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Salma Khatun, the first ever female train driver or locomotive master of Bangladesh

Locomotive master is the profession which is not considered as so worthy profession for women in Bangladesh. Not only that, except few exceptions, women are not seen much in driving profession for any type of vehicles in Bangladesh though all the few exceptions of women are doing quite well.

Salma Khatun (Bengali: সালমা খাতুন) is the first female train driver or locomotive master in Bangladesh. This was the story of the year, 2004 when Salma Khatun was joined as ‘Assistant Train Driver’ in Bangladesh Railway as first ever female train driver in Bangladesh.

Salma is the daughter of her late father Belayet Hossain Khan. She is 4th of his parent’s 3 daughters and two sons. She was born in Arjuna village of Bhuapur sub-district in Tangail. His father was died in 2005 which forced her to take the responsibility of their family. So, she decided to apply for the Assistant Locomotive Master (A.L.M) and M.S post in 2006 after completing her honors degree in Zoology from Jagannath University in 2006. Most interestingly, Salma was selected for this A.L.M post though two of her brother also applied for the same position.

Salma started her preliminary training on 8th, March, 2004 as an ‘Assistant Train Driver’ in Dhaka and Chittagong. After completing her training on 15th, February, 2006, she started to work from the Laksham railway junction in Comilla.

The dream day comes on 18th, February, 2006 when Salma started her career by assisting the ‘Train Driver’, Shafiqur Rahman in a passenger train on the journey from Laksham station to Noakhali. However, she had traveled for two days from Dhaka to Joydebpur and from Akhaura to Bhairob during her training in Dhaka as an assistant train driver even before that.

She completed her departmental exams, training and proficiency tests to become an independent driver in 2011. At the first day when her call came to drive a train from Laksham Station to Noakhali, Salma drove a local train with 150 passengers for the first time, from Laksham Station to Noakhali town by driving more than 25 KM. This was a new record for a Bangladeshi woman in the history of her country, Bangladesh.

As part of recognition, she got the award from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as part of observing International Women’s Day on March, 8th, 2015 for her courage in her field in 2015.

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Tonima Tasneem Ananya, the first Bangladeshi in nuclear research in Europe

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has been selected Tonima Tasneem Ananya (Bengali: তনিমা তাসনিম অনন্যা) as the first Bangladeshi to research in 2012. The title of her research is the detection of an elementary particle, namely, ‘Higgs-Boson’.

She had already researched in NASA’s Space Telescope Science Institute of the United States on star formation for 3 months.
At the time of h

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er selection, she was studying in the 4th year of astrophysics in Bryn Mawr College of United States of America followed by the completion of her 1 year study in Theoretical Physics in University of Cambridge. This is noteworthy that she had got 4th distinction in ‘O’ level and 10 A, and 6th in ‘A’ level.

Tonima is the daughter of M.A. Qayum, a prominent businessman and former successful commissioner and Shamima Ara Begum.



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Colonel Dr. Nazma Begum, a woman leads the UN peace keeping mission for the first time of the history of Bangladesh Army

Bangladesh is one among the most progressive country of the world where women are leading from the front in different sectors of the country. Bangladesh Army is one of the true examples where progressive women proved themselves to take the leadership.

Dr. Nazma Begum (Bengali: কর্নেল ডা. নাজমা বেগম) is the first ever female who leads the United Nations (UN) Peace Keeping contingent mission for the first time of the history of the brave Bangladesh Army. She led a 56-member’s medical contingent which was sent to Ivory Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The team left Bangladesh on 27th Februray, 2016. They are providing treatment facilities in the Level-2 hospital of Ivory Cost. This team has 6 women out of the total 56 members.

However, Colonel Nazma was the first female commander of 21 Field Ambulance in the history of Bangladesh Army. She also served as Assistant Director of Medical Services at the 11th Infantry Division of Bagura Cantonment. Apart from this, Nazma is also a renowned author who has written 26 books. Bangladesh Army has been serving in Ivory Coast since 2004 under the UN Peace Keeping programme.

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Sadia Nahreen, the first female student who got chance to join in the world leading search engine, Google directly in undergraduate level

This is the story of Sadia Nahreen (Bengali: সাদিয়া নাহ্রীন), the first women who got chance to join in the world leading search engine, Google, directly in under graduate level. She was born in Cox’s bazar, district in Bangladesh. And she brought up in Dhaka. She had completed her secondary (SSC) and higher secondary (HSC) from Holycross Girl’s high school. She had admitted to Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in Computer Science in 2009 and joined in the Head Quater of Google in Mountain View, California, United States in 2015. She had also joined in Codeforces, a website of programming competition as a third Bangladeshi Red coder (Grand Master). She is the eldest of two children of the couple of Farid Ahmed Akhtar (Bengali: ফরিদ আহমেদ আখতার and Foujia Rahman (Bengali: ফৌজিয়া রহমান).

As part of the recruitment, she had to appear in 1 of the 4 online tests (Google APAC). In this test, some algorithm based problems were given from where the possible solution had to make. Once passed, the applicant had to appear in interview. Google had taken 4 interviews with a length of 45 minutes in each interview. She had attended and proved herself to secure her place in Google.


