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     Volume 7 Issue 29 | July 18, 2008 |

  Cover Story
  Writing the Wrong
  Straight Talk
  A Roman Column
  TV Watch
  Book Review
  Star Diary

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Stop Trafficking
Trafficking women has become a matter of immense concern. 'Trapped, Trafficked and Terrorised' (April 18, 2008) was a well-timed story to raise the consciousness of society. I heartily thank The Star magazine for this praiseworthy write-up.
The first trap that is set on the victims is the allure of a comfortable life. The fact that these women are in extreme financial hardship, are illiterate and frustrated with their lives make them easy targets for this trap. Besides, many educated and ambitious people are also convinced by the temptation with the high expectations the traffickers craftily sprinkle towards them. As a result many people are suffering unnecessarily abroad.
As the traffickers have organised themselves into a strong position, we need to raise the level of awareness. There should be awareness-raising programmes among the grassroots level of the society to create work opportunities for the underprivileged people. Removing gender discrimination at work can be a good defence mechanism from the traffickers. Besides, the government should strengthen the laws of trafficking so that the traffickers are aware of the consequences of their misdeeds.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Department of English
Govt Edward College, Pabna

Eve Teasing
Eve-teasing has become a huge problem at the Bangladesh Agricultural University campus. The media only focuses on this issue when something significant happens and for some time there are police patrols, 'white' brigade actions, etc. Public memory happens to be short and soon things return to the usual anarchy and we accept the fact that nothing much can be done.
Eve-teasing also gives a negative image of the country among tourists. The immeasurable damage to a woman's self-esteem and the subsequent avoidance of public places by many women can not be the way to achieve gender equality.
Eve-teasing is a typical social crime. A behavioural change is the only lasting solution to this problem. This requires extensive public education aimed at every section of society at large. Some movies and drama serials showing eve-teasing eventually helping to 'win' a girl's heart only worsens the situation. Changing this behaviour is easier said than done.
The situation is getting worse everywhere. Massive sustained campaigns should be undertaken by women's organisations highlighting this evil. Parents should educate their sons to respect everyone equally. Cinema is a powerful medium to highlight this issue. Maybe when a movie addresses the fear, hurt and humiliation a girl experiences people will think about the 'other side' of eve-teasing. A civilised society cannot afford to ignore such an issue.
Aditi Mozumder
Student, Bangladesh Agricultural University,

Scalding Wake-up Call
The story 'A Scalding Wake-up Call' (June 27, 2008) was a very important and heart-wrenching story. I congratulate the author for writing on such a neglected but true fact of our society. This is essential for increasing the consciousness among our civil societies. People's basic human right to live life with dignity is being violated without any fear of reprisal. It is a matter of grave concern how the wife of a chief judicial magistrate can carry out such inhuman, brutal and demonic torture on her domestic worker. If this is the condition of a judicial magistrate's house, how will the laws of human rights be implemented? Ratna's case is not unique; many such gross violations of human rights are going on inside the four walls of our civil society.
The government should take initiatives against such inhuman activities. The so-called elite persons should be arrested and tried as early as possible.
Ali Azgar
Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chittagong

Board Textbooks
Prothom Alo on June 30, 2008 highlighted the news of various mistakes in our national textbooks, which are taught in our primary and secondary schools published by NCTB. These mistakes have gone unchecked for the last 13 years. The report is alarming. I really thank the media for highlighting this issue. But my question is -- the problem has been going on for the last 13 years, why are we reporting about it now and what steps is the government going to take to rectify these and many other such mistakes?
Sandwip, Chittagong

Questionable Future
We are really proud of those who have achieved GPA-5 in this year's S.S.C exams. The record number of GPA-5 holders (52,500 this year) indicates that we have lots of talents to shape our future. But it is also a big question as to where all these bright young students are going to get admission and on what basis. There is a social pressure that all these students will have to get admitted to one of the very few good colleges in the country. There is also a limitation in the seating capacity.
Once, these colleges were thirsty to get such GPA holders. But now that there are so many of them around, colleges are getting overwhelmed. I think the students will have to realise at one point that the path of education is much more difficult than just getting a GPA 5.
Mishu Kutubi
Dept.Of English
International Islamic University Chittagong

Please plant more trees
Bangladesh is the biggest delta island in the world. The precipitation limit is very high here. But it's really sad that the country is losing its forest very rapidly and no one is bothering to talk about this problem.
According to the environmental scientists, 25% of a country must remain covered with the trees. The picture of Bangladesh in this regard is very regretful. It is said that only 12% of the total land area is now covered with forests. It is our sacred duty to plant trees every year and take proper care of them. But very few people are really taking part in this movement. We have to take the task a social movement.
Everyone should get involved in planting trees every year and take proper care of them. Trees are the real natural assets of our country which can give us wealth and can protect us from many natural calamities.
Mohammad Sazzad Hossain
Ex-Lecturer of Agricultural Education
Louhajang College

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