Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 29, Tuesday July 29, 2008



Budget Smart

The perfect console

Name: Zeehan Khan
Status: Student
Desire: To have a game console
Budget: Tk 15,000

Getting hold of a game console is like a dream come true for Zeehan. Most of his friends already have one and the gadget is totally awesome. His craze for soccer and racing games creates a rush of adrenaline in him. Having managed a budget of Tk 15,000 Zeehan does have a lot of options to choose from.

Play Station-2 or PS2 manufactured by Sony comes in a very affordable price of Tk 12,000. The price has reduced to half over a few months time (PS3 is already out) and he can give it a thought. PS2 provides astonishing graphic designs and he can even get a couple of free DVDs of his favourite games in a complementary package. The price of original DVD games range from Tk 2,500-3,000 but there are also cheaper bootlegs, which are available at around Tk 130-250. However, if Zeehan doesn't find the PS2 impressive enough, a Nintendo Entertainment System might meet his expectation. The price is not much higher and is available at Tk 14,500. Nintendo mainly captured the market through its popular Super Mario games. The outlook of the console is truly amazing.

Another option for Zeehan could be the PSP (Play Station Portable). It is very handy and the rechargeable facility provides the best option- portability. Costing Tk 15,000 he can store songs in mp3 format, watch full-length movies and watch video clips as well. And for a gaming console that small, the graphics are pretty good too. This particular gadget is really fascinating and its mirror display provides a trendy outlook, which in its own way is quite awesome. Zeehan can also opt for the Microsoft Xbox game console. The pricing would be Tk 18,000. If he wants, he may chip in a few extra thousands to his budget and get himself one of the most powerful consoles and boast all about it. Then there is also the Microsoft Xbox 360 and although priced at Tk 30,000, this is something that will take game lovers to a whole new dimension altogether!

So, if Zeehan wants to wait and save some more for his budget, then getting an Xbox 360 could be a pretty good idea. However, Sony's very latest Play Station 3 (PS3), is ruling the console world with its highest configuration on graphics, and peaks a price tag of Tk 38,000.

By Yamin Tauseef Jahangir


A woman on a mission

There are many among us who have been given the power and ability to help the less privileged individuals, but very few actually use this opportunity. Most of us find it natural to delve on personal indulgences, but when it comes to spending a little for charity, the capacity of our wealth seemingly diminishes. And then, there are people like Nasreen Baqui, who selflessly dedicate all her life to bringing light into the lives of those who would otherwise be wasted in darkness.

Nasreen's identity lies in her brainchild, Nurture Centre for Disabled People. Situated in a suburban neighbourhood in the port city Chittagong, this is the first rehabilitation centre for physically challenged people in the city. A visit to CRP in Savar many years ago had made Nasreen aware of the dire circumstances that poor people with disabilities due to paralysis had to live in. It was here that she was instilled with the desire to do something to help alleviate the plight of these unfortunate people. She had already been running a beauty parlour from her home since 1994 using the profits behind a charitable dispensary called Nurture. Thus she decided to extend the scope of her original project to start Nurture Centre for Disabled and Paralysed (NCDP) in 2000.

NCDP started its journey in a humble one-storey building situated in Nasreen's private property in Halishahar, Chittagong. The primary objective was to provide appropriate health care to the slum dwellers in the vicinity. Nasreen had observed the hardships, which the poor slum dwellers had to face in their day-to-day lives, which was gradually deteriorating due to the lack of healthcare and proper hygiene. She took up the initiative of starting a clinic where these poor people could come for proper treatment without having to worry about being handed unaffordable bills.

Initially, all activities of NCDP were funded solely by Nasreen, but over the years, her noble initiative caught the attention of several generous donors, who whole-heartedly lent their support to Nasreen's endeavour. Nasreen's dedication and determination continued to grow which consequently resulted in the expansion of NCDP's activities. Nurture then turned its attention to physically challenged people with spinal cord injuries. They are admitted in NCDP free of cost where they are provided residential facilities and are treated by specialized doctors and therapists. They are given vocational training in skills like computing, embroidery, etc., which inspires them to renew their dreams and start life afresh. Nasreen personally goes about talking to the patients and making sure all their needs are carefully tended to. She encourages them to hold on to their hope and weave new dreams for the future.

NCDP now proudly stands six storeys tall and houses about 80 patients from all around the country. A dedicated team of physiotherapists and nurses are always present to cater to the needs of the patients. There is an operation theatre where all major and minor surgeries can be performed. Many physically challenged patients have come to NCDP with shattered dreams and bruised spirits, but have left the place standing tall on their own feet, ready to face the world with renewed confidence.

One would think Nasreen would rest contented with the fact that she has done her best in bringing positive change to the lives of many people around her. On the contrary, she continues to work tirelessly on her endeavour. Recently, she has started a school where 60 poor children are given basic education. She has hired teachers who are working hard to lead these children to a brighter future. She hopes some of her students would be given free admission into some of the reputed schools in the city, so that their talent could be polished in the best possible way.

Nasreen Baqui is a proud mother of three brilliant children. When asked about how she managed to be a full time mother and an entrepreneur and juggle all these noble works at the same time, she replies that there were times when she carried her youngest child on her lap and went about her usual rounds at NCDP. She encourages her children to be active participants in her endeavour and they eagerly come forward to help her.

Painting had always been a passion for Nasreen and even though she has her hands full most of the time, her hobby has not taken a backseat. She even arranged an exhibition for her paintings, some of which were sold with the proceeds being used to fund Nurture's various activities.

'Charity begins at home' is a saying familiar to all, but Nasreen is one person who has taken this literally to heart. She has devoted her life to brightening the lives of people in despair. She continues to reach out with her heart to those who need her the most, and pledges to do so as long as she is alive.

It is our moral and social duty to stand by people like Nasreen, and to contribute whatever efforts we can to further the cause of institutions such as Nurture. Every tiny step that we take together can translate into a great stride for those with disability. Every ounce of kindness can set them free.

By Wasia Mehnaz

On The Cover

Everyday local trains bring thousands of migrant workers from different districts of the country into the capital. A means of conveyance unfamiliar to most of us, local trains running up and down the country have their own story. Flip to centrefold for a pictorial narrative of the people and the locomotive that brings new hope.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed



Perhaps the ideal state in a society would be free of masters and servants; there will only be individuals doing their share of work and we would respect them for what they do.

However, reality is distantly different from what a twenty-first century human society should be. A few things that can help us to manage this rampant prehistoric relationship and change it to a better shape, such as employer-employee relationship, can be done with a little attention and effort from our part- especially the ones who are acting the master's role!

We are quite in the habit of rebuking, more specifically shouting at our subordinates at home and at work. If you think your domestic help is not doing things right or your office peon is acting out of the ordinary, you should tell them so as you are used to telling your family members and colleagues

We should keep in mind that in many cases they don't make a choice of how they earn their living- it is the circumstance or destiny, whichever you want to believe in, that leads us to do or be whatever we are.

It is imperative that we don't abuse our power to hurt someone physically. In our local scenario it seems perfectly all right to spare a slap or two especially on the minor domestic helps who are usually victims to such occasional physical tortures. Sometimes these seemingly innocent acts of disciplining them ends up in disasters and scandalous stories of inhumane acts that we find as cover stories in our dailies every now and then.

Finally, please keep in mind that just occupying a privileged position in the society doesn't assign you to do everything you wish. There are ethics that people in human societies follow when it comes to human relationships. The first thing as we said would be to respect people for the work they do and only then can we gain respect by respecting others.

By Fatima Tuz Zahra



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