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Muslima Akhter, a name of Bangladeshi born license holder Master Scuba Diver in Australia

This is not so easy for a Bangladeshi girl to become a diver, especially for a girl born in rural village in Bangladesh. But Muslima showed that she could make this happen after getting necessary training. As a result, she took herself in a level of providing training to divers in Australia. She has been taking so many interested people to deep see water and and showing the phenomenon of nature under sea water. She has been serving as a diving trainer in an international training center, called, Padi. She is residing in keyern’s of Queen’s land of Australia.

Muslima Akhter (Bengali: মুসলিমা আক্তার) is a Bangladeshi, born in Kapasia sub-district under Gazipur district. She is in the 4th position among her 5 brothers and sisters. With great surprise, she had studied in a Madrasa, Digab Amjadia senior kapasia madrasa and completed her Fazil certification (equivalent to master degree) in 2003. Later she had decided to go to India to get training on food and drink in 2005. She had joined in Jevenia hotel of Hydrabad, India after her training and worked there for two years. Later she had flown to Maldives from India. She had worked in an organization with food and drinks, named, Fariba in Maldives. Later she was prompted there as an accountant. She had started dreaming to explore the deep region of the ocean and kept saving money to get training during the period she worked there. In the meantime, she had started getting training and completed 3 special training in 6 months for becoming Scuba diver which resulted her to became Pedi master Scuba driver.

The life of Muslima is no different compare to the equal age girl of the rural villages of Bangladesh. She became a victim of early marriage in her early life. With various social barriers, she continued her studies. The marriage which gave her a daughter, Jerin, had not lasted for long.

The girl who started her education in Madrasa, later became victim of early marriage, got separated with a daughter, had not broken-up with ups and downs of life, but tried her luck in different professions in different country which resulted her a respectable peaceful life in Australia with a challenging career as Scuba (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diver and trainer.

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Sumaya Kazi, the founder of, one of the most influential entrepreneur women in the world

Sumaya Kazi (Bengali: সুমাইয়া কাজী or সুমাইয়া আন্দালিব কাজী), a relatively new name of Bangladeshi origin in the world arena influenced globally. Sumaya has been recognized by BusinessWeek as one of America’s “Best Young Entrepreneurs”, CNN as a “Young Person Who Rocks”, Silicon Valley Business Journal as a “Woman of Influence”, and by UTNE Reader Magazine as one of “50 Visionaries Changing Your World”.

She is the founder of Sumazi, which was selected from more than 1,200 start-ups around the world to compete as a finalist at the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt Start-up Battlefield, where it won the Omidyar Network award for “Startup Most Likely to Change the World”. In 2005, she was one of the first social media managers to lead social strategy at a Fortune 500 company.

Sumaya Kazi was born on 17th July 1982 in Hollywood, California in 1982 and grew up in Moreno Valley, California in United States of America. She is the daughter of Dr. Nizam Uddin Kazi (Bengali: ডক্টর নিজাম উদ্দিন কাজী) and Merina Kazi Totinee (Bengali: মেরিনা কাজী তটিনি) who belongs to Feni, district of Bangladesh. She is the oldest among her 2 brothers and 2 sisters.

Sumaya Kazi attended college courses at Riverside Community College, advancing in mathematics while attending Landmark Middle School. Kazi attended Canyon Springs High School too. She attended the University of California, Berkeley graduating in 2004 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Business.

After completing her graduation, she started working at Sun Microsystems as a Senior Social Media Manager for the Global Communications division. At the time of working at Sun Microsystems, at the age of just 23, she founded her first company The CulturalConnect, a media publishing company with a series of online magazines spotlighting young minority professionals and connecting them with each other and the non profit world. She started with the magazine, DesiConnect, reaching out to young movers and shakers of South Asian descent. She added few more, The AsiaConnect, The MidEastConnect, The LatinConnect, and The Africana Connect gradually to reach globally. With her continuing effort, she founded Sumazi, the social intelligence platform used by brands, celebrities and enterprises in April 2011.

Recognition: Sumaya Kazi has several recognition starting from very early of her life. Here is a list-

  • Voted as “Most Likely to Succeed” by her senior class in Canyon Springs High School
  • 1998: Won the title of Miss Inland Empire (California) and become top five finalist in the California Distinguished Young Women competition, resulting scholarship toward college
  • Kazi, along with her team, won first place in the Haas School of Business Cisco & Deloitte E-Business case competition
  • 2006: BusinessWeek Magazine, America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Under 25
  • 2007: CNN, Young People Who Rock
  • 2007: Brass Magazine cover story
  • 2007: Silicon Valley Business Journal, Dynamic Super Connector
  • 2008: ABC7 KGO-TV, Bay Area Trailblazer and Community Leader
  • 2009: UTNE Reader, Top 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World
  • 2011: GenJuice, The Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors
  • 2012: YFS Magazine, 10 San Francisco Entrepreneurs to Watch
  • 2012: Forbes, Female Founders to Watch from UC Berkeley
  • 2012: Reuters, Most Influential Executives on the Web
  • 2014: British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration 100
  • 2014: Top 10 Inspirational Bangladeshis Around the World

The Sumazi

The cultural Connect:


Sumaya Kazi on Youtube:

1. Wikipedia
2. CNN
3. Daily Mirror
4. Dhaka Tribune
5. Sumazi

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