Society | The Daily Star
  • In pursuit of social security for the urban poor

    It was a week after the recent fire incident that turned everything to ashes in a slum in Mirpur when people like Shahida Begum were looking for help to restore their normal lives. The only people that came to their aid and fed them were their neighbours. Poor people

  • Are we serious about ending violence against children?

    A report titled, “Keeping the Promise: Ending Violence Against Children by 2030” has recently been presented by Najat Maalla M’jid, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, at a side event, “Putting Children at the Heart of the 2030 Agenda” during the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

  • The emerging challenge of our health footprint

    Health footprint is the public health burden we create from day to day activities. When we or our families get sick, in developed countries insurers or state foot the bill for healthcare who then passes the cost on to the public as insurance premium or taxes.

  • How can senior citizens complete the journey of life alone?

    At present, the global population of senior citizens is growing significantly faster than the population as a whole.

  • Putting an end to modern-day slavery

    I must have been 15 years old when I heard my mother say, at a family gathering, that one of the biggest reasons why she missed Bangladesh was the existence of “buas” who would do all the housework while she took a break. Growing up in Kuwait, I did not understand the significance of her comment then. It took me seven years of living in Bangladesh and another three outside the country to call this institution a form of modern-day slavery.

  • When the monsters came out of the closet

    It is the eve of Eid-ul-Azha. A little girl goes to a neighbour’s house to apply mehendi on her hands. A skip in her step.

  • Justice, where are you?

    One of my close friends from law school is currently undergoing psychosocial counselling for severe depression. ­I met him over coffee last week, and asked him about it.

  • Slums: Whose problem is it anyway?

    The recent fire incident at the Chalantika slum in Mirpur has perhaps been the kindest to the victims: claiming no lives, only their life’s possessions. The fire that broke out around 7:20pm on August 16, 2019, engulfed more than a thousand shanties, leaving thousands of people homeless. It took 24 firefighting units hours to reign in the insatiable flames. A lot of the slum dwellers had been away to their native villages to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, serendipitously escaping the blazing fires. Concerned authorities have also been quick to contain the situation and provide relief to the affected people, with DNCC operating treatment facilities for the victims.

  • Redefining maleness in a man’s world

    The myriad stories of sexual assault that flood my Facebook feed are reflections of the sexism and misogyny that are deeply ingrained in our social fabric.

  • Protect languages, protect peoples

    The images of indigenous people are exhibited by the Bangladeshi government for various purposes. A video entitled “Beautiful Bangladesh: Land of Stories” and made by the Bangladesh Tourism Board also features the water festival of Marma communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) to attract tourists to Bangladesh.

  • Student agitation: Signs of egalitarian aspirations

    On the morning of July 24, 2019, a few photos of academic buildings of the University of Dhaka surfaced on social media. The caption of the photos read: “Do not pay heed to the rumours and attend your classes and exams.

  • Rumours and mob killings: What are the underlying causes?

    Many of us have been left stunned after witnessing a series of mob attacks on people being accused of kidnapping and murdering children.

  • How elite capture of society prevents equality

    From Socrates to Sartre, since the dawn of time, it has been more or less accepted, although not always implemented, that the tools for transformation should be made available to people from all walks of society.

  • Breaking harmful taboos in society

    Bangladesh has been witnessing an alarming rise in rape cases, particularly child rape cases. Between April and June this year, child rape cases increased by 102 percent from the previous quarter; the number of child rape cases filed so far in 2019 is around 500. This makes me wonder whether men are becoming more violent or just switching over to children as they are more vulnerable and easier to target.

  • It’s on us to end rape culture

    The truth is, we, as a society, have failed: we haven’t found a solution to the pervasive rape culture in Bangladesh—over 630 women have been raped in the last 6 months (Ain O Salish Kendra)—because we haven’t been addressing the problem in the first place.

  • Breaking the backbone of a nation

    Childhood recollections eventually start resembling the bright, vivid pages of a favourite storybook. We turn those pages someday,

  • Prof Masud Mahmood

    Literature, kerosene and Professor Mahmood

    The moment the news of students pouring kerosene on a professor came to my attention, I instantly thought it must be fake news. Either that or I was hallucinating. Because the thought of pouring kerosene on a professor and trying to light him on fire—an attempt to murder—is indeed shocking.

  • Think before donating to orphanages

    While working in Liberia during 2013-2014, I along with the team had an opportunity to support the government in implementing their deinstitutionalisation policy.

  • Raising our boys to be good, healthy men

    “Boys will be boys.” This carefully constructed sentence consists of a mere collection of words. It dominates our dialogues, reflecting the mindset that governs our society, our homes and the misogynistic atmosphere that we breathe.

  • Save Dewanbari before it’s too late

    Dewanbari is a beautiful historic site located at Aminbazar, Dhaka. Declared as a “heritage site” through a gazette notification on February 2, 2009, the complex is comprised of a palatial residence, a three-domed mosque, a pond and a graveyard.

  • Safe Motherhood Day: Unite for women’s rights for respectful care

    On May 28, Bangladesh is celebrating yet another Safe Motherhood Day. It is time we promoted safe motherhood as an initiative to advance women’s basic human rights, and not just to reduce morbidity and mortality.

  • Game of Thrones: An allegory or an escape?

    The word “Dracarys” has the power to burn entire cities to the ground with scathing dragon fire in HBO’s epic fantasy saga Game of Thrones. Even off-screen, the Valyrian term has had an impact on millions of fans around the globe.

  • Has anything changed after Nusrat?

    The horrific murder of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, a student of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa in Feni, had caused a massive outcry from the public and intensive media coverage.

  • Role of Zakat in poverty alleviation

    Poverty is a complex and multidimen-sional issue, and will continue to be a problem for us in the near future. To combat poverty, countries have taken different measures.

  • Precious childhood lost in the streets

    Dhaka, a city of cacophony that reverberates from its belligerent streets which carry the clash of a million stories every day. Amidst cars honking, buses screeching, people cursing, vendors trading, the shuffling sound of pedestrians and the din of everyday life, the sound of a boy, begging for a few takas with his hand outstretched, gets muffled.

  • Ending child marriage is good economics

    Recently, I came across a news report that is quite shocking and concerning. A UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) study reveals

  • Relearning our history through the stories of women

    My mother likes to tell a story about the time a colleague brought his son to work and introduced her as his boss, to which the child scrunched up his face and said,

  • Nusrat Jahan Rafi murder

    Why our religious leaders must condemn Nusrat's murder

    Any Bangladeshi with an iota of humanity should still have their conscience reeling over the heinous murder of Nusrat, the brave girl

  • Nusrat Jahan Rafi

    A personal tribute to Nusrat Jahan Rafi

    Mf first visit to a madrasa school for female students was in July 2014. We met in a large rectangular room, with a faint damp stench,

  • If I reject your proposal, will you let me live?

    If I reject your proposal, will you let me live?

    Her death has sent out a clarion call. But we don't know how long it'll take for the call to make a veritable change. How long the call will keep blaring in the air. Our hearts remain suffused with questions.