Report Writing

Meghna launch capsize death toll 43

Staff Correspondent,

Mirpur, Dhaka, March 9, 2012: The death toll from Friday’s launch capsize in Meghna rose to 14 as rescuers recovered 12 more bodies on Saturday. Rescuers recovered two bodies in the place after the launch, the ML Saros, had capsized in the river at Gazaria in Munshiganj after being hit with a cargo vessel carrying sand about 7:30 am Friday. The launch was going from Narayanganj to Matlab in Chandpur.The passenger launch carrying over 150 passengers capsized Monday afternoon as it caught in storms, leaving dozens of people missing.

Soon after the mishap, local people recovered four bodies from the river on Monday evening.  Later, the rescue workers pulled up 39 more bodies from the sunken launch on Tuesday, raising the death toll to 43. The one-member committee headed by Kazi Saiful Islam has made its inquiry report public, saying that the capsize was mainly caused by overloading of passengers and goods on the launch.

Meanwhile, the district administration provided 4,000 taka (about 63 U.S. dollars) as grant to each of the 33 families of the capsized victims. Remaining families will also be provided with the money.

A police boat was patrolling the river looking for more bodies.

 

Sufferings of Slum-dwellers

Staff Reporter, The Daily Star

April 15, 2013.

The slum-dwellers in different slums in Dhaka live a very hard life. Visiting different slums, this reporter found that all the slums face many problems.

It is estimated that about five lakh people live in different slums. Their number is increasing day by day. They are poor and illiterate. They are day labourer, hawker, rickshaw puller and construction worker. A large section of them are garment workers. Some of them are housekeepers. Again some beg on the streets. All of them get a very poor amount of money. Basically, they live from suffer from hand to mouth. Rahim, a slum-dweller, said that they suffer from many problems. They have no facility of pure drinking water. They don’t have any supply of electricity. Even they have no system of sanitation. They live a very unhealthy life.

Rahima, an old woman, said that women and girls in the slums suffer most. The local mastans tease them, use them and torture them. Sometimes criminals use the slums for taking and selling drugs. They make the slums places for anti- social activities.

The government and political leaders, sometimes make promises to develop the slums. But their promises are never materialized. As a result, the fate of the slum-dwellers remains unchanged.

 

Buriganga River Pollution

Staff Reporter, Mirpur, Dhaka, March 9, 2012: Buriganga was once the lifeline of the Bangladeshi capital. But the once mighty Buriganga river, which flows by Dhaka, is now one of the most polluted rivers in Bangladesh because of rampant dumping of industrial and human waste. “The water of the Buriganga is now so polluted that all fish have died, and increasing filth and human waste have turned it like a black gel. Even rowing across the river is now difficult for it smells so badly,” he told the reporters. The plight of the Buriganga symbolises the general state of many rivers in Bangladesh, a large flat land criss-crossed by hundreds of rivers which faces an uphill battle to keep them navigable and their water safe for human and aquatic lives. Unabated encroachment that prevents the free flow of water, dumping of medicinal waste and waste of river passengers have compounded the problem, making the water unusable for humans and livestock.

Among the top polluters are dozens of tanneries on the banks of the Buriganga. The government recently initiated a move to relocate the tanneries outside the capital, and also asked illegal encroachers to vacate the river. But environmental groups say they defy such orders by using their political links or by bribing people.

 

 

4-day science fair in Monipur High School

The Science Fair 2013 was held recently at Monipur High School amid enthusiasm of young scientists displaying various innovative projects. Wasima Parveen, Deputy Chairperson, and Mira Murshed, Head of Academics, were among the judges who assessed all the projects at the fair.

Contestants presented their science project results in the form of a report, display board, and models that they have created. A few creative students of Class IX have successfully built a cheap car, which they believe will cut down environmental pollution because it runs on batteries, and will also allow more people to have access to cars because of the low price.

Some of the outstanding projects of the Science Fair were on heart disease and fermentation, the star chart and solar system, and double circulation. Students were looking for problems to local solutions as well, such as flooding, load shedding and global warming.

Main thrust of the fair is to encourage the young scientists alongside flourishing their innovative latent talents and building a science minded nation.The Science Fair was a platform for students to develop both their research and creative skills and the event was greatly enjoyed by the students, parents and management of the school.

