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     Volume 7 Issue 32 | August 8, 2008 |

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Use of Chemicals in Fruit Ripening
Government officials destroyed a lot of mangoes because of the use of chemicals in the ripening process. Chemicals are very harmful for human health. But there are lots of questions associated with the success of this effort. Chemicals and preservatives are used in both primary and secondary fruit industries all over the world. There are some chemicals, which are widely accepted as not being harmful in recommended doses. These chemicals are used to increase the shelf life of fruits.
The fruit marketing of Bangladesh is not well planned. Mainly small entrepreneurs are involved in the fruit business. They have neither the training nor the sufficient facilities needed for fruit processing and marketing. In fruit collection from trees, special care is needed not only for handling and collection but also in selecting the proper age of the fruit. Transportation is also a very important factor for fruit marketing. The transportation facility is very poor for fruit marketing in Bangladesh. Well-ventilated transportation facility is essential for fruit transportation. In our country fruits are always transported in a pile from one place to another by truck and because of respiration in the pile, a huge amount of heat is produced in the pile, which hastens the ripening process. If ripe fruits are collected from trees, within a day or two these fruits will rot. And even if they do not rot, the external attractive colour of the fruit is destroyed and the market value of the fruit is depleted. If a truck of ripe mangoes from Rajshahi waited in the jam or ferry for two days and on the third day it entered the wholesale market of Dhaka they would be rotten. So some processing is needed to deliver quality ripe fruit to urban areas. What we should maintain by surveillance is the level of the dosage. There are many defence systems in the external layer of fruits which hinder the harmful chemicals from entering the edible parts.
Without considering these factors, it seems the effort of the anti-preservative drive in the retail market only raises the price of the goods and does not minimise the use of chemicals in fruit ripening. So the dissemination of sustainable technology and training at the root level is needed. At present, there is only the presence of law enforcement officials in the scenario and they have no expertise in the nutrient behaviour of fruits. There needs to be experts who know how to judge the quality of fruit by themselves.
Abu Kausar Mohammed Sarwar
MS Student, Department of Agri-Chemistry
Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh

A Daughter's Plea
'A Daughter's Plea' (July 11, 2008) brings up the very important, yet neglected phenomenon of the apathy of local law enforcement when dealing with missing persons in Bangladesh. The article was written with an honesty, insight and first-hand perspective of the subsequent police interaction and legal proceedings that the public is rarely privy to. The Star magazine is as much a forum for social advocacy as it is a weekend magazine, and printing more articles such as this one can highlight the predicament of affected families and possibly motivate concerned authorities, who have been appointed to their positions to ensure civic safety, to take a initiative to solve such mysteries and make our communities safe again.
R. Rahman

Admirable Cover Story
The cover story on Dr. Govindo Chandra Dev (July 11, 2008) was a treat to go through. I enjoyed reading the story. It enabled me to know a lot of things about a great man I was previously not aware of. The inclusion of some rare old pictures made the write up even more special. Dr GC Dev was really a great asset of our country and we are extremely unfortunate to have lost him. I must thank the author for the story.
Syed Rajaul Akmal Sajid
Department of Economics
Dhaka University

Salute to the Migrant Workers
I was very touched after reading Mustafa Khan's letter 'The Hard working Migrants' (July 25, 2008). The Bangladeshi migrants are contributing a lot to our country's economy. I agree with the letter writer's opinion that the government should do more for the hard working people. Newspaper reports on how migrant workers are treated in Malaysia always come as a shock. They have to overcome so many hurdles to earn a living. I want to request the government to take necessary steps as soon as possible to ensure that the migrants can safely work in foreign countries.
Mohammad Mahdin
Shyamoli, Dhaka

Simply Outrageous!
The decision taken recently by the CTG to have expatriates' wards in colleges is simply outrageous! This is a glaring violation of equality among citizens.
Expatriates are the source of remittances, our second highest foreign currency earner and thus they have been playing a laudable role in our economy. We're indebted to them. Notwithstanding, they have long been neglected when it comes to taking effective and immediate actions to resolve cases of exploitation and repression inflicted on them abroad. The recent move seems to serve as a compensation for that negligence. Yet that's a wrong way to do it!
Almost all the citizens of Bangladesh living here are contributing to the country in the best of their capability. Think about the rickshaw pullers, farmers, honest businessmen and service holders who are working hard for a better life and in the process, constantly contributing to the country. Are they the dregs of society?
Aren't the youngsters of today going to feel that their fate is being controlled by where their parents stay for earning money? Isn't it a violation of human rights and basic principle of a democratic society? Special privileges must be well justified against ethics.
Ahmad Ferdous Bin Alam

The Razakar's War
This refers to Mr. Chintito's column (July 25, 2008). While expressing sympathy for him in bearing the abuse hurled by a razakar-er natni, may I remind him that are we not subject to various kinds of humiliation these days by the anti-Bangladesh elements? This is because of the fact that the last three decades have not only produced a new prajanma, conscious of the legacy and history of our liberation movement, but also yielded thriving pro-Pakistanis -- off-springs of razakars and the like. The latter have an almost missionary commitment to re-establish Pakistani-ideology in Bangladesh. These elements have thrived well because:
- while we assume that for us the purpose of the war of liberation has been achieved through creation of Bangladesh, but from their point of view the war has not finished yet.
- a razakar always remains a razakar, but unfortunately many a freedom fighter has turned into neo-razakars as the recent political development of the country manifests (note that one young political leader, son of a renowned freedom fighter and sector commander, once declared the JI as part of their family in an open meeting at the Paltan Maidan!),
- during the last 37 years we have been too busy to prepare and review the list of freedom fighters several times to only add insult to them, and eventually the list finalised by the last BNP-JI led four-party alliance government allowed a number of fake freedom fighters and even razakars in the list in many districts. These people took the lead in forming the so-called Freedom Fighter's Forum at the auspices of JI party.
- in the process, names of many martyred freedom fighters were purposefully excluded from the memorial plaques erected to commemorate their contributions on the pretext that their names were not in the bhata-list (as not receiving freedom fighter's allowances) of the government as in Rangpur town and elsewhere, and
- so far we have sadly failed to complete a simple task of preparing a list of razakars (dead or alive) at the union or upazila level till today.
No wonder that the JI has now been bold enough to float a parallel forum composed of so-called freedom fighters to mar the aspirations of the pro-liberation prajanma! The above should be our wake-up call and to be ready to wage war anew in order to preserve our hard-earned independence. Mr. Chintito has rightly indicated some of the ways needed to be undertaken at home and abroad.
Dhanmondi, Dhaka

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