Published: Friday, May 3, 2013

Star Diary

Where is Our  Conscience?

Photo: Prabir Das

Photo: Prabir Das

I am a journalist and I have been going to Savar a few times since the collapse of Rana Plaza. Needless to say, there is always a huge crowd around the place comprising of law enforcers, rescue teams, relatives of the victims and spectators who seem to think this is a tourist site. What affected me the most was the fact that journalists, from electronic and print media are crowding not just outside the building, but inside, taking photos of people trapped, screaming for help. When I went in with my camera, I wasn’t able to stay for more than a minute because the sight inside was overwhelming. People trapped were reaching out to me begging me to pull them out but I was unable to as that would cause further damage to the building and others inside. I couldn’t take pictures but journalists around me were aggressively trying to get quotes from the victims, shoving mics in their faces asking them how they were feeling. It was shameful and callous and bad journalism in my opinion. Our job is to report what we see but does that mean we have to become inhuman to do so? Do we have no ethics, no conscience? Since many civilians are assisting law enforcers with the rescue mission, it is difficult to cordon off the building, but journalists should have enough sense to realise that by crowding inside the building they are further endangering those inside and obstructing the path of the rescuers. It is my earnest request to these people to please develop a conscience and not risk the lives of others to simply get a good story or an award winning snap shot.
Kawran Bazaar, Dhaka


Incredible  Rescue!

A few days ago, I was walking home with my husband after a dinner party in the neighbourhood when we were accosted by two youths brandishing knives. We remained calm however as this was not the first time either of us had been robbed. We took out all our money, I took off my jewellery, and handed it to them. For some reason however, they were not satisfied and one of them grabbed my arm and started pulling me toward the battered down car they had come in. My husband started screaming for help at this point, and we could see people looking out of their windows, and security guards peeping from inside the gates but noone stopped to help us. Suddenly, amidst our cries and struggle we heard a cry and saw four young women come running at the robbers with cricket bats and bricks and they started to hit them hard. Surprised more than anything, they ran off and drove away, but not before the women got a few good shots at the car with their bricks. I later found out that my rescuers were students at a local university, and were living in a hostel near my house. I will remain forever grateful to them and I hope that others follow their example and extend a helping hand to those in trouble and if more of us stand up against these perpetrators, perhaps they will think twice before they attack people again.
Rokeya Rana
Dhanmondi, Dhaka