A group of followers of Humayun Ahmed yesterday urged the government to build a cancer hospital with modern facilities to fulfill the popular writer's dream.
The health development surcharge collected from tobacco products could be used to build such a hospital, they said.
Under the banner of “Amra Himu”, they made the call at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters' Unity, marking Humayun's 69th birthday.
Humayun Ahmed died while undergoing cancer treatment at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York in July, 2012.
One of the most iconic Bangladeshi writers, Humayun authored over 200 books, many of which were made into films. He was also a dramatist, screenwriter, filmmaker, song writer and scholar.
Reading out a statement, Abdur Rahman, joint secretary of Amra Himu, said South Asian country Nepal used surcharge collected from tobacco products for cancer related research and building hospitals.
He said Bangladesh can take a similar initiative.
If there was a world-class cancer hospital in Bangladesh, Humayun might not have taken treatment in the USA, he added.
“Amra Himu” was formed two years ago after the name of Humayun's most popular fictional character, said Naznin Priya, vice-chair of the platform.
She said the platform members run activities such as book reading and blood donation. Naznin added that Humayun's one of many dreams was to build a cancer hospital and the platform aims to spread his vision among people.
According to a new draft policy, the government would use the health development surcharge, collected from the sale of tobacco products, to curb tobacco use for a smoking-free country by 2040. Currently, the health development surcharge is 1 percent.