The other evening I was going home after dinner at a restaurant. Since the streets were being dug up and repaired, I decided to walk home instead of taking a rickshaw or asking my car to come and pick me up. It would be good to walk in the cold winter evening as well, I thought to myself. As I entered my alley, a car suddenly sped towards me and slowed down. Rolling down the window, the man who was driving the car asked me, “How much?” Becoming slightly conscious of my surroundings and the man who would not stop following screaming, how much, and who also was slightly tipsy, I quickened my steps and started to walk faster. The screaming man attracted the guards and security officials from the nearby homes, who quickly stepped out and told him that I was not who he was thinking me to be. In spite of that, the man would not listen. “I will give her Tk 10,000!” he screamed again, calling me names. The faster I walked, the name-calling became all the more unbearable and shocking. I finally stopped, looked at the man and screamed at him to go away immediately; otherwise I would call the Rab. He suddenly came to his senses and sped away. I realise now that the sex workers on the streets risk it all -- their inner peace, a part of themselves and also a lot of their dignity thanks to the unfeeling men who think it is okay to use them and call them names for their satisfaction at the same time.
Gulshan 2, Dhaka
Last winter I had gathered some old winter clothes of mine and decided to give them to the needy. I had also fixed a day to distribute the clothes. However, I never got a chance to distribute them since I became extremely busy with work. Once I got a little free time, I discovered that the cold wave had passed and the poor never got the clothes when they really needed them. This winter, I took out the heap of warm clothes again to give them to the poor. I simply got out of the house and distributed them in the streets. It was indeed extremely heartbreaking to see many of the poor freezing in the cold. I would like to ask everyone who plan on giving clothes to not wait for anything, but just to go and start distributing the clothes to the poor in one's respective area. That way each one of us will be able to help a lot of the needy.
Shah Ahsanul Haque
Smoking in Public
Last week, when I was going to catch my office staff microbus, on the way I saw a few smokers smoking behind a group of children walking to school. The children were not only being exposed to passive smoking, but also to the callous habit of smoking on the streets. My earnest request to the all the smokers is not to smoke in public, especially not in front of children.
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