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Banking Tips

Q. I am a Bangladeshi national travelling overseas next month with a ticket where my date of travel is not confirmed. I went to the bank to get my foreign currency entitlement as I have lots of other formalities to complete before I travel. I was told by my bank manager that my travel date has to be confirmed and the foreign currency can only be released no earlier than two weeks prior to my journey. Please explain this situation to me.

A. Yes as per Bangladesh Bank Regulation Chapter 19, the date of travel has to be confirmed and the ticket should cover a journey not later than two weeks after the date on which foreign exchange is issued. For example if you are travelling on August 15, 2006, you can get your foreign exchange no earlier than August 1st 2006.

Q. What is the procedure for releasing foreign exchange for Hajj?

A. As per the Guidelines for Foreign Exchange Transactions the Government of Bangladesh announces each year the scale at which foreign exchange may be issued to prospective pilgrims for performing Hajj. Release of foreign exchange for this purpose should be made as per instructions issued for this purpose by Bangladesh Bank each year. Please note a separate pilgrim passport and a ticket will be required at the time of endorsement.

Q. I need to take my father to Thailand for medical treatment. How much foreign exchange is he entitled to and how do we go about it?

A. Up to USD 10,000 or equivalent maybe released by the bank (without prior approval of Bangladesh Bank) on the basis of the recommendation of the Medical Board set up by the Health Directorate and the cost estimate of the foreign medical institution. All applications for foreign exchange for travel abroad on health grounds should be submitted in relevant forms (in duplicate) available in your bank.
Applications for release of foreign exchange exceeding USD10,000 should be forwarded along with supporting documents to Bangladesh Bank for prior approval.

Dental Wise

Dear Dr. Khan,
I would like to know which food habits lead to dental disorders. Please give us some tips on this topic especially for children.
Mehrab Hossain

Dear Mr. Mehrab,
Choosing the right foods in your diet is an important aspect in having good oral health. Establishing good nutritional habits in children and teenagers can be especially beneficial for good eating patterns and food choices throughout their lives.

How Nutrition affects oral health
The foods that you eat come in contact with germs and bacteria that live in the mouth. If you don't brush, plaque will accumulate on the teeth. Plague thrives on the starches and sugars that are found in a great deal of foods. When plaque combines with sugars and starches, an acid is produced that attacks tooth enamel and eventually causes decay.

Choosing a Healthy Diet
Choosing a healthy diet may sound easy, however, fruits, milk, cereals, bread and some vegetables contain sugars and / or starches. Carbonated sodas, sweet fruit drinks and sugary snack foods should be limited.

You don't have to avoid these foods, just keep in mind that you should eat a balanced diet, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.

Healthy Tips
*Drink plenty of water
*To get a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods. Choose foods from each of the five major food groups----
* breads, cereals and other grain products
* fruits
* vegetables
* meat, poultry and fish
* milk, cheese and yogurt
*Cut down on snacking in between meals
*Limit snacks and drinks that are high in sugar
*Brush twice a day
*Floss Daily
*Visit your dentist for regular check ups

Dear Dr. Khan,
How can I get enough fluoride? How can tooth brushing and flossing prevent dental diseases? What about mouthwash? How often should I see my dentist?
Naima Sultana

Dear Ms Naima,
How can I get enough fluoride?
If you and your family have a balanced diet, you will get all the nutrients you need for good dental health, with one possible exception - fluoride. Fluoride is vital for strong, decay-resistant teeth. If there is not enough fluoride in your community water supply, the level of fluoride can be adjusted to the right amount for good dental health (about one part fluoride per million parts water). If your drinking water is not fluoridated, ask your dentist how you can get the fluoride you need.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses have been proven effective in preventing dental decay. However, they do not contribute to your dietary fluoride.

Together, a balanced diet, daily use of fluoride, brushing and flossing, and sensible eating habits, can reduce the risk of or even prevent dental disease.

Why brush?
Brushing your teeth after meals and between-meal snacks not only gets rid of the food particles that you can see, it removes plaque from your teeth. Using Fluoride toothpaste is important because the fluoride can help kill bacteria, as well as make your teeth stronger.

Generally, a brush with soft, end-rounded or polished bristles is less likely to injure gum tissue. The size and shape of the brush should allow you to reach every tooth. Children may need smaller brushes than those designed for adults

Why floss?
Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between teeth and under the gum line, areas your toothbrush cannot reach. Because tooth decay and periodontal diseases often start in these areas, it is important to clean them thoroughly on a daily basis.

Flossing is a skill that needs to be learned. Do not be discouraged if you find it difficult at first. With practice, you will find that flossing takes only a few minutes of your time each day.

What about mouthwashes?
If used as directed, in addition to brushing and flossing, mouth rinses and mouthwashes can help prevent tooth decay. But the best mouthwash is available in your home that is warm saline mouthwash. Though it has no flavor it is very effective against germs.

If you have further queries please visit the following site: www.aikodental.com

By the way

While making jams at home, add a couple of lemon peels and simmer for five minutes for a delicious flavour.


Under a different sky

By Iffat Nawaz

The light from Venus

Have you ever fallen asleep under the shade of Venus? Neither had I, but then it happened a few days ago. Before the moon came out and Orion Nebula, the North Star and the Milky Way were all above, glittering, I saw in front of me a trail of light straight from Venus on the lake, stopping at my feet. No matter where I moved it followed me, the magic of being deceived. Then I fell asleep and the moon came out with its borrowed light from the sun and overshadowed everyone and everything. And Pluto was lost.

I try to hold on to images, as I know you do too. But we both loose them, don't we? All moments aren't equal and the ones that are most memorable are also the ones most easily forgotten.

I used to watch stars lying on our roof in Old Dhaka, wondering about them spread above, giving light, giving hope and telling us that they are always there but we can't always see them. Electricity failures used to bring them out. I would lie down with my father and brother, still young, and innocent without knowing it and watch the stars, but I never saw one fall until I came here. Do stars not fall over Bangladesh, or Dhaka and its old town?

My father didn't know much about astronomy and neither did my mother. So we took the stars for what they were, and didn't know which was dark matter, or the Milky Way or the Big Dipper. We just knew stars shine and that they are beautiful and you could watch them for hours, squint your eyes and see them closer, a lot closer to you.

I still don't know much about stars, but I know Venus and her light. I was never interested in the Moon or Mars. Going to the Moon, and touching the moon became clichés while I was growing up, so to be different I became less interested in all that. I thought sure, astronauts are glamorous but so are Rock Stars and Super Models!

I am back in my city now. There are no stars here and as the moon shines I barely notice it. I look for the stars and they are hidden behind all our overpowering city lights, between glasses of champagne and wine and half eaten entrees, smudged lipstick marks on crisp white napkins.

I am not lonely. There are many others like me. They feel the same way and search for their stars silently. We are all hopeful. We know our stars are above us, shining- we just don't see them everyday.

Another cliché while growing up was about people becoming stars after they died. Whether it's an old saying or some clever poet's foolish rumor, I don't believe it and know there are others who don't. But we still search when stars come out, not for the lost but for the found.

I am not interested in learning more about stars or their orbits and other planets with multiple moons. I only care about my star. She is up there, always was, from old Dhaka to the lake in America, shining for me, and me only.


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