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Voice of youth

You are sitting in front of the computer chatting away with some unknown person across the globe (whose name, age and sex is a complete lie). Ever wonder if it would be possible to connect with someone far away and make a slight tinsy change in the world for real?

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has ensured special protection for most disadvantaged children victims of war, disaster, extreme poverty, all forms of exploitation and violence since 1946 (started in Europe to relief children after World War two). They are helping Children in Bangladesh and other developing countries through health, education, safety, equality rights and also HIV awareness which has increased from 1.7% to 4% over the past year in Bangladesh. With their site "Voice of Youth" you too can take an active part in helping children.

Voice of youth (Http://www.unicef.org/voy/) a site launched in 1995 has reached thousands of young people interested in human rights and development in more than 180 countries. "This is an Internet site created by the UNICEF for young people who want to know more, do more and say more about the world" says Mr. Rezwan, who adds "It's about linking children from different parts of the world to explore, speak out and take action on global issues that can create a world fit for children.

There are three sections in this site- Explore: Here you are able to learn about children's rights and development. You are provided with information and stories of other young people. There are also many quizzes, polls, games, videos and much more. Speak Out: You have to be a member for this section where you can take part in discussions, make a comment, reply to a message or start your own discussions and see what others have to say. Take Action: Finally words and ideas can be turned into action. In this section, you will find profiles of youth leaders and soon you will have a list of organisations and projects that you can get involved with.

There is also the Voice of youth chats, which are invitations only to those who have no access to the Internet but have a chance to be heard. Summaries in the Speak out section can show you previous chats said in the past.

If you still think that in a place like Bangladesh, voices of young children are paid little attention to, then think again. "Two children, Runu Akhter and Towkir Ahmed, participated in the UN General Assembly Special Session on Children, held in May 2003 in New York", says Mr. Rezwan. We were also told that, a group of Bangladesh children assembled in front of Jatiya Sangsad on 27thApril 2001 during the launching of the 'Say Yes for Children' Campaign. Children have been participating in various regional and international Meetings and they are now involved in the preparation of the National Plan of Action for Children. A group of children attended a Mid-Term Evaluation meeting of the UNICEF-assisted projects in 2003 and one adolescent asked a simple question: 'Why do you give promises that you cannot keep?' This kept the audience spellbound as the Chair was struggling to find a suitable answer to this candid question. Children have also met the Prime Minister in 2002 and 2003 seeking her endorsement for fulfilling the government's promises. So if you feel that you know of ways to make life better for your generation and the next, then go ahead and let the whole world know about it.

By Shayera Moula

Mothers…to be or not to be!

What is the difference between fathers and mothers? To most children, there is no difference, because both parents have that annoying habit of waiting till they see that you are about to relax for a while, and then jumping out at you, from god-knows-where, and telling you to go study, or do something which you obviously do not want to do. Well, there is a difference.

That difference is that mothers have another side to them. No matter how much they reprimand us, they will always love us, and be there for us, and they have this way of making us feel wanted and comfortable. They always make sure that we never have a moment of sadness in our lives, and that we are always happy and smiling.

Now, we all know of the various celebrities and other famous people, right? What if people like George Bush, David Beckham, etc were made into mothers? How would they affect their children? What would their children grow up to be like? Let us look at some of these "CONTROVERSIAL" mothers…

Georgina W. Bush (George Bush) - She would be the model mother! Her aim in life for her children would be to make them fail in English, and hopefully all the other subjects too. She would also teach her children how to start fights with practically no logical explanation for it at all. The disadvantage of having her as a mother would be that every time she would clean out her children's room, she would check every nook and cranny for WMD (weapons of mass destruction). Well hope this First Lady is better at being a mother, than she is at being a President!

Michelle Jackson (Michael Jackson) - She would be a really amazing mother. Think of what a wonderful time her children would have in Never Land, or while they are being hung out of a window some 20 stories above a street full of reporters! Lot of fun in store for her children. This mother would be able to entertain her children by singing and dancing for them, and perhaps breaking a few glasses (or cars!) in the process. Nevertheless, she might actually be a good mother to her children, especially since she is very (very) fond of children.

