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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 36| September 05, 2010|


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IUBAT programme at Tongi-Ashulia Road Slums

On the occasion of the publication of its 7th research monograph, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) of International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) organised a launching ceremony at the VIP Lounge of the National Press Club on August 29. The presentation was led by monograph authors Prof Dr John Richards, Member of the IUBAT International Advisory Council from Simon Fraser University, Canada and Prof Dr Karen Lund, Chair, IUBAT College of Nursing. The university Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr M Alimullah Miyan moderated it. The designated discussants were Dr M Mushtuq Hussain of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and Dr A S A Masud, Coordinator, IUBAT College of Nursing. Senior academicians, journalists, nutrition and health experts attended the ceremony. The monograph “Benchmarking the Nutritional Status of Women in Tongi-Ashulia Road Slums” involved a detailed survey, conducted by the IUBAT College of Nursing students. The survey dealt with nutrition conditions and purchasing choices among women in shanty communities of Uttara over the past two years.

Using a WHO instrument for assessing diet quality, the report found that 6% of diets were “risky”; 89%, were “fair”; 5% were “good” and none were “excellent”. Although most of the surveyed population consumed sufficient calories and protein, speakers stated that poor nutrition due to imbalanced diet accompanied by frequent use of harmful substances by the impoverished community in slum areas is a growing threat to public health in the country.

Notable findings were insufficient consumption of calcium for more than 80% of women (leading to bone damage in older women) and excessive consumption of fat and sugar for almost 40% (associated with heart disease and diabetes). The survey also showed that only one third of the families use either boiled tap water or deep tube well water for drinking purposes. Two thirds rely on tap water that is often contaminated with disease-causing microbes.

On a brighter note, the survey showed that in families where women can read, the use of paan was significantly less. Regular use of paan is associated with a variety of cancers. It also showed that personal visits by a traveling health worker appeared to be associated with use of better quality water and somewhat better diet.

Poor nutrition and use of harmful substances such as tobacco and betel nut is responsible for up to one-third of diseases worldwide. In conclusion, Dr's Richards and Lund stated that the report supports the idea that well designed public health programmes and continuing focus on government initiatives to achieve universal primary education are improving nutrition and overall health among low-income groups.

Dr Hussain and Dr Masud commented extensively on the monograph and congratulated the authors.

Seminar on “Anthrax” held at RU

Aurangazeb Sohel

”Anthrax is curable; there is nothing to worry about it and treatment is available in the country”, said the experts in a seminar on August 30 at Rajshahi University (RU). They added, penicillin or ciprofloxacin are effective to cure the disease. Burning or burying the infected animals at least seven feet below the ground can stop the spread of the disease.

The speakers expressed these statements at the seminar organised by Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science department of RU titled "Anthrax: Overview and its control measures in Bangladesh” at the Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS) auditorium.

RU Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Abdus Sobhan inaugurated the seminar along with Dr M Zalal Uddin, head of the department. RU Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof M Nurullah, Treasurer Prof M Abdur Rahman, Dean of Agriculture Faculty Prof. Sohrab Ali, Prof. Ismat Ara Begum and Syeed Sarwar Zahan of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science department and Chief Medical Officer of the RU Medical Centre Dr Mirza Wazed Hossain Beg spoke at the seminar.

The speakers also said the bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, responsible for anthrax disease, is suspected to have infected some people of Pabna and Sirajganj recently

Book Review Session at ULAB

Hillol Sobhan

A book review session was held at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) on August 5. Marium Akhter and Bikash Chandra Bhowmick, Lecturers of Media Studies and Journalism (MSJ) Department of ULAB reviewed the book entitled “Mediar Chalchitra,” written by renowned journalist Muhammad Jahangir (Publisher: Mowla Brothers). The book is a compilation of opinion columns on media's role for social change, mostly published in Prothom Alo in 2008 and 2009. The columns broadly encompass 28 topics illustrating the double-edged potential of the media either being constructive in educating or being destructive in misleading people.

In the separate presentation, reviewers said the opinion columns cover diversified aspects of mass media in Bangladesh: the weaknesses and problems facing media as well as future directives to purge the situation, the 1/11 incident and its supposed potential for change, corruption, state's attitude towards media, law on right to information, professionalism and scholarships in journalism, the role of media in 2008 parliamentary election, necessity of training in journalism, the continual avoidance of audience tastes and their criticism particularly on TV programme and so forth.

