received the award under the Liberation War category.

Singer Papia Sarwar got the award in music while actor Raisul Islam Asad and Sujata Azim in acting, Ahmed Iqbal Haider in drama, Syed Salahuddin Zaki in film and Bhaswar Bandyopadhyay in recitation.

Ajoy Dasgupta received the award in journalism, Pavel Rahman in photography, Samir Kumar Saha in research, Mahfuza Khanam in education, Mirza Abdul Jalil in economics, and Professor Quazi Quamruzzaman in social welfare.

Besides poet Quazi Rosy and writer-researcher Ghulam Murshid, Bulbul Chowdhury received the award under the language and literature category.