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     Volume 6 Issue 5 | February 9, 2007 |

   Food for Thought
   Cover Story
   Special Feature
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   Dhaka Diary
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Thank You CG
Initiatives and implementation in evicting illegal pavement business and illegal structures across the capital taken by the CG is really a praiseworthy measure. It has long been a wishful desire of all of us to see our capital clean, green and crowd free. We thank the CG for its fruitful measure of action.
But the sad thing about this eviction is that a number of impoverished people will suffer a lot due to this abrupt eviction since they won't be able to earn their livelihood. We, as citizens of the capital and people from all over the country, urge to the CG to rehabilitate those impoverished and deprived people at the earliest so that they can earn a decent living.
Md. Badiuzzaman Tamal
Jahangrinagar Universit

Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a very common phenomenon in public universities.
A few years back, students of BAU Bangladesh Agricultural University were not major users of drugs. But recently all types of drugs are becoming available in different places across BAU. Drug dealers have developed a strong network in the campus. At night, the bank of the Brahmaputra is the safe haven for drug users. The guards are helpless because they are threatened to keep quiet. This situation is deteriorating due to inaction of the administration. As a BAU student, I am saddened to see my beloved university in such condition. I request the administration to act before it is too late.
Jewel Rana
Faculty of agriculture
Bangladesh Agricultural University

Gender Discrimination
I felt very disheartened after reading VISA BLUES (November 17, 2006) by Hafiza Nilofar Khan on the SWM. In her write-up she describes her miserable fate. Women everywhere are deprived from realising their rights. What is her (Nilofer) fault if she married a Christian man? She has the right to select her own life-partner. But when she reached Bangladesh, she faces many problems to get a visa for her husband and her daughter.
When a Muslim man marries a foreign woman she carries their husband's surname and does not face any trouble to stay in this country. Why is this not possible for a Muslim woman? Civilisation has gone far, but we are still superstitious. It is high time that the government give more attention to this issue. We should get together to fight against all obstacles to protect women's rights.
Farhana Hoque
Dept. of Applied Statistics (I.S.R.T)
University of Dhaka

Stressed Out Children
I appreciate the whole family of The Daily Star for bringing excellent real-life stories of our society, especially the cover story 'Heading Towards Burnout' (January 26, 2007) on the Star Weekend Magazine.
I read the SWM regularly and this week's story portrayed a real problem that we face everyday but do not think about. Parents of school-going children do not realise the psychological and physical damages we bring to our children by putting them under unnecessary stress. Students have such a tight schedule that they even do not get enough sleep. They do not get time to play enough to develop themselves physically and for mental happiness,
I believe this tradition should be changed and parents and school authorities should take initiatives so that their children can get enough time to develop themselves in their own way.
Saifullah Azad
International Roaming Unit, Treasury Department, Finance Division, Nitol Mansion

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I would like to share my views about the article 'Heading Towards Burnout' (January 26, 2007). Nader Rahman has only written about O and A level students. He forgot to write about SSC and HSC students.
As an HSC student I have been confronted with so many problems. We hardly get only 18 or 20 months to complete our HSC syllabus. After reaching college by 7.30 in the morning I continue my classes till 1.30PM. After which I reach home by 2.00PM only to leave for private lessons that starts at 3.00PM. There is hardly any day when there are no private classes. Not only that, I also have do a lot of practical homework for math, physics, chemistry and biology. I have to work so hard for these practicals. I don't even get enough time to relax. Most of the time I have to study all through the night. Neither can I have my meals properly nor can I sleep well at night.
The conditions of HSC students cannot be ignored. I hope the writer will realise the matter.
SAGC, Dhaka Cantonment

*** *** ***

The cover story "Heading towards Burnout" was very realistic. Children of the 21st century are obsessed with studies. Parents simply don't get that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".
I can't remember the last time my father told me to go out and play outdoors. I am used to taking private coaching since grade 2. I am going to appear for my O' Levels in May 2007. I have only about four months left and I have to run to five tutors even on weekends and in addition, I have to attend school for my assessment examinations. I start at 7:30 in the morning and go back to bed at 1AM. I just became an insomniac due to the pressure and tension for my O' Level exams. My father is going to react very violently if I don't get at least 6 As. I wish sometimes that a day had 30 hours instead of 24.
Wadud Islam
Little Jewels School, Chittagong

Free Bangladesh from Child Labour
I want to thank Pushpita Laboni for her informative and analytical article 'An Inhuman Practice' in the SWM (January 19, 2007).
She unveiled many facts about child labour to make us realise that children are the assets of a society and they should be properly nurtured. Childhood is the best time to realise ones' talent for a prosperous future. But, in many countries including Bangladesh, children are forced to face harsh realities.
The photo of a child hawker wearing a red T-shirt, which is published along the article, shows the snippet of reality. In his shirt it was written, "we want a child labour free Bangladesh'' and the demand (or prayer whatever one would like to call it) will exist till hazardous child labour is eliminated. But who will listen to their demands? Even the politicians use children in their demonstrations and rallies. Moreover children are forced to do picketing during a political strike.
Poverty is the main reason behind child exploitation. Eradicating poverty is synonymous to diminishing child labour. So to make this world a better living place for all, we along with the government should try hard to eradicate poverty from its root.
Amzad Hossain
Department of English, DU

Congratulations Fakhruddin Ahmed
CA Fakhruddin Ahmed's Sunday night speech to the nation has inspired us to dream of a positive and progressive Bangladesh through a credible and acceptable general election with the participation of all the major political parties. His speech was totally based on the current circumstances and his proposed method of solving the political impasse has been highly appreciated by everyone.
So far the moves his government has taken also indicates that he has the will and determination to take us out of polluted politics. Moreover, the general people of this country are feeling a lot more secure now that they no longer have to go through any more blockades or hartals and no longer have to witness any violence on the streets.
The footpaths are no longer in control of the hawkers. The so-called syndicate seems to be no longer in operation and the price spiral of essentials has come down remarkably. The controversial CEC MA Aziz has also resigned from his post and the reconstitution of the election commission is now just a matter of time. So we have all the indications for a peaceful resolution of all the disputes of the major political alliances Fakhruddin Ahmed deserves our kudos for doing all this. He is definitely on the right track now.
Nazmus Saquib
Bashabo, Dhaka

In last week's issue the contents indicated an article 'Sir John Wilson - A Humanist and Visionary' on page 28 which has been published in this issue on page 29. The mistake is regretted.

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
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