‘Bangladesh Street’ new name of Jackson Heights street in New York
Noman Sabit: The decision to name the street in New York’s Bangladeshi inhabited Jackson Heights as ‘Bangladesh Street’ was passed in the meeting of the New York City Council. In view of the long-standing demands of Bangladeshis living in New York, the decision was taken at the general meeting of the councils last Thursday (February 16), and it was passed by a vote of 47-0. From now on, the name of 73 Street and 37 Avenue in Jackson Heights will be ‘Bangladesh Street’. The decision number of the bill is INT 897.
The former and current officials of the Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association (JBBA) are pushing for a road named ‘Bangladesh’ in New York’s Bangladeshi inhabited Jackson Heights. JBBA’s current president Harun Bhuiyan and general secretary Fahad Solaiman urged Shekar Krishnan, the newly elected city councilman of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst area, who is of subcontinent origin, several times since July last year. Former and late leaders of JBBA, Sayed Rahman Mannan, Pier Mohammad, Mohsin Noni, Ghiyas Ahmed and Shahnawaz were all united in this demand.
In July last year, the former and current officials of the Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association (JBBA). JBBA’s current president Harun Bhuiya and general secretary Fahad Solaiman sent the proposal to New York City officials. As a result of their insistence, the concerned councilmen tried to pass the proposal.
Councilman Shaker Krishnan, Mayor Eric Adams, and Borough President Donovan Richards promised before the last election that they would implement the renaming if they won. But with the earnestness of Shekhar Krishnan and the demand and support of the leaders of Jackson Heights, the decision to name ‘Bangladesh Street’ was passed after about 6 months of preparation.
It is known that the bill for renaming 129 Street in New York City was discussed at the meeting on Thursday, February 16 at around 2:30 p.m. One by one, proposals for renaming 129 streets were heard. Various streets or avenues have been renamed in all five boroughs. These are named after different communities from their respective countries or prominent individuals.
A block of 73rd Street in Jackson Heights, the largest business center and cultural heart of Bangladeshi immigrants in New York City, has been named ‘Bangladesh Street’. In addition, Asif Rahman Way at the corner of 55 Road on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst was named after the son of Lizi Rahman, a prominent Bangladesh community activist, teacher and writer. Asif Rahman died on the spot on February 28, 2008 when he was hit by a truck near 55 Road on Queens Boulevard while riding his bicycle home from work. This road was also named at the initiative of Councilman Shekar Krishnan.
Meanwhile, as in the list of 129 roads in the hearing, a road in Queens Borough was proposed to be named ‘Little Bangladesh Way’, the passed bill retained the same name. But it is not known which road is named Little Bangladesh Way in which area according to the proposal of any councilman.
Notably, Councilman Shekhar Krishnan is the chair of the Parks Committee of the New York City Council.
The Park Committee is also responsible for renaming R Street. For that reason, 6 months after being elected, he started making proposals to rename 73 Street as Bangladesh Street and 55 Road as Asif Rahman Way. For this reason 73 Street should be named as ‘Bangladesh Street’. Eventually the Parks Committee accepted his proposal and held a hearing. It was accepted at a January 31 hearing and passed the full council on February 16 by a vote of 47-0. Meanwhile, Councilman Shekar Krishnan made two excellent speeches in the City Council Chamber in favor of declaring 73 Street as Bangladesh Street and 55 Road as Asif Rahman Way.
In his speech, he said, we are honoring the Bangladeshi community by naming Bangladesh Street. The contribution they continue to make to the development of this area is playing a major role in the development of New York City. Because Jackson Heights is the heart of the Bangladesh community. They are keeping the area vibrant with their cultural activities along with business expansion.
I am very happy to say that Bangladeshis are making my council district strong. He also mentioned that the leaders of the Bangladeshi community are very polite and talented.
Councilman Shekar Krishnan soon after announced the name of Asif Rahman, saying that this young man died very sadly in 2008 at the age of 22. A freight truck hit him on Queens Boulevard.
He said, Asif Rahman is a Bangladeshi immigrant. He graduated from Queen’s College. His tragic death inspired his mother, Lizi Rahman, to jump into the movement to make Queens Boulevard safer. As a result, 10,000 people signed a petition, many workshops were organized, which made Queens Boulevard the safest street in New York City. Queens Boulevard was once known as ‘Death Boulevard’. Like many others, today I am announcing the name Asif Rahman Way in honor of this initiative of Asif’s mother Lizi Rahman.
I think people will remember Asif Rahman’s life donation and Lizi Rahman’s contribution for a long time.
The day after the bill was passed, Councilman Shekhar Krishnan thanked all expatriate merchants of Jackson Heights, including JBBA officials, for their cooperation in naming Bangladesh Street.