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    Volume 9 Issue 25| June 18, 2010|

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Electoral Fever Grips Chittagong

Chittagong, the most neglected but resourceful city in Bangladesh, is trembling with the fever of election. Everybody including candidates and activists of mayors, councillors and the like are busy in mass communication. We, the voters, are also busy in getting the commitments of the candidates as if all those promises would make the city similar to heaven! It is the case in Bangladesh that whenever any election comes the candidates make people dream! They go to people's doorstep and embrace them like long lost brothers. But after being elected as Mayor or Councillors they forget all their commitments except their own pockets. Chittagong could have been the second most important city of Bangladesh after Dhaka not only by name but in action. But it is a matter of regret that Chittagong has been deprived of many things otherwise we would have seen a much more developed Chittagong which would not be 'Commercial City' in name only.

We know Chittagong city abounds with natural resources given by the Almighty Allah. It is so structured naturally that if it is utilised properly the whole city will change, along with the country. However, the two most eminent competitors in the current mayoral election are three-term Mayor A.B.M. Mohiuddin Chowdhury from the ruling party and his former disciple M. Monjur Alam from BNP. Both of them have published their manifesto of commitments for the voter. Actually these commitments are nothing but old wine in new bottles for the Chittagonians -- everybody will solve all the problems of the port city if he is elected as a Mayor! However, it is now the turn of the voters to give their valuable verdict. Let us hope the winning candidate does not forget the voters after the elections!
Mohammad Zia-ul-Haque
A conscious voter


How Far to Go?
The whole world is gripped by the exciting spectacle that is the World Cup. The top footballing nations of the world are playing each other in the prestigious tournament. The people of Bangladesh love football very much. All around the country we can see people buying flags of their favourite country to show their support for the team of that particular country. Although they are foreign nations, we support them because of their football. Every newspaper in Bangladesh publishes special features on this occasion.

It is clear that Bangladesh as a nation is football crazy. Although we love cricket too, I feel the craze of football is even stronger. But it is a great pity that Bangladesh is not playing in the World Cup. Countries like South Korea are playing in the premier tournament, although they were similar to us in strength not so long ago. This can only be described as a colossal failure of our football organisers. What have our sports ministry and the football federation done in the past two decades? While other nations have forged ahead, our football has gone backward.

We started dreaming again after Kazi Salahuddin was elected president of the Football Federation. Can we set a goal to play in the World Cup in 2022. Wil our dream come true?
Md. Mahi Uddin
Department of Business Administration
Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Sylhet


A Barbaric Act
Acid, which is an essential raw material of various consumer products and life saving drugs, is now becoming a threat towards humanity as its brutal and unlawful application is on the rise, especially towards women. In most of the cases women or girls who reject the abusive proposal of their male counterpart are becoming the cruel prey of such cowardly activity. There are a number of social ailments like dowry, eve-teasing, stalking, etc, that women in our society are facing everyday. But acid throwing could be reduced to zero level if the availability of acid is restricted. Although most of the applications of acid is directed towards the welfare of mankind, its import, production, transportation and use must follow strict safety regulations. In 2002 the government passed two Acts, the Acid Crime Prevention Act 2002 and Acid Control Act 2002, restricting import and sale of acid in open markets and making acid throwing a serious crime. But the wanton flouting of these laws has made the situation unbearable. Some poor souls are falling victim to acid violence with surprising regularity. The electronic and the print media are trying hard to create awareness among the masses and have taken a strong stance to reduce this vitriolic cruelty. But we need sincere efforts from all sections of society to curb this barbarism.
Engr. M. Helal Uddin
Eastern Refinery Limited
North Potenga, Chittagong


Eating Strawberries
We Bangladeshis love fruits. Eating seasonal fruits is one of the joys in summer. The mango, lichee, watermelon, etc, delight our palate. These days we see many foreign fruits in the market. Among these, the tasty strawberry has become very popular of late. I believe strawberry can be grown successfully in Bangladesh. Scientists have said it is suitable for our soil and weather. Many countries that have similar climate are growing their own strawberries. So although it is well-known as a fruit of colder climate, we could successfully grow it in Bangladesh. We have plenty of cheap labour which could make commercial farming viable. Last year the demand for strawberry was only 250 tonnes, but if supply goes up, I am sure the market will expand rapidly.

Strawberries are also very important in a person's diet, having many nutritious compounds. They contain more vitamin C than any other berry. Also, they are high in folic acid, potassium, dietary fibre and manganese. It is known that one serving of eight medium sized strawberries contains 140% of the R.D.A. (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Vitamin C, 20% of the daily value for folic acid and only 50 calories. Strawberries contain no fats.

Strawberries have antioxidants (anthocynanins and ellagic acid) that fight carcinogens. The antioxidant compounds in strawberries can also prevent the oxidation of LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and help fight the development of heart disease.
Let us take a fresh look at the juicy strawberry!
Subrata Ray
Department of Business Administration
Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Sylhet


The writer of "Stories from the Hill Tracts" June 11th issue, works at the Pathways of Women's Empowerment Research Programme at BRAC Development Institute (BDI), which is part of BRAC University. The Digital Story-Telling workshop was organised by BDI in the Chittagong Hill Tracts during 18-22 April, 2010 to engage participants of researches taking place in those areas on security perspectives and media production by minority communities.


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