It was nice to know that the Social Welfare ministry is running such a day-care service at the Dhaka Central Jail. Reading about it in ‘As Good As It Gets’, I was wondering whether all the jails in the country have such an absolutely necessary facility. I also want to know if there is a way for private donors to contribute in these facilities or provide voluntary service. The article could have mentioned what happens to young children of detainees in foreign countries. What is the best practice followed? Seeing the pictures, it was difficult to imagine that most of these children have never run in an open field or felt the warm summer breeze on their cheeks. Their smiles overshadow the fact that they spent a considerable amount of their lives in the cells along with their detained mothers. One of the sub-titles in the article says: ‘A child’s smile brings joy to all’. It does, but with it brings the pain that we, despite living in a modern, civilised society, could offer them so little.
An Unhappy Homecoming
Thanks to the Star for telling a completely different story about migrant workers in its last issue. We usually read about the inhumane working condition they face abroad, the harassment and deception they are subjected to by unscrupulous agents at home and abroad. We know how in many countries they do not get their promised pay or even employment. But what awaits them in their own homeland after their struggles to survive in a foreign country remains behind the scene. ‘An Unhappy Homecoming’ highlighted a totally different facet of unskilled migration that brings Bangladesh millions of foreign currency every year. Mamun, Mahmuda and Maksuda’s stories portray how the migrant workers become alienated in their own country, unwanted in their own homes and a burden to everyone; how their youthful years, the time they were supposed to spend with their families are stolen, how dreams are shattered. If we really want to turn the 16 billion pairs of hands into an indomitable economic strength, we need to analyse the stories of migrant workers further and take necessary steps to prevent the recurring of such heart wrenching tales.
Resolve caretaker government issue
The article “Let’s talk about it” on March 22 mentions the ongoing differences of opinion about the caretaker government issue. In the past, Begum Khaleda Zia’s remark “no one is unbiased except mad or children” surfaced regarding the need for a caretaker government. In 1996, Sheikh Hasina said that “no election will be accepted except caretaker government.” It is clear that both leaders, as opposition chiefs, have been unequivocal about the role of a caretaker government. Following the constitution’s 15th amendment abolishing caretaker government’s provision, the BNP’s demand over reinstating a caretaker government is now accompanied with vandalism, hartal and countrywide unrest. We, the young people, do not expect such things to happen. We don’t want further violence centring any demand or protest. We urge both the government and the opposition to kindly arrange for a dialogue to resolve the crisis.
Misbah Uddin Sumon
Value of life
The article “Out of Touch” pointed out the government’s indifference about the loss of lives during the current political unrest. Police actions on picketers and party activists’ brutality against police resulted in unwanted deaths. A few days of political chaos have claimed 82 lives. This is totally unacceptable in an independent country like ours. We must keep in mind that every life is valuable. Leaders of all the parties should be more concerned about this. We want our lives to be secure, as we want to see ourselves as a peaceful nation.
Bahalul Siddiqui Anik
Justice for Biswajit
The photo of Biswajit Das’ killing in the article “Questions for a Conscientious Citizen” by Omar Chowdhury on March 15 gave me a horrific feeling. I just can’t imagine what a terrible time it was for Biswajit when he was being hit with sharp weapons by Chhatro League criminals (they can’t be called students or activists of any party. They are criminals, killers.) Biswajit was trying to free himself from the grip of the criminals. As conscientious citizens, there’s more to think about it. Did we shed the blood of three millions to see this after 42 years of independence? It’s a great shame for the nation, for everyone, for humanity.