Maybe a little Appreciation Would Do
Just the other day I was doing a fund raising program for the Jaago foundation (a non profit organisation set up to help poor children), to raise awareness for the Universal Children's Day (UCD). It was a day to lend a hand to the lives of under-privileged children. 70 percent of the population of Bangladesh is children, most of who are helpless, diseased, and poverty stricken. But I was almost taken aback by the way some people had let us down. Though some were kind enough to lend us a helping hand, it is unfortunate how some people misunderstood and underestimated us. Even the local police were being a pain. I wondered, can’t police nowadays work without bribe at-all? While some chauffeurs and van pullers made whatever little contributions they could, some people in expensive shiny cars were all at once too busy taking calls to even hear us out. It was surprising how some of the chauffeurs donated more money than many filthy rich people. The logic probably was that they know what it is like to have a hard youth. The thing is, of course we would have liked the people's contributions. But amongst all, we would have loved a smile and appreciation, which we didn't get from everyone.
Sarah Sayeed Gazi
Scholastica School, Dhaka
Respect where Respect is Due
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
The other day I was travelling via a local bus which, as usual, was crowded. Somehow I got on and searched for a seat. The seats at the front for females were occupied by some men who were unwilling to move even when they saw me looking for a seat. I sighed and stood holding onto one of the handles. At the next stop one of them got down and I seized the seat. After some time, some elderly women got on board. They looked very tired and they also made their way towards the front seats. I immediately got up and offered my seat to one of the elderly women. She smiled slightly and took the seat gladly. But there was another woman waiting for a seat. The other man who was seating beside me in the female section seemed not to bother and ignored the woman. I stared at him blankly, waiting for him to get up and offer his seat. But that never happened. The woman had to wait for a seat until his stoppage came and he got down. Is this how we pay respect to our elders?
Nusrat Jahin Angela
Might is Right
One of my acquaintances had gone to his university administrative office to amend some errors on his graduate certificate many times. But each time he visited the office with a hope of receiving the amended copy, he got frustrated by the questionable conduct of the officials. At the last meeting, he asked the concerned official whether he would get the authorised paper this time as he badly needed it. Now the official looked exasperated and made him wait for a long time.
Just then, my acquaintance observed that the official engaged in conversation over cell-phone had made some slip-ups on another paper. Thus, he modestly requested the official to work with his paper thoroughly. The official was infuriated and spoke out that he would not amend the copy before the Durga Puja vacation. My acquaintance was stunned. He requested the official over and over again to complete the task but the enraged official was inflexible. At that time, a leader of a student wing who was also his classmate appeared at the place and asked my acquaintance about the matter. Then, the student leader chided the official for his delinquency and asked him to accomplish the job as soon as possible. This time the official changed his colour. At first he tried to show some legal hindrances but later he assured that he would finish his duty within a short period.
It is sad that a polite request has no meaning for these people and only crude words get the job done.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Government Edward College