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     Volume 4 Issue 58 | August 12 , 2005 |

   Cover Story
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On " A Small Sacrifice"
I am an old man, too old to be sentimental, and do not react easily to events. Yet, I could not control myself and simply broke down after reading the piece "A Small Sacrifice" by Farah Ghuznavi in the July 29 issue of SWM. Can a human being be so heartless like the so-called "Begum Sahiba" in the piece? I really hope "A Small Sacrifice" is a fictitious piece not based on any factual event. Persecution of domestic maids by employers in varying degrees is a regular feature of our lives. We often see stories in newspapers about women, sometimes along with their husbands, beating their domestic help. But there are no follow-ups of such stories and we never know whether the culprits were punished or set scot-free.
There are many organisations which fight for women's rights but there are hardly any for the protection of the rights of such helpless domestic workers. Those who work for the betterment of the downtrodden have a moral obligation to help girls like Shahazadi and Onu and save them from the torture so often inflicted upon them.
S.R. Shaheed Banani, Dhaka

Dipu's empty seat
SWM's cover story on July 29 made me cry. Reading it, I couldn't believe I was living in the 21st century. Dipu has left us forever, and at such a tender age. Children in our country face cruelty from the beginning of their lives, even at school, which has become a main source of fear. Dipu is among the thousands of children beaten by schoolteachers, especially in rural areas. Such treatment of children leads them to fear and refuse to go to school and they often go astray. It is our duty to teach our children with love and correct their mistakes with patience and understanding. We must protect our children from the cruelty of such teachers and the media must come forward to expose the latter. I would like to end by appealing to teachers to treat children with love and respect and make them feel valued and cared for.
Giash Uddin Bahar Sylhet

On analytical journalism
I strongly feel the need for analytical journalism, especially in the print media, digressing from the traditional style of hard news to narrative reporting. People get news from television, radio, the internet and now even from mobile phones. People will not read the same news in newspapers if there is no in-depth reporting and analysis. At the dawn of the third millennium, the print media must keep pace with the readers' demands. The US has not seen radical change in this arena either but they are buckling up to give their readers in-depth and farsighted analytical news stories. It is, however, important to maintain objectivity at the same time. Despite all the hassles of reporting, it is essential for the journalist to present readers with news that will interest and benefit them and the country as a whole.
Bazlur Rahman Mohsin Hall Dhaka University

On "Voice Box" and "Sci-Tech"
Apart from the write-ups on different interesting topics, SWM' s "Voice Box" and "Sci-Tech" pages are amazing. "Voice Box", with its wonderful quotes and anecdotes from various sources make me laugh out loud. One can easily grasp the underlying meanings that each line contains. These lines are very amusing for the readers because they expose the silliness and hollowness of the speakers! They are very well-chosen and wonderfully compiled and the person behind the page, Ahmede Hussain, deserves credit. The "Sci-Tech" page is also great. Though the matter is compiled, it is very interesting and informs readers about science and technology in a fun way. Kudos to Imran H. Khan for his work on the "Sci-Tech" page!
Rafiqul Islam Rime Agrabad, Chittagong

On the Internet
The Internet is indeed an intricate maze of surprises. Just a few days ago I stumbled upon an astrology site, and, on a whim, subscribed. For the last few days, my inbox has been jammed with dire warnings from a supposed psychic called Sara Freder, about how I have only 48 hours to find my last chance at happiness, and become rich overnight, if I am willing to pay the teensy amount of 20 bucks. The hoaxes and scams on the Internet are becoming more and more ludicrous, as anyone who's received a "You've Won!" email or pop-up would tell you. While it's harmless amusement and an easy way to earn money for some people, I must say it's getting real difficult to trust any site on the Internet nowadays.
Sayeeka Farnaz Gulshan1

Mixing up the legal profession with politics
Recently, lawyers seem too involved in political activities. They seem bored with their profession. They keep staging processions and counter-processions and these often turn into exchanges of political vengeance. While the common people wait year after year for their cases to be settled, influential lawyers are engaged in political movements under the banners of different organisations, making the Court a dead horse. There are cases that have been pending for years, due to the activities of our lawyers as well as limited man-power, insufficient infrastructure, inefficient police investigation and other such problems. Why do our legal experts not work consciously and responsibly to make legal procedures smoother and faster? Why don't they show as strong an interest and determination in the affairs of their clients and the common people as they do in their own personal politics? No number of political movements will earn them respect or liking of the people. Rather, if they used their profession and expertise to make life easier for the common people and to bring changes to the legal system, they would be held in high regard.
Md Arif Sadeq Department of English University of Dhaka

On the Ahsania Mission cover story
Thanks to SWM for the July 22 cover story on the Ahsania Mission's fight against cancer. Thanks also to the Ahsania Mission Hospital authorities for their humanitarian step to help cancer patients. Ten lakh people are suffering from this killer disease. In May of last year, my brother underwent a number of medical tests over many months before finally being referred for a biopsy and being diagnosed with cancer. The doctor said there was nothing to be done because the cancer had spread throughout his body by then. My brother passed away in October, leaving behind his parents, wife, and a two-year-old daughter. How long does it take to be diagnosed with cancer? I was very disappointed at the treatment of a renowned hospital. I hope the Ahsania Mission will relieve millions of families from the pain of losing loved ones to cancer.
Md. Mizanul Islam Rajshahi

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