The reviewers also stated that the author, through his columns, underlines the much-coveted socio-politico-cultural change in Bangladesh where the cultural change plays a critical role in the process. He tries to delineate as to how we, the people of Bangladesh and/or the media personnel, react to this process of change for better state formation. The author also talks about the mutual relationship between government and media, between government and people and between people and media.

While speaking on the occasion, Dr. Jude Genilo, Head of Media Studies and Journalism Department at ULAB, lauded Muhammad Jahangir's book which he believes would cater to journalism teachers, students and researchers alike. He also thanked the author for writing on a wide gamut of media issues in Bangladesh. Author Muhammad Jahangir also spoke at the session and responded to questions raised by the students.

It may be mentioned that the author, a media personality, columnist and academician, teaches at ULAB as adjunct faculty. Thus far, he has written and edited 24 books on journalism, politics and other contemporary issues.

Orientation Ceremony of the 5 Post-graduate Diploma in Governance Studies at NUB

A H M Shamim

The Department of Governance Studies of Northern University Bangladesh and Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy has jointly organised the Orientation Ceremony of the 5 Post-graduate Diploma in Governance Studies on 23 August at BCSA Academy Auditorium, Shahbag.

Prof. Dr. Alauddin Ahmed, Advisor to the Prime Minister, Education, Social Development and Political Affairs was the Chief Guest and Fazle Kabir, Director General of BCSA Academy presided over the ceremony.

Prof. Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah, Advisor, Dept. of Governance Studies, NUB, Mahfuzur Rahman, Director of the Post-graduate Diploma in Governance Studies and Dr. Kazi Shadat Kabir, Head, Dept. of Governance Studies spoke on the ceremony.

Bi-yearly Summit of Stamford Civil Engineers Association held

The Bi-yearly summit of Stamford Civil Engineers Association was held on August 4 in Engineers Institution Bangladesh. Engineer Md. Belayet Hossain, President of the dissociation presided over the programme while Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Faruq Khan, PSC (Retd), minister, Ministry of Trade, People's Republic of Bangladesh was present as chief guest. Prof. M. Majibur Rahman, Vice-Chancellor of Stamford University Bangladesh, REHAB President Nasrul Hamid Mp, Vice-Chancellor of BUET Prof. Dr. M. Habibur Rahman and Vice President of Engineers Institution Bangladesh, Engineer Munir Uddin Ahmed were present as special guests.

The programme began with a moment of silence in memory of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family. Engineer Kazi Nazrul Islam, General Secretary of the association, gave a welcome speech. Some exceptional plans were presented under the title of `Our Thoughts' where jobs and promotions of engineers at different levels and implementation principles of civil Engineering education system were discussed. In the second part of the summit, a new committee was declared. It concluded with a well-presented cultural programme.

Earth Charter Presentation held in Maple Leaf International School

Tahsin Hyder

Our quest for human development has led us to an unpredictable climate nature. Climate change is real, and the impacts are unprecedented. At Green Club here in Maple Leaf International School, we look for answers to questions that can help us understand the true facts of global warming and look beyond in search of solutions. That is why on August 12, 2010, Maple Leaf International hosted a presentation on behalf of Earth Charter International on sustainability, peace and climate development.

Founded in 2004, the Earth Charter Initiative is an international network of individuals, organizations and institutions collectively working together to promote awareness and active commitment to sustainable development. Guided by the principles and ideas developed in Rio Declaration of UN Earth Charter, Earth Summit 1992, the organisation offers exciting opportunities to feel involved.

We volunteered for Project-3: Gave Presentation (on Earth Charter to school) that was supported by the Earth Charter International Secretariat, Costa Rica. Presentations of such kinds are a significant step towards promoting self-learning and effective communication. There are a lot of other opportunities available to schools, associations and professional groups. To find out more, visit:

“Most people are concerned about our environmental, social and economic challenges but we don't fully understand the whole picture. The Earth Charter gives an integrated vision of what should be done or what we should be considering when trying to bring about solutions. Presentations of the Earth Charter can really motivate the young minds,” said Ms. Alicia Jimenez, Project Coordinator, Earth Charter International Secretariat. The informative session was conducted by Mr. Abdur Raquib, Senior Teacher and was attended by more than seventy students along with respective teachers, school officials and special guest, Mr. Ali Al-Shams Mohiuddin, Executive Administrator of our school.