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     Volume 6 Issue 25 | June 29, 2007 |

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Dhaka Diary

Poverty: The Root of All Evils
Last week, on my way to my coaching centre I came across a peculiar incident. The rickshaw on which I was travelling was being followed by another rickshaw. The rickshaw puller had a huge grin on his face He came closer and started a conversation with my rickshaw puller. It seems that he had duped two foreigners a while ago who did not know their way around the city. The rickshaw puller had gone all around town, whereas the distance was a very small one and thus swindled a larger fare from the tourists. After a lot of laughing and swearing he went on his way merrily singing as if he had done something great. This is just another example of how corruption prevails in every level of society. I wonder though if the rickshaw puller acted this way because of the rising poverty in the country. This poor rickshaw-puller tricked those foreigners just so he could get a better meal for himself and his family. But what about the other selfish hypocrites in this country who hide behind the name of honesty and education? My mind only wonders.

Ad-agencies in Dhaka
With all the telecom companies, new technology, people ready to take risks and challenges, Bangladesh is definitely moving at a fast pace. However, in spite of the modern business concepts that have crept within the establishments in the society, there is still a lack of professional commitment existing within the people who run these establishments. The perfect example would be the ad-agencies that are coming up in Dhaka every other fortnight. Many of them have captured the corporate world with their outstanding performances, arrangements and graphic designs, just to mention a few of their many qualities. However, many such companies do not act professionally, even in this age and time. Many of them hire young students to facilitate shows, anchor press conferences, work on graphic designs or even edit texts and visual images, and then do not bother to pay them. To date there are several who are still waiting for their payments, ranging from at least Tk 5,000 to Tk 5,00,000. One of my friends, who is in his final year of undergraduate studies in a private university, works as a professional web developer. He has been developing web pages professionally for companies in both Bangladesh and India for the last 5 years. Ironically, he has trouble dealing with agencies in Bangladesh, rather than the ones in India, only because he either does not get paid the promised amount, or gets the amount in parts over months or doesn't get paid at all. This is a very common situation with these agencies in Bangladesh and most independent workers in Dhaka are exploited. Something should be done by the authorities to ensure that these agencies do not take advantage of young and go by the rules of the book instead of creating a bad reputation for themselves.
Ismail Rabbani
IUB, Dhaka

What the Rain Does to You
The following incident took place a few days ago on a rainy day. It was raining very hard and the roads were clogging up fast. As I was desperately trying to protect myself from the rain with a plastic sheet, which the rickshaw puller provided, I noticed that the man sitting in the rickshaw behind mine was singing at the top of his lungs. Apparently, he was listening to a famous love song by Tahsan on his mp3 player and was trying to copy the singer. But what the unlucky guy didn't notice was that two women were waiting for a rickshaw on the pavement. They assumed that the man was trying to tease them, so both of them cried out "Shut up, you beyadob (insolent brat!). Fortunately the guy didn't hear anything, went on singing to his heart's content, while I sat there laughing my head off.
Redwan Islam Orittro
Maple Leaf International School


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