Looking back at the 50 years of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad

With the whole world entangled in the coronavirus pandemic, we have no other option but to shut down all work and fight to contain the deadly disease.

Changing the shy world of adolescent girls

Back in 2017, we had an opportunity to build a small and experimental toilet in Jhalokati, with the simple intention of helping adolescent girls in a rural school who had no real toilet to avail.

Is banning student politics the solution to campus criminality?

The death of Abrar Fahad epitomises the need for tolerance towards dissenting voices. He is a martyr to the cause of free speech. Employing his brutal death to silence political dissent and to eliminate political rights on campus is wrong. He did not deserve such betrayal.

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.

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.

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.

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.