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   Volume 10 |Issue 06 | February 11, 2011 |

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The Availability of Poisonous Food

Nowadays, many unapproved food companies run businesses everywhere. They run their marketing activities ranging from the remote areas in the country to the bustling areas of the metropolitan cities. All over the country, people are consuming their products ignorant of the health hazards. After eating such food many are becoming sick and probably their life spans are shortened to a considerable degree. Recently reports have indicated that one such company in Gazipur are marketing products such as oil, mango juice, aphrodisiacs and so on. The components used for these products include bricks, adulterated water, ash and so on.

There are many similar companies that are marketing their products without any government approved test. In Dhaka city there are drinks and poisonous food sold in the footpaths. There are colourful drinks with impure ingredients. We have to keep in mind that these products are more poisonous instead of nutritious which may result in serious ill health. Mobile courts have to play an active role in stopping such illegal business and ensure exemplary penalties for these wrong doers.

Md Abu Bakar Siddique (Sohel)
Jagganath University, Dhaka

Our Teachers

No nation can keep pace without the positive contributions of teachers. Teachers are to a large extent the role models for the future generation and a teacher is in a position to direct the lives of the young generation so they become useful assets for the society in the future. So it is a matter of great regret that the vast majority of teachers are underpaid in our country. The salary which is offered to most teachers is far less than the amount required to lead a decent life. It is very important that standard salaries are paid to the teachers. A person who is expected to provide quality education can ill afford to remain underpaid.

Recently, I have learnt that our education minister has announced to increase the pay scales of teachers. It is undoubtedly a praiseworthy decision. To sum up, I would like to request the concerned authorities to give a strict announcement towards the private institutions and take steps in government institutions that shall ensure teachers with a decent salary.

Md Zahidul Islam Zibon
Islamic University, Chittagong

Twisted Faith

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

It has been observed with utmost indignation that fatwa in the guise of village arbitration is still going on in full force in the rural areas of the country. Every now and then, newspapers publish horrendous reports of such tales where we find that the females are the worst sufferers and the culprits go free either this or that way. The latest one taken place at a Shariatpur village unveiled the face of atrocities imposed on the suspected offenders or victims in the name of punishing them. Though the present political party while in power in its first term passed an act declaring fatwa illegal, incidents relating to this have not yet gone down considerably. It is needless to say that in most cases the rapists are set free and the victims suffer more. The village arbitrators who do not hold deep knowledge in releasing verdict have always done it because of their local political influence and the victim families can hardly afford to seek legal justice in the court. These families also become socially vulnerable due to people’s outlook towards them after the incident.

Md Shoukat Ali
University of Dhaka

Digital Bangladesh and Analog DU

The University of Dhaka (DU) is widely regarded as the most prestigious university of Bangladesh and there is no doubt about the contribution of this great institution to the development of our country. In 2008, the University of Dhaka has made its way into the list of 'Top World Universities' carried out by one of the world's most prominent ranking agency Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds (THEQS), UK. Out of over 30,000 universities around the world, DU was placed as 528 and has been ranked the top university of Bangladesh.

But the university barely secured its place in the top 7000 (6388) in the January 2009 ranking by Web metrics in their World Universities Ranking. This ranking was based on web visibility of electronic publications, scientific results and international activities. So there should be no doubt that the IT facility in DU is below international standards. In fact its IT facility is worse than some of the other universities of the country. Modern internet facility (Wi-Fi) is not available even for the science students of the university (Curzon Hall & Annex building) though it is available in Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Jahangirnagar University and the Bangladesh Agriculture University. The government is committed to build Digital Bangladesh by 2021. Is it not a Herculean task to build up a Digital Bangladesh by keeping science students of the largest university without essential internet facilities? If we want to build an ICT based country, then we must have adequate internet facilities at least for the university students. It is not possible to build a digital country by keeping its largest university analog. So, I hope the government and the university authority will do something to improve this situation. Otherwise Digital Bangladesh will become nothing but a utopian dream.

Md Readul Ahsan
University of Dhaka

Who lights the lamp in the day will suffer in the night

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

There is a quotation in Bengali literature – “Who lights the lamp in the day will suffer in the night”. This quotation has become true in the case of gas consumption in Bangladesh. We have known since childhood that Bangladesh is rich in natural gas. But natural reserves do not last forever and gas should have been utilised properly Unfortunately natural gas has been utilised for household purposes in the last 40 years and as fuel for vehicles in the last 15 years without any proper estimates.

Not only that, unconscious peoples have dried clothes over the fire of gas oven and kept the oven switched on, the reason often being to save a match stick. This is absolute misuse of natural gas and can be compared with the above quotation. As a consequence we are suffering from a gas crisis. We don't have enough gas for industrial purposes, generating electricity, and not even for household purposes.

But if from the beginning the government had clear and correct estimates regarding gas reserves, as they do in most countries, the government could have taken an efficient plan to distribute gas among households and industries to generate better utilisation of a valuable and finite natural resource. The government should have taken the steps to use cylinder gas for household purpose from the beginning and should also given a deep thought before introducing compressed natural gas as fuel. If this would have happened, the present disaster could have been averted. So the Government and the citizens of our country should be more careful about using gas so that the natural resource can be utilised for the maximum development of the country.

Bandana Amir
Uttara, Dhaka

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