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Volume 2 Issue 4 | May 2007



Original Forum Editorial

Month in Review: Bangladesh
Month in Review: International
The end of corruption?-- Rehman Sobhan
Fixing the power problem -- Mamun Rashid
The third decade of Saarc-- Sridhar Khatri
Ensuring the people's right to know-- Sadrul Hasan Mazumder
Photo Feature
Burma's generals dig their heels in-- Larry Jagan
American Mamlukes-- M. Shahid Alam
Reflections on April-- Syed Badrul Ahsan
Feeding the nation -- Mahbubul Islam Khan
It's no joke
Music and poetry (original translation) -- Rabindranath Tagore
Bad girls and middle-class morality -- Rubaiyat Hossain
Washington Irving and Islam -- Syed Ashraf Ali


Forum Home


Photo Feature

The storied Adamjee Jute Mills have been shuttered since 2003, following the prescription of the World Bank and other donors. After all, it is easy to close down mills and factories in the interests of efficiency and productivity if one ignores the human toll and looks only at the bottom line.

The state jute sector limps on in the Khulna-Jessore belt, once a busy industrial corridor, now sadly reduced to a shadow of its former self. Seven out of eight state-owned jute mills remain idle for want of cash to buy raw jute and keep the wheels turning.

Workers and employees pass their days in tremendous hardship as the cash-strapped public sector mills are unable to pay them for months at a time. A good number of the workers have already sent their families back to their village homes as there is no way to provide for them.

The workers number about 19,000 regular labourers while about 6,000 are working on temporary basis in the eight mills in the region. The temporary workers are kept on a "no work, no pay" basis.

For every mill or factory that is shut down, thousands of workers and their families lose their means of livelihood. For every jute mill that sits idle or is unable to pay its workers, thousands suffer insecurity and uncertainty, wondering how they will scrape together enough to feed themselves and their families.


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