 

 

Celebration of Baishakhi mela

A Baisakhi Mela was arranged in the Rotary School and College primises yesterday. The two-day fair mark cultural shows like singing, dancing, play acting, poetry recitation, stand-up comedy, food and other stalls, and raffle draws on one LCD TV, a laptop computer and a DVD player. Food stalls, among other items, sell typical Bengali food items like pitha, payesh, panta-ilish, shutki, jhaal-muri, and cotton candy. Traditional handicrafts, hand-made cakes, special kinds of food stuff, sweets, potteries, bangles, pitchers and cane products are the main exhibits. The fairs also provide entertainment, with staging Jatra, Pala gan, Kavigan, Jarigan and Gambhira Gan. Artistes present folk songs as well as Baul, marfati, Murshidi and Bhatiali songs.

Several hundred Bangalis came to attend this fair and observed the Pohela Boishakh with much fanfare. Young women came to the mela wearing white sari with red borders and adorn themselves with bangles, flowers and tips. Men wear white pyjamas and panjabi. Children enjoyed shows by clowns, face painting and mehendi painting on their hands.

The Baisakhi Mela is an ancient form of Bengali folk festival that continues to thrive in the modern age.

 

 

Child labour on the increase

Staff Correspondent, Dhaka, March 9, 2012: Child domestic service is a widespread practice in Bangladesh. A UN Children Fund has found that more than 6.3 million children under 14 are working in Bangladesh. Children are labouring as maids and servants, in garment factories and engineering workshops, in the construction sector, as bus or tempo helpers, in the cigarette factories, as roadside restaurant workers and street vendors, and in tea plantations and other agricultural sectors. Boys often perform tasks like going to the grocery, cleaning the drain, talking the garbage to roadside bins, washing the car and sell nuts etc. On the other hand, girls have to iron the cloths, attend phone calls and serve the guests. The child domestic workers are often the least paid in the society, their remuneration ranging from 80 taka to 400 taka per month. In most of the cases, they hand over all their earnings to their parents, leaving nothing for themselves. Children have been injured while engaged in factory work, in maritime work and while operating or cleaning machinery in motion. Child workers are regularly exposed to dangerous levels of dust, gases, fumes, heat and noise. Muscular-skeletal and respiratory-related ailments are common among child labourers.

Child labour is not only inhuman but also destructive. Bangladesh must be prompt in making void child labour by taking effective and pragmatic steps so that today’s children can be ideal citizens for future. Children are the future hopes and aspirations of a country. So, we should give them proper facilities to grow up well stopping their unexpected and outrageous labour.

 

 

 

Visiting a historical place

Staff Correspondent, Dhaka, March 9, 2012: Historical place means a place which bears testimony to history. Bangladesh is a land of historical importance. Everywhere there are places of historical interest. Visiting a historical place is truly interesting and exciting. Visits to such places have a great educative value too. Besides, it helps to remove the dullness of mind which occurs from the monotonous work. Mahasthangarh, a glorious chapter of old history, opened up before our eyes. Mahasthangarh was the site of Pundrangar. Pundranagar was the capital of the Mouryas, Guptas, Senas and Other Hindu Kings. The old city was about 2000 meters long and 1500 meters wide and was surrounded by a wall. Once it was a very flourishing city. Mahasthangarh stands on the western bank of the river Korotoa. There are some elevated places near Mahasthangarh. These place are known as ‘Vitas’, ‘Kundus’, ‘Ghous’ and ‘Dhaps’. One part of the dried river is known as the ghat of Khakabati. There is a museum at Mahasthangarh. Some images, dice, ornaments and posts excavated from Mahasthangarh have been kept in the museum. All the relics of the past make a permanent impression and tourists can learn a lot of things about our past civilization.

A visit to a place of historical interest seems to be an interesting and source of entertainment of mind. It will undoubtedly be a great pleasure for everyone to be at Mahasthangarh. At the same time the government should come forward to protect this restricted area from its further decay.

