Let's Love them
They were sitting on the seat behind mine in the bus. They looked starved and were sharing something with each other. I felt bad and sat beside them. I asked them their name; 'Bithy, Sagore and Roni,' they answered in unison. I enquired about their parents and they said their father had left them and married another woman; what their mother does, they had no idea but they said they sometimes saw unknown men coming to their mother and they (the children) had to leave the house when those men came. Bithy is first, Sagore is second and Roni is third among their five siblings; they have no clue of their age; they live in a slum in Mohammadpur and work as beggars for their living. Bithy and Sagore sing a song and Roni shows some papers to seek help for his mother's treatment in the bus. Whatever insignificant amount of money they make, they give to their mother to help raise the family. They want to go to school but cannot. They have to run between vehicles during traffic signals to beg from the public, most of the time, risking their lives. Despite their age, many people fool them and do not pay money, many even abuse them. But children like them are hanging in there, to survive, to make ends meet, unsure of their future. But they are only children. If we can't help them in any other manner, can't we just love them? Smile at them when we talk? Treat them nicely while we are interacting with them?
Bipul K Debnath
Dhaka College, Dhaka
For the past few days my neighbours and I have been experiencing all sorts of difficulties regarding our electricity supply lines in our building. Like everyone else, we went to the authority for help. Usually everyone expects co-operation from such an important electric supplying unit. But instead of being co-operative, we were harassed even more by them. They asked for bribes for every single small service! They refused to do their duty and asked for extra money. They complained that their income was not good enough and that they needed an extra source of income.
Well, my point is that if they needed more money they should have chosen a better job and qualified for it!
Getting absolutely no help from them we had to take the help of the law enforcers who later on settled the matter. Our electric lines were fixed after a month of repeatedly complaining and it took only a day to fix it.
The other day while my cousin and I was returning from Agargaon in our motorbike, we were stopped at a temporary a police check post near Bangla College. They were checking if bikers had the right papers or not. As we had bought the bike not less than three weeks ago, we did not get the registration number though we had already paid the registration fees. Now the police neither agreed to see our registration pay slip nor were they convinced by our argument about the delay in getting the registration numbers even after the payment of the registration fees. Thus after few minutes of mindless talking, one of the officers called us aside from the crowd and indirectly caked for a bribe. Now a request of bribe from police was not surprising but what shocked me was even after having no faults they would not let us go. In that same place last week there was a RAB check post and they did not want anything extra after seeing the papers. My question is to whom do we turn to in situations like these? When protectors become predators, what will we, the people, do?
Shezan Mahmud Adnan