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     Volume 6 Issue 44 | November 16, 2007 |

   Cover Story
   Writing the Wrong
   A Roman Column
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review

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On “The Lives of Others”
While the hard work of day labourers is one of the basic inputs behind every construction and infrastructure development, they are always underpaid. Sometimes they are not even treated decently by their employers for coming from the poor section of the society. Women labourers are paid less although they do the same amount of work, and are also treated worse.
It's true that unemployment is still a big challenge faced by our government and it’s not possible to arrange permanent jobs for the day labourers overnight but employers can at least ensure reasonable wages for them during their employment period and treat them well. We should not forget that much of the luxuries we enjoy are fruits of labour of these hard-working men and women.

Save Our Garment Workers
The ready-made garments sector is expanding enormously day by day. It is indeed good news for our country. But behind the scenes of this success, it is sadly true that the huge workforce considered as the backbone of this sector is always neglected. The garment workers are still bound by a vicious cycle of poverty after two decades of growth.
At present, the monthly minimum wages for a worker is Tk 1662. In the last few months, prices of essentials increased by 20-30 percent which is a huge burden for them. It is a wonder how they can afford to maintain their families in such extreme conditions.
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. As such our garment owners are taking advantage of the cheap labour available. About 90 percent of the garment factories do not maintain the standard salary structure, minimum wages, job security and other basic facilities. This has created a lot of discontent among the workers and this suppressed anger might burst forth one day, as we have seen many times in the past.
Necessary steps should be taken by the government to save one of the most successful industries in our country.
Md. Arifur Rahman
Department of Textile Engineering
Primeasia University

On “A Forgotten Responsibility”
While negligence and insincerity are part and parcel of the lives of the elderly people they are the ones who are most susceptible in society as they require extra care and security which should be the responsibility of the wage-earning sons and daughters. Some welfare organisations have extended their helping hands for these helpless people as is revealed in the cover story 'A Forgotten Responsibility' (November 2, 2007). It was a timely effort after the International Day of the Elderly was celebrated just last month.
As old age is the indispensable consequence of every human life they should be treated with sympathy, patience and sincerity to help them carry on a normal life over and above their limitations.
It is wonderful that these welfare organisations are providing a safe sanctuary to the elderly who are cruelly neglected by their families which keeps them from breaking down both physically and psychologically.
The government, private endeavours and all conscious people should work hand in hand to protect our elderly people and utilise their wisdom, experience and foresight to help our nation move forward to achieve self-sufficiency and self-control.
Amit Abdullah
Department Of Finance, DU


It is natural for human beings as well as all living things in the world to follow the cycle of life – birth, growth, old age and death. When human beings become old they take retirement from their organisational responsibilities. But do they become useless to society after their retirement? Certainly not! The older generation can guide society with their vast wealth of knowledge and experience. The government has in operation various welfare programmes but I think caring for the aged should start from every home. It is our responsibility to take care of our parents and support them when they become old. We tend to forget that our attitude towards our elderly parents will decide how our children will treat us in our last days. From the point of view of Islam we should remember that we should take care of our parents in the same way they took care of us when we were children.
Farah Jahan

Honouring the Talents
No country can develop without honouring its talents or the scholars. Unfortunately, the culture of merit hunting is not practised in our country. We can neither nurture our flourishing talents nor retain the existing talents.
Every year many meritorious students are going abroad with an eye to attaining better and quality education. And most go there with the intention of settling down permanently in that country. Consequently we are lacking the talents who could serve the country. Why should it be like this? We are incapable of providing good quality education and research facilities. Applied Physics or Microbiology or other researchable disciplines like that have a great demand abroad but students of these disciplines in our country remain unemployed because of the lack of research institutions.
Our government should develop a pragmatic and effective policy to make use of such talents in our country.
S. M. Mokaddes Ahmed Dipu
Department of Marketing, CU

“The Red Frock”
I was very shocked to read Chintito’s ‘The Red Frock’ (October 12, 2007). We live in an unbalanced society where the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. We often forget this reality of our society. There is a constant struggle between the classes and the class which has the economic power organises and controls the state to protect its own interests. Our freedom fighters did not sacrifice their lives for such a Bangladesh where a father can not give a red frock to his daughter even on Eid. Our dream was to make a socialist society through a democratic process. A dream that never came true. Dhaka is a city of sky-high buildings and luxurious cars and on the other hand people living in the slums are dying from hunger. An economy of exploitation is being practiced here. The capitalist system encourages dishonesty and emphasises on material success judged in terms of wealth. A rigorous competition makes such a social fabric that has no clear destination. We hardly think of the pain of the poor people. Everyone wants to go abroad. There are very few people who want to work for the welfare of the country. But I still believe that our dreams will come true. The blood we shed in 1971 cannot go in vain.
Jewel Rana
Faculty of Agriculture
BAU, Mymensingh

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