 

 

Shortage of playground, an acute problem

Staff Reporter,

Dhaka, March 9, 2012: Though the school and college industry have been flourishing day by day in Bangladesh, most schools here in the capital have no playgrounds despite high tuition fees being charged from parents. Lack of playgrounds is affecting students’ physical and mental fitness, the specialized doctors of Bangladesh Shishu Hospital reported. It also impedes the normal course of education. However, a lot of such schools have been unable to fulfil the expectations of students. Students of nearly all schools and colleges have expressed their concern over the shortage of playgrounds and have urged authorities to construct playgrounds at the earliest. Md. Raihanul Haque, father of a student, said most schools and colleges were operating in small houses and students are forced to use parks as playgrounds, creating problems for residents. Shaheena, mother of a student, said schools or colleges without playgrounds should not be allowed to function. Murtaza Noor, an official from the government’s Higher Education Commission, said it was mandatory for schools or colleges to arrange cricket, hockey, football, basketball, volleyball and gymnastic competitions and physical training sessions for students. He, however, did not explain why no action was being taken against schools that lacked playgrounds.

In order to ensure a congenial atmosphere in schools and colleges, there is no alternative way without having playgrounds which can play a pivotal role in the way of producing a healthy and sound minded new generation.

 

 

 

Swine flu: A Threat to Humans

 

 Star Correspondent

Like people, pigs can get influenza, but swine viruses are not the same as human flu viruses. It spreads from person to person and it is happening among people who have not had any contact with pigs. But it is originated from swine. First it is found in Mexico.

Many people died as a consequence. Slowly this virus has spread to America and Europe. Now it is spreading rapidly in Asia. The world Health Organization (WHO) calls it pandemic 2009. It has become an epidemic in Bangladesh. Many people have already been infected and hospitalized in our country. Some people have died also. The H1N1 virus is mainly responsible for this flu. Symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache and sneezing. Many people with swine flu have had diarrhoea and vomiting. If any patient has severe respiratory problem and proper medication is not given in time, he is to face death. But it is a matter of hope that China and Switzerland have already made vaccines. And our country also has proper medication. And special units have been opened in every government hospital.

Special awareness and advice are given repeatedly by the health ministry. It is advised to remain clean all the time, to wash hands properly and not to spit here and there and to use mask while staying outside. By following the advice of the health ministry, we can certainly prevent its spreading and we can remain safe.

 

 

Price hike: A great concern

Star Correspondent

The most talked problem now that is threatening the common people is price hike. The prices of necessaries have already gone up to two or three manifolds.

While visiting different kitchen markets in Dhaka city yesterday, our correspondent reported that the price range of rice varieties was between TK 32-40 per kg in the retail market. Prices of pulses of different varieties were between the ranges of TK 85-90 per kg yesterday. But the price of oil rocketed to a record of high point. Palm oil was sold at TK 100-105 a kg while soybean oil was sold for TK 112-116 per kg. Prices of eggs rose sharply in the city’s kitchen markets in the previous day. The prices of eggs raised to 23-26 a hali (four pieces). The prices of chickens also witnessed a fresh hike. The price of chickens rose to 120-135 per kg, being affected by bird flu. However, the prices of vegetables and sugar came down slightly in kitchen markets in the last one week.

A brief survey in the kitchen markets shows that if the trend of rising prices can not be checked, the consequences will be devastating. The people of low income group will not be able to buy their daily necessaries and so there will be untold sufferings. It is the right time to be aware or else the whole country will be doomed for want of food.

 

 

Frequent load shedding at Mirpur

Staff Correspondent

Mirpur, July 5, 2012: Frequent failure of electric power supply at Mirpur has made lives of people here miserable. Electric and electronic devices are getting damaged, normal activities of all kinds of people are being seriously interrupted due to excessive load shedding. People of locality informed that load shedding occurs 8-10 times a day. This is severe especially in the pick hours. Mirpur is one of the most important police stations of Dhaka district with many government and non-government educational institutions. Besides, many garments industries, factories, mills, brick fields etc uphold its commercial significance. Its frequent load shedding causes serious adverse impacts on every sphere of people. It hampers all the productions. Students cannot study at night. Besides, darkness creates much inconvenience for the general people and a safe passage for the miscreants. By establishing more power plants, power houses and by stopping unplanned distribution of electricity, illegal connection and reducing system loss, this problem can be solved to an extent.

