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       Volume 11 |Issue 19 | May 11, 2012 |


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Star Diary

Let's Love Them

"Bhaiya, my father is dead and my mother is sick. My father was a rickshaw puller and died in a road accident. Please help me,” pleads Sujan, a six-year-old boy, who begs at Mymensingh Railway Station. After asking some people about the boy I discovered that whatever he says about his parents are mostly lies. He uses this story to win public sympathy. What is more unsettling about the whole thing is that the syndicate of beggars skims off the top of the little boy's income. As a result, Sujan has to keep begging to pay off the beggars' gangs.

Asked about his parents, Sujan says, “My father had left us and married another woman. My mother is sick and is unable to work.” He also informs that he is second among his five siblings. His mother lives in a slum near Mymensingh Railway Station. He gives everything he makes by begging to his mother, so that she can run the family. I also learned that he had always wanted to go to school, but never had the chance to attend one. In our country, hundreds of thousands of children like Sujan struggle for survival everyday. Theirs is an insurmountable battle, beginning from the very day they are born. If we are really unable to change their lives, I think, we can love and sympathise with them.

Bipul K Debnath
Dhaka College, Dhaka

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

Re-construct Sabujbag-Kadamtola Road

The main street of the densely populated Kadamtola area is neither suitable for any vehicles nor for pedestrians. People who live in the area and have to negotiate the dilapidated street on a regular basis, suffer a lot. Kadamtola is one of the largest residential areas of the city.

The Dhaka City Corporation did not repair the Sabujbag-Kadamtola road in time. Now that the corporation has been split, the area is within the purview of Dhaka South City Corporation. We hope that the civil bureaucrat, who runs the city corporation now, will take steps to ease our sufferings. The road needs re-construction now. More than five thousand students got to KPB School and Collage in Kadamtola everyday. On behalf of the students of KPB School and Collage I would like to urge the authority of Dhaka South City Corporation to re-construct, or at least, repair the Sabujbag-Kadamtola road urgently.

Tahrima Ashraf
KPB School and Collage
Bashabo, Dhaka

Manhole Phobia

After completing my post graduate studies in Anthropology, I came to Dhaka in 2008 from a village in Rajshahi to find a job. My friend asked me to move in with him. At that time he lived in West Kazipara, Mirpur. Finding no other convenient alternatives, I took his offer and became his roommate. Our apartment was located just five minutes walking distance from the Kazipara over bridge. On my first day at the area as I walked home, I discovered more than four manholes without any lid.

It was the first time I saw deep and dangerous manholes in the middle of a busy street. I got very scared as I contemplated the dangers of falling into the manholes. As time went by, the fear of falling into manholes obsessed me and caused many psychological problems. I was almost haunted by the uncovered manholes on the road. I used to have nightmares of falling down a manhole. I could not even move inside the apartment during load shedding for fear of falling into a manhole, although I was aware that that was impossible. Moreover, I had to conceal my agony from the people who lived in the apartment.

I had to live with the fear for two months before a professor from my university called me up to say that I should go to Rajshahi to work on my M.Phil. After I came back to Rajshahi and started working, I did not suffer from the phobia anymore. I still shudder when I remember those days. Maybe there are a lot of people like me who still suffer the same fears.

I do not understand why the authorities turn a blind eye to those risky manholes without lids.

Md. Musfikur Rahman Jony
Puthia, Rajshahi

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