A few months ago, I went to my aunt's house in Gulshan with my younger sister and my mom. From the balcony of the house a very nice view of the Gulshan Lake can be seen. There were a few boats near the bank of the lake, which were used by the slum dwellers to cross the lake since their houses were just beside the lake. This excited my younger sister. She started nagging my aunt to take her there who finally gave in and took us to the lake for the boat ride. We were very excited at the thought. But to my utmost surprise, I found out that the water was too smelly, garbage was floating all over, mosquitoes flying everywhere and the most shocking part was that, we saw a dead dog floating on the lake surrounded by flies. We immediately turned back. We were so shocked. Gulshan area is a very nice place with lots of scope for shopping and beautiful buildings. But this lake has spoiled everything.
While talking to a student of a reputed English Medium school in the country, I was struck by the lack of knowledge with which a teacher of the school had been in all sincerity educating her students about safe sexual practices. She authoritatively informed her class that they could not contract HIV Aids if they took a bath after sexual intercourse, implying that the virus would be 'washed away'. She went on to further support her statement by explaining that HIV is more prevalent in poor African countries than in Bangladesh precisely because tribal communities have improper sanitation and bathing facilities, whereas in Islam (Muslim communities) it is required that you take a bath after intercourse. This incident profoundly shocked me; not only is the argument and evidence completely incorrect and misleading, but it made me realise that schools need to implement safe sex education programmes for students in English and Bangla medium schools. Incorrect information from figures of authority, preaching abstinence and not acknowledging the existence of adolescent physical relationships risks the physical well being of today's youth.
Diary From Chittagong
Common but unwanted
That day I went to a marriage ceremony of the son of a Chittagong MP. As per the tradition of Chittagong, a lot of people were invited to the wedding ceremony. So traffic jams occurred in front of the community centre although many traffic officials were present. Many invited guests were leaving their vehicles behind and walking the rest of the path to the feast. At the gate, everyone was in a hurry to enter. Suddenly, all the traffic officials were running and whistling unnecessarily, stopping all the vehicles in both directions of the road. Very soon a Pajero carrying the Mayor of the city came through the wrong direction and entered the community centre. This is a very common scene in the country. Its frustrating sometimes how all our law makers violate the law every now and then while the common people suffer for no reason.
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