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     Volume 8 Issue 88 | October 2, 2009 |

  Cover Story
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Appeal to The Man Who Changed the World

The cover story of “The Star Magazine” published on August 28, 2009 namely “The man who changed the world” has touched my heart. I, like majority of Bangladeshis, am a great admirer of Professor Yunus since long before his becoming a Nobel laureate. His lifelong work has helped numerous people in rural Bangladesh.
Dr. Yunus' concept of social business is full of potential. But time has come for the professor to think of social welfare in the true sense and not only social business. I strongly believe “The man who changed the world” has the capacity to help the poor and helpless people of our country to greater extent if only his focus is concentrated much more on our locality.
For the kind attention of this great man, I meekly mention the plight of a small sect of people who are ruthlessly exploited by their near relations or shelter providers. We often see them on the streets, the number of crippled beggars of different ages lying on the footpaths, who have been suffering from various incurable diseases. Most of them are seen virtually in a decayed state with apparent symptoms of cancer, leprosy, malignant tumor, swollen protruded eyes or legs. They cannot move by themselves. It is evident that some of their so called caretakers bring them daily to the begging spot. It is instantly felt looking at their fragmented condition that they need immediate shelter and emergency medical care. But those helpless human beings are forced to lie on the street in scorching heat, in heavy shower or storm for the sole purpose of making money for their inhuman relatives or custodians. We can imagine easily that a small share of money that they collect daily would be enough to change their wretched condition. This highlights how helpless they are.
As an admirer of Professor Muhammad Yunus I would request the Man Who Changed the World to think of these helpless people and to do some thing for them.
Md.Ali Akbar
Monipuri Para
Tejgaon, Dhaka-1215

The Passing of the Baul Samrat

Shah Abdul Karim, after drawing breath for 93 long years, found his body too fragile to dwell inside and has left this temporal planet for eternal rest in the other world. After years of probing into the mysteries of 'expression of body' (Deho Sadhona) and 'expression of mind' (Mono Sadhona), the Baul King has finally found the answers to his ultimate questions.
Through a myriad of baul songs woven with colourful threads of allegories Shah Abdul Karim tried to free our souls from this busy world at least for a while to unite us with God and open our eyes to the mystic world. He took us as his companions to show us the state of separation existing between the souls of men and the spiritual sphere. He made us understand many other mysteries, which are not touchable, viewable or audible in this world due to constraints made out of greed, envy, and sins.
He used to drag us to a tranquil world far above this earth we live in. He let us rediscover the meaning of life, the passion of love, the beauty of nature and also the glory of God -- all through his baul songs.
May he rest in peace.
Maswood Alam Khan

Banning Rickshaws
Rickshaw is a very significant vehicle in the context of Dhaka city. But gradually it's being banned from the main roads of this busy city with the hope of decreasing traffic congestion. To avoid those main roads the pullers are charging more fare from the passengers who are to live their lives with limited income. Recently we hear of other steps that are going to be taken to ban rickshaw from still more roads. Is it really the solution? If so, then why are the roads without rickshaw still facing the problem of traffic jam? Like me there are huge numbers of people who are completely dependent on this poor man's vehicle to go to the work place. Often there are no convenient bus routes to some destinations. Moreover, not everyone can bear the hassle of getting on a crowded bus. Every morning when I start from home by a rickshaw, I notice that private cars are occupying a pretty big space of the road mostly carrying a single person to office or a little kid to school. Compared to that a rickshaw is taking a small space of the road, although the three-wheeler is getting the blame for traffic jam! Actually the problem is that those who are making the decision to solve the problem are not dependent on rickshaw; rather they are the riders of those cars. That is why they don't understand the plight of either the pullers or the passengers of rickshaws.
Mansura Mahmuda
Senior English Teacher
Maple Leaf International School

Swine Flu: Dos & Don'ts
I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to the Star Magazine for the wonderful article of September 18 titled “Swine Flu- Dos and Don'ts”. The writer Syed Zain Al-Mahmood thoroughly deserves kudos for portraying all the pros and cons relating to swine flu in a clear and concise manner. Surely it will create a sense of awareness among the readers of the Star. Although the government has taken initiatives through the media to disseminate proper information in this regard, they have at times lacked precision to such an extent that one group has started to panic while the other remains ignorant. Even in some cases the advice given through the electronic and print media on governmental initiatives has been inconsistent with the ones given by the WHO itself. So many people including myself were confused about what we should or should not do. Under these circumstances, I found Syed Zain Al-Mahmood's meticulously written and well-timed article highly informative and useful.
Turin Khan
Southeast university

Due to the Eid holidays there will be no issue of The Daily Star newspaper on September 25, 2009 and therefore no issue of The Star magazine. Eid Mubarak and Shubho Bijoya to all our valuable readers!

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