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Volume 2 Issue 3 | March 2007



Original Forum Editorial

Month in Review: Bangladesh
Month in Review: International
Please, sir, may we have a pro-poor government?-- Afsan Chowdhury
Is this a sea change?-- Farid Bakht
Reflections on leadership-- Habibul Haque Khondker
Chittagong and other ports: An ordinary citizen's view -- Ghulam Rahman
From non-cooperation to People's Raj -- Rehman Sobhan
From March to March: Pakistan's final years in East Bengal-- Syed Badrul Ahsa
Photo Feature
Nixon's demons -- F.S. Aijazuddin
Modhupur-- Tasneem Khalil & Amirul Rajiv
America's "Global War On Terrorism" -- M. Shahid Alam
Welcome to South Sudan -- Nadeem Qadir
Economic and business challenges for Bangladesh -- Mamun Rashid
Pictorial traditions in Bangladesh: Urban, folk and urban-folk -- Syed Manzoorul Islam
Home truths from abroad-- Fakrul Alam
Tingling spines -- Yasmeen Murshed


Forum Home


Photo Feature

Bangladeshi Migrant Labour in Singapore

For seven days a week and 365 days a year, Nazrul Islam, 40, worked as a contract cleaner in one of Singapore's many public housing estates. There were no rest days, and from 6 am in the morning he and three other Bangladeshis worked in the estate for 12 hours, clearing rubbish chutes and sweeping the floors and void decks of 29 blocks. Even after five years, the stench of the rubbish still makes him cringe. Nazrul is one of the hundreds of Bangladeshis who make their way to Singapore to work in factories, construction sites, or cleaners. No matter where they work, their purpose is the same -- to make a better life for themselves when they return. Not all who come here succeed. Many fail to earn enough to pay off the loans they made to come to Singapore because of dishonest contractors and cheating agents who charge exorbitant fees. Living conditions, although better than other countries, are still cramped and there have been contractors fined by the government for not providing hygienic and decent quarters. But no matter how unhappy they are, most workers do not complain for fear of being deported.

A Photo feature by Jessica Lim/Real Picture
A photojournalist and writer from Singapore who spent six months in Dhaka in 2005. This series was done after she returned and was part of a photo exhibition held during the final-year of her mass communications degree. She has since worked as a photographer for The Straits Times, the country's leading newspaper.

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