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      Volume 11 |Issue 20| May 18, 2012 |


 Cover Story
 Current Affairs
 Special Feature
 Life Style
 A Roman Column
 In Retrospect
 Book Review
 Star Diary
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Home is where the Heart is

Thanks to the Star magazine for such a beautiful cover topic, “There's no Place Like Home”. The article gives us a vivid idea about what is currently happening in our country. Even after 40 years of independence, we are living in a place where corruption, political violence and murders seem to be increasing as the years pass by. I myself came back from New Zealand after completing my studies with an aim to give something back to this country. But I'm really sorry and ashamed to say that my decision of coming back to Bangladesh may not have been the best choice. There is always political instability, corruption, power outage, water crisis and other issues that would only get worse in the upcoming years. Even after paying so much for electricity, there is always power outage, which has really becMme a pain for all of us. The roads are always in a shabby state and the unbearable traffic congestion never seems to end. This is really not what we wanted to see after achieving independence 40 years ago. Seeing all these problems around me, sometimes I do think of going back abroad and living there peacefully.

Mohammed Hifzur Rahman (Aman)
Kayettuli, Dhaka

Let's get Rid of the Dirt

I was really moved by the cover story published on May 4, 2012. Domestic workers are born injured and we, the civilised people, add salt to their injuries through inhuman treatment and sheer apathy. They are the down-trodden people of our society who cannot always raise their voices against injustice. They are deprived of all their basic rights. They help us by doing odd jobs, and we really should not look down upon them. We should treat them with love and sympathy. The write-up was really thought provoking, and I would to like to thank the writer for bringing light to such a serious issue.

Sharmin Aglodia
via email

Hillary-ous Hillary

Photo: Star File

The article on Hillary's visit to Bangladesh was a good analysis of the US-Bangladesh relationship. Hillary's visit was held at a time when Bangladesh's two political parties were poised against each other, ready to wage a battle. It seems that our foreign ministry and the prime minister's office could not get much time to prepare for the high profile visit. As I came to know from different print media, the Tifa agreement was not signed due to disagreements on the issue of standard of labour. We could not even convince the US to grant duty free access of our readymade garments to the US market. During Hillary’s visit, both the parties were busy blaming each other and portraying a negative image of the country instead of achieving something significant for the country.

Mizanur Rahman
Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

Robbed of Childhood

The article “Lost Childhood” published in the Star was really important. It is true that child labour is widely accepted in Bangladesh. Many families rely on the income generated by their children for survival, so child labour is often highly valued. Additionally, employers often prefer to employ children because they are cheaper and are considered to be more compliant than adults. Bangladesh has limited provisions for pre-vocational/vocational skills training and there are related constraints such as the quality of the skills training, market and employment linkages and certification. While this could be an attractive option to working/disadvantaged children and their families, neither the government nor many of the non-governmental organisations have the institutional capacity and technical expertise required to deliver skills training facilities. Finally, the level of awareness on the issue of child labour and laws prohibiting it is still low. Society in general has a rather indifferent attitude towards the problem. In many cases, it is not realised that the children who are employed in, for example, domestic service, often have no access to education or medical care. I urge that authorities concerned take this matter seriously.

Julfiker Ali
Dept of Philosophy
Mohsin College, Chittagong


The cover story "Lost childhood" portrayed an important aspect of our social life.

Nothing is more pleasant to human beings than the memories of childhood. The present may be good but it is childhood that is the golden age. But it is a matter of sorrow that most of these working children lose their childhood very early in their lives. So it is time that we take measures to solve this problem and give them back their innocence. Children are the future of a nation, but their childhood is wasted on manual labour and in shouldering their family's burden. If they are deprived of their rights to education and other privileges, they will not be able to lead the nation in the future.

Md Kamrul Hasan (Rubel)
Dhanmondi, Dhaka

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