Published: Friday, May 17, 2013

Letters

How Can We Help

Photo: Enamul Haq

Photo: Enamul Haq

The ordinary people of the country have shown that some of them can even sacrifice their own lives for saving others. They are our heroes. We salute them. It is our tragedy that the vested interests often stand in our way. The Savar tragedy must open our eyes. The common people including the garment workers must be given opportunity to participate in matters that affect their lives and the industry. The owners must respect the rights of the workers. The victims of the Savar tragedy must be adequately compensated. Provisions must be made for giving their children educational facilities free of costs. Donors and NGOs may also support such programmes. A database should be jointly prepared by BGMEA and the ministry of Disaster Management. If we know why we should help, we shall figure out how we can help.

Delware Hossain
Bashabo.
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Thank you for the extensive coverage on the survivors of Savar Tragedy and how they can be helped. Reading the article, I was particularly moved by Korvi Rakshand’s plan of building a satellite city for those who were affected by the tragedy. I hope you will continue to publish follow-up stories on the Savar tragedy so that the issue does not fade away like many others that we have conveniently forgotten.

Anisa Islam
Pollobi, Dhaka

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Mad Men
I would like to thank the writer for writing such a thought provoking essay.  Although it is set against the tangle of mindless violence, killings and outright madness that have racked our country for the last several months, it is invigorating to see the warmth and comedy the writer smuggles into her story. She is a satirist at heart. She has the unique capacity to educate the reader on topics that would be rather grim without a touch of humour. Her humour floats freely throughout her writing, which is both acidic and poignant.
It is alarming to see certain groups trying to use religion to suppress and control women in our country. The ban on women passing wind loudly in Indonesia, however, takes matters to a whole new level. One wonders if a ban on smiling is next.

Hamid Khan
Uttara.
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Laugh it Off
As the writer suggests in last week’s Writing the Wrong, laughter can be a weapon against suffering and despair. If we joke about a disappointing or traumatic event, we will often find ourselves feeling that what has happened to us is not so bad and that we will be able to get through it.
Some people, when faced with adversity, demonstrate a great ability for turning to laughter as a way of easing the pain, while others remain less able to do so. While this may be a result of differences in upbringing or genetics, I often wonder if it’s equally as much a matter of intent. Perhaps many of us simply don’t think to try to laugh, either because we’re too overwhelmed by suffering or because we think laughter in the face of suffering is inappropriate.
I’m suggesting that it’s not. In fact, laughter is a powerful means by which we can encourage ourselves. When confronted with setbacks, adversity, trauma, or terrible news, even if it may seem socially inappropriate, we should reach toward humor. We should try to find a way to make light of that make us afraid.
Hashi Mozumdar
Chittagong
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Photo: Palash Khan

Photo: Palash Khan

A Disaster that Could Be Better Managed
It is a well written piece. However, this disaster could be avoided if appropriate actions were taken by the owners by closing the operation of the factories when cracks appeared in several places of the Rana Plaza. The Savar tragedy has shaken the whole world. We must do everything we can  to avoid such man-made disasters. Every factory must develop in-house capacity to deal with such accidents. Volunteers should be trained and proper equipment procured to manage such accidents. Factories should prepare a manual on “Do’s and Don’ts” during disaster period, early recovery (response) and post disaster (rehabilitation and mitigation) period. Decisions must be taken in a participatory way. The international community should also come forward to demonstrate that they are willing to give us all the support.

Arafat Chowdhury
Shamoli.

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Secular State

I am writing in response to the letter entitled “Islamic State” published on 3rd May.  The writer argues that Islamic state ensures equal right for non-Muslims and all laws must abide by Quranic law. If a state has to follow Quranic law then how can it ensure equal rights for non-Muslims? Non-Muslims have their own laws and rituals as well. How then can the state give special status to one particular religion? We fought the liberation war in 1971 in order to build a secular nation, not an Islamic one. There is a common misconception that secularism devalues religious beliefs. However, the truth is a secular state guarantees equal rights for all, regardless of one’s religion.

Kohinur Khyum Tithila
East West University, Dhaka