Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 7 Issue 28 | July 11, 2008 |

  Cover Story
  Current Affairs
  Food for Thought
  Human Rights
  One Off
  Special Feature
  Making a Difference
  A Roman Column
  Star Diary
  Book Review
  Write to Mita

   SWM Home


Chintito about School Teachers
Some of my friends are government primary school teachers. I myself worked as an assistant teacher in two different English medium schools in Rangpur for 5 years. Now I work as a translator in a research project JiVitA Bangladesh of Johns Hopkins University of public health in Rangpur. Sometimes I have talks with those of my friends who are still continuing their teaching career. But the fact is that I miss teaching.
One day while talking to one of them I came to know that my friend had to bribe his/her ATEO [Asst./ Additional Thana Education Officer] to get his/her name in the list of PTI Training. It happened only 7-8 months before within the regime of the caretaker government. I also tutor some students in the evening after my office time. One of my students of Rangpur government. Girls' School told me that some of their teachers come to class and ask them to go through the lessons themselves and she (the so called teacher) checks the copy of an exam or often prepares notes of her own son in the classroom.
My question is if things go on like this how can our children learn from school? What would be their idea about their school and school teachers? I would like to request Chintito to talk about these issues in his column so that something could be done before it is too late.
Md. Hasan Iqbal
JiVitA Bangladesh
Keranipara, Rangpur

Punish Ratna's Persecutors
I want to thank The Star magazine and the author for writing on a serious issue like torture of maids, 'A Scalding Wake-up Call' (June 27, 2008). I think the culprit should be punished in the same way she 'punished' the poor girl. Human rights organisations must do or take some serious actions against this matter, which is going from bad to worse. Awareness should be made from each of our homes. TV channels and newspapers must focus on this issue and draw the attention of the common people.
School Of Business
Ahsanullah University Of Science & Technology


I was utterly disgusted after reading the article on 14-year-old Ratna. What kind of country do we live in where people are capable of actually using dangerous tools to torture a little girl on a regular basis? This is not the first time I've heard of such an incident. There have been numerous articles on women who have abused their helps in inhuman ways. These women happen to be married with children which make these incidents a bit more surprising to me. The role of the police is also very mysterious. The woman in this story just happens to be the wife of a magistrate which is why the police were scared to file a case against her due to the fear of losing their jobs. Incidents like these are a great hindrance to the advancement of our society. Something has to be done before more girls like Ratna are tortured like this by such demonic women.
Riyadh Al Nur
BUET Teacher's Quarters

Mob Violence in Uttara
In Bangladesh it is never difficult to know what triggers mob violence. And to me it was quite surprising to find out that experts need to even ponder about human psychology to discern the cause of one of theses incidents. A little more than a year ago, a glittering shopping centre in Uttara was stoned by an angry mob without any discernible reason. They obviously were not unleashing pent up anger against society; they were simply politically motivated hooligans vandalising the property of the ruling political party. The hooligans tried to break the glass walls of the North Tower Shopping centre that day but the glass was so strong that only after repeated attempts it was shattered to pieces. This showed how desperate they were in fulfilling their purpose. People watched in horror as these men continued by looting expensive perfumes and other products out of the supermarket in broad daylight while others watched on. Unfortunately even the newspaper reports of the incident were biased; one of the reports gave the name of a shopping centre, which was not even stoned! This was the case of a mob violence done out of malice for a political opponent and the seriousness of the incident was carefully concealed by the press.
Arlena Marshall
Resident of sector-9
Uttara, Dhaka

On 'Dreams Interrupted'
In reference to the article 'Dreams Interrupted' (June 20, 2008) and Farid Bakht's letter 'It's About Class' (June 27, 2008), perhaps getting the voting rights is the first step in getting a semblance of accountability. I have tried to do a campaign around it but personally I have found it hard to gather enough collective interest to focus on this issue. The work needs to happen on the ground. Currently what happens now is nothing but human slavery and trafficking.
I find it amusing to see how the BGMEA president claims so much subsidy from the country because they are bringing in 6 billion dollars in revenue (ignoring how many billions they spend on importing the textile). They get prime coverage in the media. They get to use the VIP terminal at the airport. But when it comes to the migrant workers who brought in 7 billion dollars last year alone, there is no voice to make their case and you can always see how they are treated in the airports.
Yes, it's a class issue, after all!
Asif Saleh
Founder and Executive Director, Drishtipat

Applauding our Expatriates
Bangladesh, being one of the poorest countries of the world, exports a huge number of manpower abroad with a view to earning money in exchange of their hard labour. In most of the cases, the families of these migrant workers are dependent upon their income. Besides that, these workers also give our economy a huge boost.
Remittances account for 10 percent of the country's GDP whereas in our neighbouring country India it accounts for 3-4 percent and in Pakistan it accounts for 4-5 percent. They are playing a very important role in our economy. But what are we doing for them? They are often harassed and humiliated in the foreign lands due to lack of proper foreign and diplomatic policy.
It's true that reputation of Bangladeshi workers is not satisfactory as compared to India and Sri Lanka as most of our wage earners are unskilled. So they need more time to cope with different circumstances they face abroad. But they keep sending their hard-earned money.
The heartrending tales of many Bangladeshi wage earners working abroad, as we often find in newspapers, fill our eyes with tears. Most of Middle Eastern countries including Bahrain and Kuwait stopped issuing work permit for Bangladeshi jobseekers causing great damage to our workers.
But our diplomats and policy makers seem deaf and blind to the never-ending woes of the migrant workers. Who will resolve their problems but the government? Why can't our policy makers provide them with the legal facilities they deserve? It is our duty to make their lives hassle-free abroad. The intervention and all out efforts of the government and foreign policy makers in this regard are a must to put an end to the sufferings of our beloved expatriates.
Sarwar Hussain
Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering,

We have changed our email address. Our new email address is <thestarmagazine @gmail.com>. Please write to us at our new address from now on.

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at a sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2008