At the age when children should be in school and playing, those living below the poverty line have to do back-breaking work. As a result, they are losing the best time of their lives. I would like to give credit to The Star magazine for talking about the miserable condition of our children in 'Lost Childhood' (May 3, 2008).
Though Bangladesh has signed the UNCRC to provide children with education, health care, security and so on, most children are still being deprived of these basic necessities. Moreover, they are compelled to do very hazardous work. What is worse is that they are paid a very meagre amount of money for their labour although the work is more difficult for them.
These underprivileged children do not have the very fundamental rights. They are being brought up in a very hostile environment. We need to nurture the talent of these children to give them back the freedom of childhood and make a supportive environment for them.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Department of English
Govt. Edward College, Pabna
Green Solution to Power Generation and Conservation
The Chief Adviser's talk on the subject on July 10, reported in all print and audio-visual media; was another bureaucratic rhetoric on what should be done; with nothing on what we can do. The write 'The Cost of Green Solutions' (July 11, 2008) also dwelt only with the photovoltic aspect of green power generation, and producing jatropa extracted and refined biofuel in the future; which however will need expensive fuel injection or ignition setup modification for vehicles. None of the two persons however mentioned the most effective manner of green power generation and the tried and pragmatic approach to power or energy conservation which reduces CO2 emissions!
The government must take the lead; if they mean business to save power and energy consumption, and produce more power. A tried and acceptable method of energy efficiency, is utilising kinetic energy of gas pressure reduction for fuel free power generation. We have pressure reducing stations in our natural gas transmission and distribution network all over Bangladesh. This can generate fuel-free (no geological or any fuel needed!) clean electrical power without CO2 emission waiting to be harnessed! The work can be done without disturbing our natural gas flow, which can continue undisturbed!
Power-poor countries like US and countries in Europe have been doing it for many years! This will give clean power with no carbon emission. Regarding power conservation, which is one way of reducing carbon emission, this needs identification of energy efficient household and office electrical equipment in common use. BUET can easily do it. It may cost at most say thirty lakh taka or so.
They can also to identify the most energy efficient (lowest specific fuel consumption) cars of the same engine capacity. However this needs new models of the various popular cars of say 1200cc engine capacity.
For fuel free power and identifying popular energy efficient electrical gadgets and equipment (like lifts for example in high rise buildings), the cost benefits can be tremendous, and if we adopt the measures, we can easily save over 500 MW (virtually a Power Station) in two to three years at a very small fraction of the cost and time needed for setting up a new power plant! I challenge the CG to come down and set the ball rolling.
Retired Engineer, Dhaka
A Salute to the JU Students' Movement
University teachers' are considered the voice of the national conscience. So it is difficult to accept them as being guilty of sexual harassment by them as published in 'Campus Violations' (August 1, 2008). Sadly it is true that gender discrimination and sexual harassment by teachers is a growing social problem. The university students are familiar with these problems but they pretend that nothing has happened because of the fear of failure in examination, low grade or other academic hindrances. Under the circumstances, the movement by the students of the Dramatics Department at JU will have a significant impact in improving the existing situation. JU has a long history of fighting for the rights of female students. This time they demanded the implementation of a code against sexual harassment and punishment of the responsible teachers. I eagerly hope the success of their movement. Their success will hopefully reduce the sexual harassment in both universities and other public offices.
The demand of the JU students is a rightful one. It is the duty of the government to accept their demand. Their success will give inspiration to others. I request everyone to support the students of Department of Drama and Dramatics for securing the right of females in every position of social and professional life.
Abu Kausar Md. Sarwar
Department of Agri Chemistry
On reading the cover story 'Violating a Sacred Relationship' I was back in 1998. Flashes of memories of processions, blockades made by us, the progressive students came to me, making me terribly depressed in realising the fact that even now there is no law against sexual harassment in the campus.
I would like to add another point of view in this regard. The feeling of insult is more than enough to lead someone to protest any sort of harassment. And I thought it was quite natural for any educated person to feel the same way about these demons that I do. But surprisingly enough, I found it rather complicated when I joined all the protests that took place and I shared it with some of my peers. People try to find out whether the victim was 'provocative' in terms of her clothes, manners, activities etc. If they find a minor 'yes' they sympathise with the culprit and the girl becomes responsible for 'provoking' the boy. In many cases, when the teacher is the criminal, he is supported by many other teachers because they are good friends. I myself had difficulty during my graduation because one of my teachers found me involved with the procession and was outraged that I dared to go against teachers.
Everyone should know that any kind of sexual harassment, is a crime.
A Pharmacy Graduate of JU
Fate of Migrant workers
The economic cycle of Bangladesh turns on with the help of foreign remittance. Bangladeshi workers send the money they earn from their backbreaking work, which increases the foreign reserve of Bangladesh bank and for which we are proud of them.
But, we never care about the condition they are living in, in these countries. Recently, they protested against the discrimination they were facing in terms of wages from workers of other countries. This protest resulted in torture by police and army. Even the country's ambassadors did not come out and help them. Instead of getting their rightful pay they were sent back to their home countries. What will their fate be now? They have been neglected and discriminated against in their own workplaces. Most of the workers in the Middle East are facing these conditions. Our government should find the reasons behind this and take immediate steps to solve these problems.
Md. Arifur Rahman
Dept. of Textile Engineering
The Heart of Bangladesh
Chittagong port, the heart of Bangladesh is going to face a Gordian knot in the near future because of the negligence of our previous bigwigs. At present no foreign ships can enter the port and the ships stay 10 metres away for the sake of export and import. Not only the silt but also demolishing of hills are the prime causes of this gradual destruction of the heart of our economy. Another port, the Mongla Port is in danger because of the silt. If the government does not take adequate steps, we will lose our heart i.e. the Chittagong port. The Caretaker Govt. has taken many extraordinary steps to develop our economy and we expect that they will be aware of the fact and commence capital dredging to save our motherland from a disastrous consequence in the near future.
Rotaract Club of Chittagong University
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