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     Volume 4 Issue 11 | September 3 , 2004 |

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Dhaka Diary

Mysterious People Under Lamp Posts
One evening while returning home, the chain on my rickshaw got displaced at a particular point in Manik Miah Avenue. My rickshaw puller got down to replace the chain but he seemed a little clumsy as he was not doing in properly. I told him to hurry, as this 'special' place was not a safe one with mysterious people lurking under the shady street lamps. Any person who regularly walks by that area would easily see people gathering there and rickshaws moving around with girls (actually sex workers) on board them. The rickshaw pullers who carry them are mostly middlemen who find the customers. People from many walks of life come to this place for their obnoxious thrills. I heard from a rickshaw puller that many policemen are also involved in the buying and selling of sex and they offer protection for bribe. The nearby fields belonging to the Parliament is used for many notorious activities. I have been noticing for at least three and a half years, the lamps in this special area are inactive whereas all other lights of the Parliament premises are fully functional. Do the authorities not know of this or don't they have enough money to repair these lamps? The Jatiya Shangshad Bhavan is a very important area of our country and we should not let its image get tarnished this way. I was glad when the rickshaw walla fixed the chain and we quickly went on our journey.

Md. Kamruzzaman, Asian University of Bangladesh

Tainted image
There was a time when students used to get a lot of respect from the common people. But times have changed. Nowadays, instead of respect, the people fear the students. I know that a small percentage of pupils are involved in destructive activities and their so-called politics, but their actions are tainting the image of our entire student community. A few days ago, I was travelling by bus when an incident caught my attention. A college student was requesting the bus conductor to give him a small reduction on the fair since he was short of money. The conductor was reluctant to give any concession but hearing the conversation, the other passengers of the bus strongly advocated on the student's side. The bus conductor finally had to give in. Even if the thing was very trivial, it touched my heart because everyone in the bus had become united for the student's cause. I hope the student community will keep up their goodwill among the common people and brighten up our country's future with their knowledge and perseverance.

Mohammed Sohel Hara, Olympia Palace Restaurant, Topkhana Road

A Pathetic Rickshaw Puller`s Life
On the way to Maghbazar T&T Colony, I witnessed a heartrending scene. I took a rickshaw from the Wireless corner and we were on our way. I was looking around the street subconsciously and didn't realise that my rickshaw walla was disabled. I could not believe how a physically disabled man was pulling the rickshaw with so much force. When I though about how hard he had to work, I felt a deep admiration and respect for him. I asked about his background. He was from Faridpur District and he had contracted typhoid when he was just 5 years old an illness that left him disabled. He is now 23 and has to drive a rickshaw for a living. Furthermore, he has to earn the livelihood of his family as well . The truth is that if others were in this situation they would easily take to begging but this man was exceptional. We should take lessons from his character. Such is the spirit of our countrymen who make us proud with each passing day.

Mostak Ahamed (Sohel) , West Razabazar




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