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     Volume 4 Issue 50 | June 10, 2005 |

   Cover Story
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News Notes

Teased to Death
For most Bangladeshi teenaged girls, getting teased on the streets is a given. But sometimes it can get beyond a young woman's level of endurance. Another young girl Beauty Begum, was forced to end her life at 17 when local hoodlums continuously teased her and spread scandalous stories about her.
Beauty, an SSC candidate this year was from Sidha Dhap village in Gobindaganj Upazilla of Gaibanda. She hung herself in her bedroom when she could not take it anymore. Beauty is another name in a long list of victims of street teasing.
Tisha jumped into a pond when local hoodlums started chasing her, later standing by and letting her drown. A bright young artist Sheema had to take her own life when hooligans of her neighborhood continued to harass her; even police officer joined in the harassment. Rumi, another teenager with a bright future, also ended her life because of sexual harassment.
Our society is such that they will allow mobs to kill an individual for alleged stealing or hijacking, but will remain completely apathetic to the helplessness of girls and women at the hands of men who harass them on the streets.
Most of the time, women ignore the catcalls and obscene remarks aimed at them while walking on the streets. But sometimes, when they have to face such sexual harassment on a regular basis, all they can do is cut their lives short.

Local Tech Update
Prof M Fakhrul Islam, a local scientist has created an ingenious, yet cheap invention to treat surface water for drinking called the Chulli Water Purifier. As arsenic-contaminated water is a major problem in rural areas, this invention will offer a cost-effective solution to the water problems. The device is a concoction of a hollow aluminium coil and plastic pipes and uses the heat from a clay oven to treat water. During the purification process, surface water is passed through the hollow aluminium coil connected to the oven, the temperature of the water rising from 70 to 80 degree Celsius. At this temperature, the pathogens that cause diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases are killed. As the use of this technique becomes widespread, it may even substitute the 'tube-well technology'. The poor people in rural areas will appreciate this simple system because many of them can't afford to buy extra fuel for boiling water. Over 650 households have already adopted the technique and about 500 purifiers have already been field-tested by the Unicef.

A fishy bill!!
Last week, while withdrawing Tk 10,000 from the ATM machine at the Gulshan Branch, a customer of the American Express Bank found a forged Tk 500 bill among the notes. It seems that the week before that, a fake Tk 100 was also found at the same ATM.
A supervisor of the Agro-based Technology Development Project of the USAID, Hawlader withdrew the cash from the ATM at 12:30pm and went to the British consulate in the same city area to pay visa processing fees. An official of the Brac Bank detected that the note was forged.
As was the case, Hawlader then took the bill back to the American Express Bank branch and handed it over to Mizan, a senior officer. After examining the bill, he declared that the bill was definitely forged, however, he could do nothing about it since they actually draw money from the Bangladesh Bank.
When Hawlader asked the officer to change the note, the officer refused, saying that he would have changed it if Hawlader had brought the bill back to the bank immediately after withdrawing it. How can a customer actually detect a fake bill? It seems that the bill had seemed fine to Hawlader when he had withdrawn it. The thread and the watermark were there, and the design also looked genuine. Only an expert could actually figure out the fishy 'ness' of the tk 500 bill.


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