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Linking Young Minds Together
Volume 5 | Issue 47 | July 24, 2011 |


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Young Voices

Gathering for Justice

Promiti Prova Chowdhury

I saw the young girls screaming, scolding each other to maintain the queue and to handle placards properly. The red bandana tied on their foreheads made them seem like soldiers marching with an undying spirit. The lucidity that beamed on their faces and the clear focus in their eyes created a spark that sent tingles through my spine. I am talking about the 1000 girls of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College (VNSC) who gathered at the Central Shaheed Minar on July 12, 2011 to uphold their demands regarding the recent, much talked-about issue of Porimol Joydhor, the teacher found guilty for molesting a student.

The youth raising their voices.
Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Starting from TSC (Teacher Student Centre) of Dhaka University the current students, teachers, and ex students of VNSC marched towards the Central Shaheed Minar where different organisations and educational institutions joined them. The gathering included representatives from Notre Dame College, Dhaka City College, Rajuk Uttara Model College, Dhaka Commerce College, BAF Shaheen College, Ideal College and Milestone College. The placards in their hands portrayed different demands that can be narrowed down into three. They are, “Exemplary punishment of Porimol Joydhor”, “Abdication of Husne Ara Begum, Principal of VNSC” and “Reconstruction of the governing body of VNSC”.

Social networking site, Facebook was the medium through which all the organisations came together and join the action. Voluntary student bodies like, “Spordha” and “Khola Janala” were present in the programme. The president of Spordha, J S A Marsel presided over the programme. He said, “This is not just an issue of VNSC. Through today's gathering we actually want to put three demands across the intellects of our society. One, highest possible punishment for Porimol Joydhor, two, through surveys and discussions flagging out such obnoxious teachers working in different educational institutes and sack them, and lastly, proper implementation of the Sexual Assault Act passed by the High Court.”

Two ex-students of VNSC, Bitasta Ahmed and Samia Sharmin were among the main organisers. A current student, representatives of the different groups, ex-students of VNSC and teachers delivered speeches where the demand for a reconstructed governing body was highly raised. Some students of class XII expressed anger for their principal and demanded her to resign as she is alleged for allying the guilty and speaking against the victim.

Laulea Gordon, an English teacher at the secondary level of VNS said that she feels extremely proud of the students to see them standing for justice. She said that two crimes have been done-- firstly, the sexual assault and secondly, the delay in taking crucial steps. But the matter of joy is that these young students understand the depth of the situation and are doing whatever they can to help each other and stick together throughout. This gives a sign of optimism in changing the society as well as the world.


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