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POST TIME: 9 February, 2018 09:03:23 AM
PM stands by British woman Lucy Helen
Independent Online Desk

PM stands by British woman Lucy Helen

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come forward to the help of British woman Lucy Helen Frances Holt who is living in Bangladesh for 57 years.

Sheikh Hasina yesterday handed over Lucy's passport with a 15-year multiple Bangladeshi visa ending her long ordeal for visa renewal every year.

"Our honourable Prime Minister handed over the passport with a 15-year multiple Bangladeshi visa to Lucy just before the public meeting at Bangabanadhu Udyan in the divisional city this afternoon," PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told BSS.

He said while handing over the passport, the premier talked to the 87-year-old Lucy, a humanist who is now working at Oxford Mission in Barisal city.

"She (Lucy) was so impressed with talking to the prime minister," the press secretary said.

Lucy, daughter of John Holt and Francese Holt, was born in the British town of St Helens on December 16 in 1930. After competing 12th grade education she first visited Bangladesh in 1960.

On that year, Lucy joined Barisal Oxford Mission and taught primary school children. Then after she didn't return home and is staying in Bangladesh after falling in love for the soil and people of this country.

She then worked in Jessore, Khulna, Naogaon, Dhaka and Gopalganj for 57 years. Lucy, who went on retirement in 2004 came back to Barisal Oxford Mission on that year.

In her retired life, she is providing English education and mental growth to the distressed children.

Besides, Lucy is collecting fund from the rich people for the distressed children.

The celibate Lucy also made outstanding contributions to Bangladesh's liberation war. Making her life simple, she took care of the war-wounded people during the war.

At that time, Lucy used to work at Jessore Catholic Church, where she taught English to the children. When the war started, all except Lucy went to Khulna for safe shelter after closing the school.

Despite sensing danger, she rushed to nearby Fatema Hospital and wanted to provide services to the war-wounded civilians.

The physicians at the hospital were surprised at the interest of such a foreign woman and gave their consent. After that she started taking care of the war-wounded people.

Barisal Metropolitan Police honoured Lucy on December 16 last for her invaluable contributions to the liberation war.

Lucy's last wish is now she will be buried on the soil of Bangladesh and before the death, she wants to get citizenship of this country.

She said she applied for citizenship for a number of times as she has to spend a huge amount of money every year for visa renewal.

"Last year, I spent Taka 38,000 for visa renewal and I'm now getting only 75 Pounds (equivalent to Tk 7,500) every month as the retirement allowance," she said. bss

SI