Alberta Einstein (Albert Einstein) - If her children could manage to get over the fact that they have a mother who is slightly (well actually, very) crazy, then this mother might be an interesting one. She would be able to tutor her children well, and they would probably end up being whiz kids, except for the fact that they would probably fail in their exams, claiming that their teachers did not understand their outlook on various subjects. Unfortunately her children would probably be cut off from the society, while working on some kind of complicated experiment. At least she would make sure that her children studied their religion with fervour, and that they were against violence and nuclear weapons. A promising mother no doubt.

Osamia Binte Laden (Osama Bin Laden) - This mother would teach her children the basic necessities of life… how to defend one self against attacks, and how to rage wars. Other than this, they would have a lot of practice in handling dangerous weapons, along with video cameras. This last would come into a lot of use, as they would soon find out how much their mother loves being on tape. In fact, one of them might even be lucky enough to be chosen to mail the video to the White House! She would give her children the perfect military training, and teach them how to be a terrorist, and how to gain fame by being one. The children have to really lucky to have a mother like this.

Daniella Beckham (David Beckham) - This mother's children would be very famous from birth, and would probably have their pictures in the papers before they even learn to talk. They would have a lovely childhood, learning how to play football, and getting acquainted with famous football players, and managers. The sad fact would be that their mother would be too engrossed in her own looks to take much care of them. But the highlight of this would be that they could sport new hairstyles practically EVERY WEEK! All this and the fact that they would become the most "posh" family in the whole of Spain would make life for these kids, a living dream!

Kali Jahanara (Kala Jahangir) - This mother would teach her children how to be a perfect "maastan" or "gunda." She would teach her children all the ways in which the perfect crime or the perfect murder can be carried out. She would also make sure that they are able to keep all the politicians twisted around their little finger, as she herself has done, all these years. Her children might actually grow up to become the best contract killers available, if not more. And as always, they would grow up with a lot of sidekicks, who would hang around them to do their bidding. Overall, they would lead the perfect lives, and would have a perfectly dangerous mother, whom they would learn to love, or probably die trying!

Well, it seems that having these controversial people as mothers might not be that great an idea. At least they can try to be good at what they are (what ever it is that they actually are!). And we should be happy to have them around, because if nothing else, they provide us with entertainment, which is always welcome. Let us all just remember our actual mothers, and compare them with these celebrity mothers. Hope all you readers just realized how great your mothers are, and try not to take them for granted from now on, and let them know how much you love them, and appreciate them!

By Rohini Alamgir

The old and the fashionable

It was a family get-together in my grandfather's house. All of my cousins, mamas and khalas were there to co Plete the gathering. My grandfather always tries to arrange such parties so that he can see all of his children together.

Anyway, time always belongs to the new generation and the generation gap can be seen slightly in the outward appearances - in fashion and style. So. In such parties we always try to dress formally so that our grandfather can't ask any questions about this generation's fashion. We just try to act like we don't know anything about today's trends and we are very "goody-goody" type grandchildren whose main duty is to study.

In the last party one of our cousin forgot this rule. He wore multicoloured jeans and a very short trendy tight shirt. At the moment he entered into the hall room, he realised his mistake by seeing our puzzled expressions and from then he began, in vain, to stretch out his shirt to make it a bit longer.

My grandfather was observing him for quite a long time and thinking something. After a while, he called my choto mama and asked, " why is X's shirt so short?" My "choto mama" became a bit embarrassed. Finding no other appropriate answer to satisfy my grandfather, he said, "Maybe there was a shortage of cloth so he couldn't make a longer shirt."

We burst into laughter and ran out from that room as soon as possible. From then it has become our family quote- "Bodhoi kapor kom chilo". Whenever we meet that cousin we tease him by saying this and he goes red.

One of my friends has recently coloured some of her hair. After going home she observed her grandmother furiously telling her mother something. When she wanted to know, her grandmother began to shout and said, "Look what have you done to your hair. It has become reddish-brown. That's why I always advice you to use oil. Oil makes hair black and beautiful." It was very difficult for my friend to make her grandma understand that colouring the hair is today's fashion, not a sign of unhealthy hair.

Another friend's grandmother is very fond of fashion. Seeing her grandchildren's mobile phone, she decided that she also needed one. So my friend gave her one. Her grandmother has a vision problem, and so, besides giving her (my friend's) cell number, she set her number as the first callee number in the mobile and said her grandmother "Whenever you want to call me, just press the green button twice, I will be there". Things were going perfectly well until one day someone wanted my friend's cell number to her grandmother and she said, "She doesn't have a number. Just press your mobile's green button twice she will pick up the phone".

By Suravi






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