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IUB @ Work and Play

Saving the forest

The students of Environmental Communication, CMN 405 at the Independent University, Bangladesh, arranged a presentation titled 'A Forest on the Verge of Destruction', on Wednesday, April 20.

The programme, which was conducted by Professor Ahaduzzaman M Ali, was organized by students Sayeed Nizam, Sareeta Haider, Samia Aziz, and Ishrat Jahan Tropa.

The forest in question was Lawacchara, which is located in Kamalganj, Maulvibazar. The students had visited the area during a field trip organized by their course instructor Professor Philip Gain.

Through an interactive slide show, the students talked about the environmental hazards plaguing the forest area, the most pressing issue in their minds being the gas pipeline that passes through a doubly protected area. Reminding their audience of the gas explosion at Magurchara, they emphasised on the vulnerabilty of this forest reserve, which is home to several species of plants and animals, including rare and exotic monkeys.

Another issue that they discussed was the flagrant practice of monoculture in the area, and the impact on the environment of this poor agricultural technique.

Finally, the students rounded up the presentation part of their programme by demonstrating a Khasiya dance they had learned from some tea plantation workers whom they had spoken to on their trip.

Professor Philip Gain, and Chief Guest, Vice Chancellor Bazlul Mobin Choudhury both gave some short speeches, and this was followed by a rapid fire Q&A round, in which the audience quizzed the presenters on different aspects of their presentation.

The programme ended with food and drinks, and everyone went home happy, and perhaps better informed about the environment.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Earth day observed at IUB

April 21 was truly special at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), as Green sphere, a club of the university that is involved in promoting environmental issues and WNCSB (Wildlife Nature Conservation Society, Bangladesh) jointly organised an Earth Day programme. Gene George, Director of USAID attended the programme as Chief Guest, while Professor Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury, Vice-Chancellor of IUB, attended as Special Guest.

He then went on to the serious part of his speech in which he mentioned, "Protecting children is of immense importance. Each year 5 million children die worldwide because of environmental reasons." He also added, "The Bangladesh government took a step in the right direction by banning polythene bags. Although the implementation of this ban hasn't been very successful, the citizens of Bangladesh must take responsibility for it to be successfully implemented."

The Special Guest in his speech stated, "It is important to create awareness about environmental issues. Already we have lost many rivers of our country and I fear that the River Jamuna will become part of our history too."

He urged the students to work hard to make the earth liveable, and expressed the hope that through love and passion it will be possible to do so.

Others who spoke on the occasion included, Professor Haroun Er Rashid, Director of IUB's School of Environmental Science and Management (SESM); Alimur Rahman, President of WNCSB, and Azim Ahmed, Treasurer of Green Sphere.

The speeches were followed by a short documentary on Lawachhara Forest which was prepared by the students of the department of SESM. Finally, a cultural show was held which ended with some students singing Michael Jackson's famous song, "Heal the World."

By Sayeed Mahmud Nizam

Documentary on street children showed by Ekmaatra and MMCSC

The Mastermind Community Service Club (MMCSC) hosted the presentation of a documentary created by Ekmaatra on Thursday, 28th April, 2005. Held in the 6th and 7th periods, the event took place in the school's conference room and was attended by a satisfying audience of almost hundred students. Hiroko Watanabe, a representative from the organisation briefed the gathering on the activities of Ekmaatra and why it was created. The main aim of this charity is to work with identity-less children; and they have started their project by working with street children.

The documentary, shot in the streets of Dhaka depicted the abysmal living conditions of the child who grows up on the street. Scenes showed the class difference that the privileged of this society enjoy, the way children who are mostly younger than the students present have to earn a living by themselves. Isolated in a sole video aimed at them, these daily pictures of their lives probably evoked a more compassionate reaction from the audience than they usually did. It also showed how the members of the organisation; mostly young people, have been working to bring a smile to these children's faces. Whether it was teaching them how to make paper cranes or simply letting them sing to the tunes of a guitar, their modest efforts can and do brighten the lives of the few children they can afford to work with.

At the end of the documentary, Mr Watanabe gave a closing speech; encouraging youngsters by saying that if the documentary had influenced us in the slightest way, then this should reflect in our work. Ekmaatra is working with a small number of street children at the moment and wishes to extend their helping hand to more children in the future, nurturing the well-intended ambition to help all the street children of our country one day. MMCSC is proud to collaborate with the organisation and promote their noble cause. Members of MMCSC will be working with Ekmaatra and the children they support.

By Maliha Bassam

Radiant Int. School holds science and Arts fair 2004-2005

A two-day long Science and Arts Fair 2004-2005 was organised by the students of Radiant International School, Dhaka on 27th and 28th April 2005 on the school premises.

The biennial event was open to all and drew a good number of visitors including parents and guardians of the students. Scholars and academicians like Prof. Fakhrul Alam, Ms Shahnaz Sinha, Dr Shahidul Alam Khan, Ms Sabah Chowdhury, Ms Nusrat Fatema, Ms Jumanah Shireen Khan and Mr Shahriyar Anam offered their valuable opinions of the talents and skills of the students who took part in various projects displayed in the fair. The projects covered almost all the subjects taught at the school such as English and Bengali Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, General Science, History Human Biology, Mathematics, Physics and so on.

The presentation of the projects was all the more impressive because of the decor reflecting the educational atmosphere of the school.

The judges spoke highly of the effort and sincerity of the students in making the fair a grand success and expressed their opinion that events such as this would go a long way in broadening the knowledge of the students.

RS Desk

Step up

Fun and learning

"I live on Planet Earth. The smallest Planet is Pluto.
In Spanish it's called Pluton and in English, Pluto like Mickey's friend."
Estefenia, 5, Lima, Peru
While traveling in the car one evening in Denver, Lauren remarked, "The sun is just setting here, that means the sun is coming up now in China." His mother asked, "How did you know that?" "I'm a FasTracKid." Lauren, Denver, Colorado

The second time Julia watched the Astronomy lesson
on planets, she remembered all nine by name.
"I remember because I am a FasTracKid."
Julia, 5, Denver, Colorado (2nd year Student)

When he was asked why it was important to take care of the Earth, he said, "If the Earth didn't exist, then I wouldn't exist and the is very, very important." Sebastian, 6, Lima, Peru

"I love to come to FasTracKids because I enjoy
learning about many different subjects, like the stars and the planets." In his last session he said,

"Miss, it's not fair that the year is over, I want to keep coming. It's not fair, it's not fair."
Jesus, 6, Mexico (FasTracKids Graduate)

Children will learn Astronomy at FasTrackids Bangladesh in the month of May and June 2005. They will enhance their spatial & abstract thinking as they explore space travel, the sun, the moon, and planets. They will participate in activities involving "Virtual" trips through space to learn about the concepts of gravity & weightlessness. Moreover, they will visit to the " Vasani Novo Theater during the session.
Call or visit them for more details.
Road # 104, House # 2B, Gulshan, Dhaka 1212, (opp. Manarat School)
Email # fastrackidsbangladesh@yahoo.com


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