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



Who is eligible to avail a locker?
Safe deposit lockers are usually rented to individuals, corporations or partnerships who maintain satisfactory account relationship with the bank and agree to comply with the terms and conditions governing the renting of a safe deposit locker. Lockers can also be rented by the above without an account relationship if the bank's locker rental policy permits.

What are the documents required for opening a locker?
The documents usually supplied by the bank for opening a locker would be the locker rental application form, photograph of each renter, signature card, nomination form and photograph of the nominee duly attested by the locker holder and board resolution (for companies only).

What are the security measures of lockers?
Banks providing locker services have to adhere to some security standards prescribed by Bangladesh Bank. In short they are, the physical location and structure have to be similar to safety vaults. Banks have to engage security agencies or if security is not outsourced then banks have to employ security guards. Random checks have to be conducted by banks officials on a regular basis to ensure safety is being maintained. Banks also have to insure the lockers depending on the size of the locker. Customers have to be made aware of the locker's insurance amount while they are rented out. For any loss of item in the locker due to burglary or theft banks have to almost immediately pay the renter the insured amount. In addition banks have to take legal and administrative functions for the safety and security of the lockers.

What are the procedures followed while surrendering a locker?
The locker surrender request form usually has to be duly signed by all the signatories or as per instruction given on the specimen card (e.g. any one can operate and surrender the locker) by the locker holder. Outstanding rent amount if any has to be paid, customer will have to hand over the key to the bank official after taking the contents out. And bank in this respect Bank might take a declaration from the customer that all the contents have been removed.

What happens if rent becomes due?
There are some measures banks usually take in an event of rent falling overdue. Which are, lockers will bear a tag which would serve as a reminder to the bank's officer who before allowing the customer to the locker will take the dues. Several reminder letters will go to the customer to pay the rent. After some reminders depending on the banks' locker rental policy, the bank might deploy an external lawyer for issuance of legal notice for the breakage of locker.

While traveling what 's the release of foreign exchange?
In our country, foreign exchange is released while traveling, according to the prescribed regulation of Bangladesh Bank. The amount released in any calendar year for a resident Bangladeshi is US Dollar 3000 to any country other than a SAARC member. One is allowed to take USD 1000 only for travel to a SAARC country. A Bangladeshi is also allowed to take foreign currency for treatment abroad, studying abroad and for official visits. These releases of foreign currency is subject to providing of documents to the bank from where the foreign currency will be endorsed.

Are foreign nationals entitled to foreign currency locally?
Foreign currency in travelers cheques and notes may be released to foreign nationals for any amount by a bank against the same amount of foreign currencies provided by those individual(s). The TCs and foreign currency notes (up to a maximum of US$ 300) should be delivered only upon production of a ticket for a destination outside of Bangladesh and the amount issued should be endorsed on the relative passports.

Is an exporter allowed foreign currency?
Yes, foreign currency can be taken by a new exporter according to the prescribed guideline from Bangladesh Bank. A new exporter is entitled to take up to US $6000 against recommendation letter from Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). However, Bangladesh Bank will only consider applications submitted through Banks with supporting documents.

Are foreign tourists allowed to reconvert taka into foreign currency?
Banks may allow unspent taka funds of foreign tourists (i.e., foreign nationals on temporary visit to Bangladesh except those on employment in Bangladesh) to reconvert into foreign exchange upon production of a certificate evidencing the encashment of foreign currency brought in by the tourist. Re conversion will be allowed by the same bank where the foreign currency was cashed earlier, on the strength of the original encashment certificates.

Are pilgrims for hajj allowed any foreign currency?
Yes, the Government of Bangladesh announces each year the amount of foreign exchange which may be issued to intending pilgrims for performing Hajj. Release of foreign exchange for this purpose should be issued as per instructions of Bangladesh Bank each year by the banks.

Dear Doctor,
I am a 28-year-old man. I have a problem with excess hair on my body. My facial hair is very dense and exceeds the normal cheek area and grows above it. I also have a lot of hair on my back which I don't like. Can anything be done to help me?
Yes, we can remove or reduce the unwanted hair by using Nd-YAG laser. The hairs will reduce in density and you will have lesser hair growth on the areas treated with the laser. Usually, 6 to 8 sittings are required, one per month. It is a very safe procedure and there are no known side effects.

Dear Doctor,
I am 45 years old and feel that I look older than I should. The folds around the sides of my nose are too prominent and also I have baggy lower eyelids. Can anything be done without surgery or is surgery required?
Well, actually your treatment will depend on findings after an examination. This kind of problem can be treated surgically, as well as non-surgically, depending on the extent of damage. If the changes are in the preliminary stage, we can treat it non-surgically. For the prominent folds we can use threads to lift the folds. These threads remain under the skin and cannot be seen. The result is usually very effective. In cases where the folds have been there for a while, lipo-injection is given. Here, fat, taken from the lower abdomen is injected into the folds after being liquefied to fill up the depressed area. This brings fullness into that area and the patient looks younger. A small stab incision is required in the abdomen from where the fat is taken. This procedure is done under local anesthesia and is very safe. If the folds are very prominent and the skin of the face is also saggy then a proper facelift needs to be done to get good results. This will reduce the aged look by at least 10 years. As this is a surgery, which takes about 2 hours, it is done under general anesthesia. The patient may need to stay admitted for one day.

