They Know They Can
I would like to thank SWM for highlighting, through its cover story “Special and Exceptional” (January 18, 2008) the success of Bangladeshi intellectually disabled athletes in the last Special Olympics. When I first came to know of this great success last year after the athletes' return from China I was really astonished. SWM's last issue helped me understand the hardship behind this success. I want to congratulate these athletes, the two masterminds of the feat - Ashraf ud Dowla and Sanchita and GrameenPhone for caring to sponsor the players. Apart from the determination and dedication to the cause, Ashraf ud Dowla could have been highlighted a little more regarding his actual profession as Sanchita was.
One thing that touched me gravely is the worry of the athletes' parents-who will take proper care of them after their parents die? The government should come forward, take initiatives to raise awareness and bring about a change in the attitude towards the intellectually 'able' people towards the disabled ones and secure a stable future for them.
Ahmad Ferdous Bin Alam
Dept. of CSE, DU
Appreciating the Elderly
The issue featured by SWM on its cover story “The Value of Respect” (November 2, 2007) is a very important one, under the present circumstances. Elderly people are losing their respected position as the society is changing very rapidly. Everyone is too busy with themselves to care about anyone else, and certainly not the elderly. People seem to calculate their time in terms of money and profit only. So when a member of the family becomes unable to earn anything they just become a burden. This is so unfortunate because they don't realise that they will be in the same position as the old people one day. In the old days, the elderly were considered the jewels of a family. We seem to forget that in our childhood we were completely dependent on our parents and the least they deserve is our respect and appreciation. I really appreciate the heroes who come forward to form the old homes. But I don't think this is the best solution. We shouldn't emulate the western societies. Still now when we think of a typical Bangladeshi happy family we think of the parents and grand parents being a part of that. We are the happiest nation because we love each other and we have respect for the elderly and we should never lose that identity.
Faculty of Agricultuere, BAU, Mymensingh
The Distorted Mirror
Kudos to Neeman Sobhan for correcting the distorted image of the slain heroine Benazir Bhutto.The author identified the fact from fiction while the entire western media is intent on making her the martyr of democracy. Its sad and shocking the way her life came to a sudden end but was'nt that Ms.Bhutto's political legacy?
Benazir became the darling of western media by towing the line of 'progressive democracy' and condemning 'Al Qaeda' and the world forgot about her involvement in the murder of her own brother Murtaza in 1996- a case unresolved, or the corruption charges of millions of dollars against her and her 'Mr.ten percent' husband in Swiss courts and Pakistan.
The blatant fact remains that Benazir returned to Pakistan from self imposed exile only after she struck a deal with Musharraf to drop ALL corruption charges against her but we see her as the Messiah come to uphold and restore democracy in Pakistan?!
Before we run away with our herd instinct to follow spin doctors of the west , let us not forget our own legacy of blood of 1971 and the role of Mr.Bhutto (Sr) and establish own identity in non partisan, objective journalism otherwise the corrupt, condemned of today will also become heroes of tomorrow.
The participation of people from all walks of life for the hurricane affected people is a great inspiration. It is an outstanding and timely effort for helping the disaster-struck people who are living their lives in a very miserable condition. The volunteer team have been shocked after seeing the condition the people are living in.
While the voluntary activities and the government effort are being appreciated, the questions have been raised regarding the coordination of the relief distribution. It's very unfortunate that local members of union and chairmen are creating so many impediments for the volunteer teams and want to take the credit to their name by relief from various points. As a result the voluntary teams sometimes cannot reach the most vulnerable areas.
One of the volunteer team in Barguna complained that some people from one of the NGOs pocketed the money from the person immediately after the amount was given to one of them for distribution. The people against whom these allegations are made must be punished and the government should ensure that the volunteer teams can carry out the relief programme smoothly.
Hygiene under Threat at CU
The sanitation system at CU is in a shocking condition. As far as the bathrooms in the male halls are concerned, no one ever seems to flush it and the filthy unpleasant smell makes it a nightmare to even go inside. The bathrooms are never cleaned with water, let alone cleaning fluids. The cleaners are always around but too busy loitering their time away gossiping with each other. Even at the dining halls hygiene is but a far cry. The negligence can cause diseases like diarrhoea, cholera or dysentery to any student any time. The waste from the kitchen is thrown in the open spaces outside the dining hall where the drainage system is not very good. It is very difficult to pass the place without covering their nose with a handkerchief. Someone even had to vomit once when the smell got so unbearable.
Another occurrence in the academic building has aggravated my tension. I found out many students after using the toilet do not use soap to wash their hands because the authorities don't provide any for the students. Some students are seen having breakfast in the cafeteria after coming out of the toilets without washing their hands.
Through the SWM I would like to request the house tutors and the honourable provosts of different halls to solve this problem. The authorities should launch a massive cleanliness drive as soon as possible to bring hygiene on campus.
Department of Sociology, CU
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