A Growing Presence
I was a bit disappointed to read the cover story of this week. The writer has tried to establish the fact that the conditions of women in Bangladesh has improved significantly over the years. While it is true, he has failed to present relevant statistics. The harsh reality is the overall status of women in Bangladesh remains considerably inferior to that of men. Women still have limited access to market, productive services, education, health care and government. Wages of women workers are still way lower than those of men. Despite these limitations, more women have joined the workforce than in the eighties. So let us not be complacent. Let us acknowledge the reality and work toward empowering women even further.
Fahmida Khatun Shiuli
Amid all the bad news, I found last week's story about Celebrating Life, 2013 very encouraging. It is indeed a great effort to acknowledge the people who are working relentlessly to portray the advancement of women in this country through photographs. Throughout history women in this country have always fought against social injustices alongside men. But some of us often deny them their rights to live life as equal human beings. Stories like this can have a positive impact in the mind of many readers.
A Show of Strength
When I looked at the human sea at the Surhawardy Udyan on December 16, I felt the strength the writer of this well written article talks about. People wanted to show that they will no longer live in fear and that they are united against anti-liberation forces. They also demanded a free and democratic country as envisioned by the freedom fighters in 1971. The writer asks a very important question: 'We are not at war as we were in '71. Or are we?' I did not have to look elsewhere to find an answer to this question. I found it in the previous paragraph of the article: 'We are also very clear in our demand for a Bangladesh that is free from anti-liberation forces that are conspiring to bring this nation to its knees.' The Star and the writer deserve my heartfelt gratitude for such an inspiring article.
Ali Ahmed Babu
Shegun Bagicha, Dhaka
Bricklane to Bangladesh
Men like Luke Barton and Tom Smith of UK prove that people still care about others. I wonder what men like them are made of---cycling through rain, snow, heat---on rough terrain, mountains, plain land---and trying to help children make a better future half a world across. A banker, I read this article with the excitement of a schoolboy because of the way it was written---crisp and fluid. I am sure a lot of readers will like this story.
Mohammad Abdul Mannan
The Power to Reform
We have much to learn from China's move to curb corruption by government officials. We need greater accountability of officials---both public and elected. Every government that comes to power in Bangladesh leaves behind traces of massive corruption and irregularities. The current government has mishandled the Padma Bridge Project and failed to take actions against the perpetrators of the Share Market Scam. The previous government also had their share of misdeeds. It seems that when a party wins election in Bangladesh, it considers the entire country as its business enterprise. It also politicizes and manipulates the civil administration to further its own interests. The civil administration is the body that carries out the development work and maintains law and order in the country. If they are demoralized, the entire country suffers setbacks.
A new piece of paradise
Looking at the breathtaking pictures of the remote sea beach in Hatya and reading about it, I wondered how proper planning could turn a spot like this into a top tourist destination in the region. I was shocked to learn that local officials are not even aware of its very existence. There are many more hidden treasures like this beach scattered all over the country. The government needs to come up with a well designed plan to maintain and develop tourist spots. Tourism is good for the economy.
The King's Endgame
I found last week's feature on Magnus Carlsen both entertaining and educational. Chess is a wonderful game and it has many benefits especially when it is played at an early age. According to research, Test scores improve by about 17.3 percent for students regularly engaged in chess games. That is why, in approximately 30 nations across the globe, chess is incorporated into the curriculum of schools. Various studies show that chess helps develop analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which students can transfer to real life. When youngsters play chess they must call upon higher-order thinking skills, analyze actions and consequences, and visualize future possibilities. Policymakers would do well to include chess in the curriculum of schools and colleges in this country. All said, if the feature included the moves of at least one game of the championship match between Anand and Carlsen, a lot of chess lovers would have appreciated it even more.
Soul of a nation
The Constitution of 1972 is indeed the soul of our nation. We feel ashamed when we compare today's politicians with those during the liberation war and before. Thanks to the Star team for reminding us of our glorious past.