As for the baggy eyelids this requires surgery for correction. As a person grows older there is redistribution of fat all over the body. There is accumulation of fat under the eyelids, which can be removed surgically. The scar disappears within a few days. This procedure is known as blepharoplasty and is one of the most common procedures done in western countries. It is done under general anesthesia, and no admission is required.

Dear Doctor,
I have a problem with my voice. Lately, I don't seem to be able to talk for a long time. Whenever I do, my voice gets cracked and stays like that for a while until I take some kind of medication. I am a school teacher and I need to talk quite often and for long periods of time. Also, I feel that my voice is changing and has become different. What is wrong with me?

Well it could be a lot of things. You should consult with an ENT specialist. I think you are overstraining your voice. When that happens your voice box becomes fatigued and needs rest but if it doesn't get that, then it cracks or malfunctions. This kind of problem is seen commonly with professionals who use their voices a lot. If you continue to do this it may damage your vocal cords permanently, as with constant friction there may be polyp formation. The first thing I will advice you to do is giving the voice a rest; get your vocal cords checked by a good ENT specialist immediately. You may even need to see a speech therapist, but first of all get to a specialist.

Under A Different Sky

Biriyani Corner

We were sitting outside at one of those dime a dozen restaurants waiting for a few friends to join us. A humid summer evening lingered, few mosquitoes took advantage of our bare skin. It was dinner time. We were hungry too and knew we would get some mediocre salad or sandwich in a few and that's when he came by.

Blue shirt, khaki pants and an embroidered maroon Kashmiri hat on his head, a man you can call old. He started off with the wrong foot. He came over and asked us where we were from. It wasn't a strange question, but being two South East Asian women my friend and I have answered this question many times and therefore are biased towards many who ask us this question.

He came closer, and said “ India? Do you live around here?”

We nodded: Yes. Before he could ask us another question I saw the leaflets in his hand that looked like restaurant menus.

So I said: “Yes we are from around here and sure we will take one of those menus.”

He didn't expect the conversation to stop so soon, he wanted to chat a little longer, but we didn't. He mentioned that their restaurant is only a few blocks away and we should go there for dinner, but we told him we had other plans, maybe another day. So he stood around for a bit listening to us talk and walked away giving leaflets to others of the restaurant he was promoting, “Biriyani Corner.”

After he left we looked at the menu of Biriyani Corner, and my friend and I, all of a sudden, wanted to settle for nothing less than some samosas, chaat papri, kathi roll and biriyani. So we made few calls and diverted our other friends to meet us at Biriyani Corner and walked over to find what seemed to promise a taste from home.

The food was mediocre but something happens to us Bengalis when we go into Deshi hole-in-the-wall places. It's not that we feel more welcome but it's just that we feel more comfortable. The more hole-in-the-wall of a Deshi restaurant the more comfortable we feel. It happens every time.

While my friends and I were eating biriyani the old man walked in. Still with a few leaflets left in his hand and I noticed that this time the defeated look that has set on his forehead, not just from today but from every day for many years past.

He then walked over to the counter where the young man who ran the restaurant stood. He said “See I brought in customers today, give me my commission.”

The young man said, “What are you talking about old man, they came in themselves; you had nothing to do with it.”

The old man fought back and we heard the conversation. So I turned around and told the young man how the old man did in fact bring us in here, when we were set to eat somewhere else but how he gave us a menu to this restaurant which made us feel like having some South Asian food. The young man then went “Okay, okay, sorry, sorry” and asked the old man to come around to get his cash.

We finished eating; the old man came over and took our plates away. He made small talks, asked how the food was, if we wanted one more drink. He then pulled out a piece of paper out of his pocket; he unfolded it. On it there were dates and next to it the money he got as commission for brining customers in. He started filling in the date and the amount of his commission for the day. My eyes caught a glance of the amount and my heart feels heavy. After he finished he looked at me. With a smile on his face he said “my son” pointing to the young man, “It is his store,” he said it with much pride.

I smiled; I didn't know what to say. Inside I felt a sadness creeping up, I missed my father, and all the fathers in the world. And I tried not to judge his son, or myself, or anyone else for that matter…but still my heart continued to feel heavy.

Pop up

Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle- such as tea that contains tannin- to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Add lemon juice to two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling. Honey should never be given to children less than one year old.



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star