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     Volume 7 Issue 18 | May 3, 2008 |

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Dhaka Diary

An Old Beggar

You get to have so many strange experiences while waiting for the Chittagong University shuttle train. The other day, while waiting for the train to take me back to the city, an old beggar approached me and asked for help. I looked at his face and could see that he had probably not had anything to eat for a long time and seemed extremely weak. I took out a 10 taka note and handed it to him. He smiled at me said, "It's ok baba. You can give me just 2 takas." I was clearly surprised at his attitude and asked him to take the 10 taka note instead. The beggar replied, saying that I was a mere student and did not have to help him with such a big amount. I could just give him 2 takas. This was, indeed, a strange incident that could happen to anyone in this country.

Anamur Rahaman Sagar
University of Chittagong

To Spend or
Not to Spend

This incident happened a few days ago. I went to a Sports Shop at Gulshan-2 to buy some tennis shoes. When I got there, I saw a small boy of 7 or 8, crying his eyes out and his mother was trying to calm him down, but in vain. I tried to listen to the conversation that the mother was trying to pursue with the shop owner. I overheard them saying that the football, which the small boy wanted to buy, was a Nike and had a price tag of Tk 4000! Unable to calm the child, the mother bought the ball. I cannot understand why one would spend Tk 4000 on a football when you could have spent that same amount to feed 50 hungry beggars, or buy seven ordinary footballs of Tk 500-600 and give six to the poor kids who can't afford one and keep the other for yourself. I wish people would realise the situation of our country and the people around us, and if they are too young to realise, then it is up to us to teach them.

Shahruk Hossain,
Bangladesh International School


The other day I, along with one of my friends, was near the central library at Dhaka University. As it was lunchtime, we went up to a nearby food stall where we bought our lunch. We sat on a bench inside the shop and started to eat. Just then, a boy of seven or eight years of age came up to us and begged us to give him the leftovers of the lunch that we were yet to finish. The boy was shabbily dressed and his appearance clearly spoke about the extreme poverty that he lived in. I lost my appetite and felt very depressed. Both of us gave off our food to him, which made him very happy. With a smile on his face, he was eating the leftover lunch. Even mere remnants of food are enough for these ill-fated children to smile.

Md. Fazle Rabby Haider
Department of Mass Communication and Journalism
University of Dhaka.

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