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     Volume 6 Issue 7 | February 23, 2007 |

   Cover Story
   Food for Thought
   Photo Feature
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
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The report by the SWM on eviction (February 2, 2007) is well-written, gives an account of the sufferings of the evicted people but some other related aspects are missing.
Beautification of the city or helping big businessmen can never be the purpose of eviction of the hawkers. Sitting on the footpaths is illegal, collecting chada (toll) from these shops is unlawful. Every city has its own design regarding establishments and others, which does not support the mushrooming of whimsical hawkers' markets. In this respect the matter of right to life and right to movement conflicts in a different way and also the right to employment. The hawkers have the right to live but for this sake they cannot claim the right to encroach on the footpaths. Here the direct responsibility lies with the Government. After eviction the right to employment raises the question as to why these villagers are here and how the problem of unemployment could be resolved. Is selling boiled eggs on the street a solution?
Photos of eviction and heart wrenching stories should not just be our output. We should take steps for a state policy. I am with those who dream of a poverty-free Bangladesh. May be the caretaker government does not have any authority to take policy for a durable solution regarding hawkers. If they could initiate something permanent for the hawkers and not just evict them it would be a step in the right direction.
Lubna Zahan
Lecturer of Law,
Northern University Bangladesh

Nice Work Chowdhury!
Hats off to Osman Choudhury for his praiseworthy honesty! He has heightened the image of Bangladesh to the world by returning 31 diamond rings to its owner which she left in his cab. Despite not being very solvent he has made an example of honesty in real life. Thanks to this jewel for making us proud abroad.
Shaikhul Akbar

Another Shameful Event for Us!
Finally Sabina has passed away at the age of 19 after fighting for life for many terrible days. Watching this shocking news on ATN I was dumbfounded. Sabina, an acid victim was attacked on the very first night of her marriage.
Like other incidents the memory of Sabina will be eliminated from us after a few days. There are some protests going on but eventually the miscreants will be left unpunished.
Acid throwing is a crime equal to terrorism. Bold action needs to be taken against this crime and only our government can play the vital role in this. I would like to request our caretaker government to arrange some exemplary punishment for those who belittle the lives of others by throwing acid.
I hope that no other Sabinas have to succumb to such a brutal a fate.

Who is the Real Culprit?
The article “Heading towards Burnout” (January 26, 2007) and “The Blame Game” (February 9, 2007) reflects a challenging scenario for students like us. I don't blame the parents for it as they are always concerned about their children's well being. However, they have to realise that achieving numerous A's or a healthy GPA in exams is not the ultimate success in life. What is the use of these grades if one cannot excel in his/her career?
Many teachers moreover, consider education as a business. They simply don't teach us according to their potential. On several occasions, a teacher joins a school and when he finds out that he has a sufficient number of students to tutor and will continue to get so in the future, he leaves the school. Is this trend good for us?
However, to me the flawed educational system in schools is the main culprit. Our freedom was always drowned into a pool of strict rules, but are there any rules for the teachers? It is a natural instinct of human beings to do wrong things for which they would not be punished. Therefore, this system should be rectified. We should also be motivated, both by teachers and parents, so that we don't need coaching if we are attentive in the classroom. This will help us save valuable time for leisure and study at home and lessen the stress of coaching.
Alaul Ashraf Showrav
Manarat Dhaka International College


I want to thank Nader Rahman for his timely article in the SWM. I agree with his view that students of Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan area (mostly English medium) are losing their valuable childhood.
Childhood is the time to be sound mentally and physically but they are not getting either of these. These unfortunate children only know how to complete their teacher's obligation and bring good results. They fulfil their daily routine just like a computer programme; they do not know anything about their surroundings except computer games and English and Hindi movies. They do not know how to behave with others, even with their teacher. This is because they are so overloaded with studies that they do not have time to get any genuine education.
I hope that the school authorities and guardians will be persuaded to come across a routine to save these kids from losing their valuable childhood by reading Nader Rahman's story on the subject.
Yusuf Chowdhury
Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences
University of Chittagong


Education is the backbone of the nation. Education can remove poverty, superstition from a nation and give us a ray of hope. If we cannot properly stand under the excessive load of education then what will we gain from it? This reality was focused on the cover story 'Heading towards Burnout'. I would like to thank the SWM team for following up this story with 'The Blame Game'.
Nowadays parents compel their children to study extra. They want their children to succeed. I understand the parents' concern. Nevertheless, they should not make education a burden on them. Their childhood is sacrificed and their creativity destroyed. They are forced to lead robotic lives. This situation is applicable both for the English and Bangla medium students. The school authority should make sure that their schoolteachers in class properly teach children so that they don't need any private tuition at home. The authority should maintain a precise list of books, which will be applicable to their age, so that children have time to do other things. Parents need to understand children's psychology so they can help them build their desired career.
Farhana Hoque Panna
Department of Applied Statistics (I.S.R.T), DU


What Are We Eating?
The city-dwellers are virtually ingesting poison under the labels of organic edibles! Vegetable, fruit even fish is also not safe for us. Nowadays some dishonest businessmen are using toxic chemicals to grow, ripen and make fruits and vegetables appear fresher and last longer.
Almost everyday we are eating banana for breakfast, which we think, is fresh. But do we know whether it is fresh or full of harmful chemicals? Some dishonest businessmen are using medicines to help the bananas ripen faster and get a nice colour.
Toxic chemicals are being applied on tonnes of other products every day to make them appear fresh and ripe. Doctors say that ingesting these poisonous chemicals through fruits or vegetables may cause various diseases including diarrhoea, dysentery, infirmity, skin cancer and even death. The concerned authority should take steps to ban the use of all of these chemicals on our food to ensure our safe life.
Sharmin Rashid
Uttara, Dhaka

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