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     Volume 6 Issue 36 | September 14, 2007 |

   Cover Story
   Writing the wrong
   View from the    Bottom
   Dhaka Diary
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On 'Time to Get Back on Track'
The cover story 'Time to Get Back on Track' (September 7, 2007) is an informative piece about discrimination against women with respect to the present laws. The present situation is not adequate to ensure equal rights for men and women from either political and social perceptions and we have to go a long way to eliminate all the odds.
Apart from the political and social issues perspectives also influence the thoughts leading to discrimination. Sometimes we simply ignore the things that instigate discrimination in public life. We claim to be educated but how many of us are really aware of the laws against discrimination? Unfortunately in this male chauvinist society complete cooperation from men against discrimination will not come so easily. Sometimes women too are brought up to think in this traditional way. Of course women are now more aware than before. But there are also those who spend more time on enhancing their looks instead of pursuing their intellectual traits.
It will take a long struggle to achieve equal rights for men and women in all strata of our society. Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Ain O Shalish Kendra and many others organisations including the media are relentlessly struggling for this cause. But without support from everywhere it will not be so easy to achieve.

Giving It To Us Straight
If there is any literary and informative article in your SWM, I think, it must be the Straight Talk column although its language is sometimes ambiguous. This column is an open window to Europe for the readers of SWM. I have to mention the outstanding article 'The Bliss of Solitude'. All of her write-ups are imaginative and lively. 'A Very Scottish Wedding' was also very entertaining. I am grateful to the author for making Europe more familiar to us.
Amit Abdullah
By email

The Migrant Workers
I would like to thank you for the news note on the plight of stranded Bangladeshi immigrants in Kuala Lumpur (September 7, 2007). As I am a frequent traveller to KL, I have seen many stranded fellow countrymen at the KL airport who were waiting for their agents to pick them up from the airport. However, as they were isolated incidents they never made me really think about their situation. After reading your article I can now empathise with the plight of our fellow stranded countrymen and would like to urge the government to take action against these shady agencies and to come to an understanding with the Malaysian government to help these defenceless Bangladeshi workers out of their predicament.
Sakibul Haq

Closure of Jute Mills
It was essential for our previous advisers to think of all possible ways of saving our jute mills. Having read about them in various newspapers I came to know that, it was the government who was responsible for the fate of the jute mills. We need to rethink about these jute mills and look for ways to make it profitable. I would like to request the present caretaker government to find out about all the laid off employees of the jute mills, many of whom are living a life if misery without any source of income. Please re-open the jute mills and administer them in a more responsible way.
Mohammed Tarik Ali Chowdhury
Department of English
Leading University, Sylhet

Spread of Contagious Diseases
There is a chance that pandemic diseases liked Diarrhoea, Cholera, Dysentery and eye diseases etc are to make a comeback because of the lack of pure water after the flood.
Due to the recent floods the sanitation system for twenty lakh families has been destroyed. Now there's an acute crisis for pure water as many of the tube wells have gone under floodwater in the rural areas and pure water has become mixed up with sewerage water in the city. Due to lack of pure water most of the flood victims are suffering from many diseases like Diarrhoea, Cholera, Dysentery, Typhoid fever, Scabies and eye diseases etc.
If the concerned authorities fail to provide pure water and proper sanitation as soon as possible then these diseases will become pandemic. That is a great threat for public health.
M. Zakir Hossain

Dengue Fever
I would like to draw your attention to the health topic discussed in the SWM (August 31, 2007) regarding Dengue fever.
The article prescribes to reduce fever by taking Paracetamol, Aspirin and NSAID. But according to the treatment guideline for Dengue Paracetamol is the only safe medicine that can be used to reduce fever. Aspirin and other NSAID are absolutely contraindicated and no physician as far as I know prescribes Aspirin and NSAID.
The Daily star and the SWM are read by millions of people and in the context of our country somebody might use this treatment preliminarily at home, which can have a disastrous effect and even death.
Whenever a health topic is discussed it should comply with Clinical guidelines and a disclaimer notification should be added to avoid any misunderstandings.
Dr. Saad Yosofy
Medical Adviser & Training Manager
Nuvista Pharma Limited
Uttara, Dhaka

University Admission
Recently UGC has suggested introducing a new system for admission: on the basis of the HSC and SSC results. In spite of having some drawbacks, I think this is a very commendable proposal by the UGC.
It seems to be a burden for the students to fight for admission tests after their HSC exams. The results obtained in the SSC and HSC exams are quite authentic so they really shouldn't have to face another exam to prove their merits. The coaching trade was thriving because of the university admission seekers, which will stop because of the new system of admission. There have been complaints that some coaching centres were involved with corruption for admitting students into the universities. This new policy should put their worries to rest.
But the newly proposed system has some loopholes. There are limited seats in proportion to the number of students. Consequently, in spite of being eligible, many good students may not get admitted into their desired institution. The UGC should ensure equal standard of education in all the universities. The universities should also have facilities for credit transfer. Facilities for vocational and technical education must also be encouraged. There are so many bright students with equal marks. There must be a clear and scientific solution to the problem in the admission policy.
S. M. Mokaddes Ahmed Dipu
Department of Marketing

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