Nilufar Begum (2 February 1936 – 6 January 2004; born Hena Bhattacharya), better known by her stage name Sumita Devi, was a Bangladeshi actress.[1] In 45 years of her career, she acted in around 200 films and 150 radio and television dramas.[2] She was an artist at the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra in 1971.[3]

Sumita Devi
Hena Bhattacharya

(1936-02-02)2 February 1936
Died6 January 2004(2004-01-06) (aged 67)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Other namesNilufar Begum
OccupationActress, filmmaker
Spouse(s)Amulya Lahiri
(m. 1962; div. 1968)

Early life and careerEdit

Devi was born in Manikganj District in the then Bengal Presidency.[1] She moved with her parents, first to Dhaka in 1944, then to Calcutta in 1951.[4] She debuted her acting in the film Asiya (1960).[1] She was the first actress of the then East Pakistan to act in the film Dhupchhaya produced in West Pakistan.[2] Later she produced five films.[1]


  • Agun Niye Khela (1967)
  • Momer Alo (1968)
  • Mayar Sangsar (1969)
  • Adarsha Chapakhana (1970)
  • Notun Probhat (1970)[1]

Personal life and deathEdit

Devi's first marriage to Amulya Lahiri was short.[1] Later she married filmmaker Zahir Raihan in 1962. Upon marriage she converted to Islam and took the name Nilufar Begum. With Raihan, she had two sons, Anal and Bipul.[8][9] She had another son and a daughter.[3] After the disappearance of Raihan in 1972, the government allotted an abandoned house on 7.5 kathas in Mohammadpur Thana to Devi.[8]

Devi died from a brain haemorrhage on 6 January 2004 at Bangladesh Medical Hospital in Dhaka. Both her kidneys and liver had been malfunctioning before she was admitted to the hospital. She had been in a coma since her treatment began.[2]


Devi in the film Kancher Deyal (1963)
  • All Pakistan Critic Award (1962)
  • Nigar Award for Best Supporting Actress (1964)
  • Bangladesh Film Journalist Association Award
  • Television Reporters Association of Bangladesh Award
  • Agartala Muktijoddha Award (2002)
  • Janakantha Gunijan and Pratibha Sammanona (2002)[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Devi, Sumita". In Islam, Sirajul; Mohanta, Sambaru (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  2. ^ a b c d "Adieu to a great actress". The Daily Star. 2004-01-07. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  3. ^ a b "Sumita Devi passes away". The Daily Star. 2004-01-07. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  4. ^ কিংবদন্তি : ফার্স্ট লেডি সুমিতা দেবী [Legend: First Lady Sumita Devi]. Amar Desh (in Bengali). 2010-03-31. Archived from the original on 2010-04-04.
  5. ^ "Sumita Devi fighting for life". The Daily Star. 2003-11-20. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  6. ^ "In Transition: Farida Yasmin (1940-2015)". The Daily Star. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  7. ^ "Chalachitravidhya: New book on film study by Anupam Hayat". The Daily Star. 2004-04-12. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  8. ^ a b "Govt orders to restore Zahir Raihan's house". The Daily Star. 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  9. ^ প্রধানমন্ত্রীর সহায়তা কামনা. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 2015-03-12. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  10. ^ "Poet Abul Hossain, Actress Sumita get Janakantha Sammanona". The Daily Star. 2003-01-04. Retrieved 2018-09-20.

External linksEdit