GM of Pally Bidyut Samity has informed that they are trying much to keep the supply smooth and regular, but cannot due to lack of production than demand.

 

 

 

5 died, 30,000 affected at Mirpur

Staff Correspondent,

Mirpur, July 5, 2012: 5 persons died and other 30 thousands have been affected by recent flood in different places of Mirpur of Dhaka district. The water level of river Buriganga crossed the danger level and submerged different villages of Mirpur. Most of the unions of Sadarghat, Puran Dhaka and Islampur are now under water. Devastating flood has washed away the standing crops and cattle. People are now helpless. Flood water has entered into the dwelling places. Most of the villagers have taken shelter in the relief camp established in the two storied high schools and colleges of the district. They are passing their days without food, water and medicine. Most of the tube-wells of the flood affected areas are now under water. So there prevails a severe scarcity of pure drinking water. Water borne diseases have broken out in these areas. 5 persons including 3 children and two old women have died already due to diarrhea. So the flood affected people need immediate relief goods like dry food, medicine and pure drinking water. Government as well as district administration has sent some relief materials in the affected areas. But it is very insufficient. So people of all walks of life should come forward to help the flood affected people and to save them from miseries.

 

 

 

Prize giving ceremony was held in our college

Staff Reporter, Mirpur, July 5, 2012: A prize giving ceremony was held in our college auditorium a few days ago. It was a very happy occasion. The meritorious students of our college who obtained GPA-5 in the last year final examination were awarded prizes at the function. The function was arranged in a befitting manner. The college auditorium was nicely decorated. All the students, guardians, teachers and invited guests attended the function. All the persons attending the function were in festive mood. The function started at 10 o’clock in the morning. The Chief Guest of the function was the Member of Parliament who is also the chairman of the Governing Body of our college.

The function started with the address of welcome presented by the Principal of our college. Then the Chief Guest was requested to come onto the stage and to distribute the awards among the brilliant students. As our college is a reputed institution of the area, a good number of students received the awards. The award distribution being over, the Chief Guest delivered a valuable speech. His speech was highly educative and very inspiring for us as well. Finally, a short cultural function was staged by the students of our college. The students rendered patriotic songs, Nazrul Geeti, Tagore songs and recitation of poems. There was a great round of applause when the function ended. At the end, the Principal concluded the programme with a vote of thanks towards our distinguished guests.

 

 

 

Food adulteration is on the increase

Staff Reporter, Dhaka, July 5, 2012: It may arouse astonishment among the people of the world that Bangladeshis devour adulterated foods from outside and still they are alive. Food adulteration has become a new problem in the country. People do not bother what they are having as foods even they know that it may cause them much harm.

There are hardly any food items from fish to meat, vegetables to milk; biscuits to juice that are not adulterated in one way or another. The hotels and restaurants are also serving these poisonous and unhealthy menus. Different reports show that adulterated foods are causing serious diseases including diarrhoea and dysentery round the year. Recently, the government and general public have been much worried about this issue. The government has set mobile courts to detect and punish dishonest people. But this scopes are hardly enough. And at least some steps are taken by the conscious people of the country. For example, they are trying to avoid some of these foods. But it is not enough. Both the government and public have to work together in order to eradicate this problem entirely.  

 

Drug Addicts Turning Desperate at Mirpur

Staff Reporter, Mirpur, July 5, 2012: Most of the frustrated youths of Mirpur are now drug addicted. More and more people are beginning to use them – middle aged people, old people, housewives and young girls, University´s student, even high school students especially in English Medium student. Drugs have caused deterioration in standards of education and students have also given up going to schools and colleges. Even university’s professors are getting addicted recently. According to the police- “In the last 3 or 2 years many more teens have been arrested for using drugs than ever before”. The rapid increase of their number now concerns all. Though taking drug is now a fashion and recreation for them, frustration is the cause of this addiction. Selling drug is now a good business. Its reckless deal has aggravated the situation with mysterious silence of the police. It includes phyncidyle, opium and even heroine leading these deviated youths towards a fatal end. To buy these, they even commit pretty crimes such as hijacking, looting, plundering killing, robbery etc endangering the social security of the people. The helpless people want to get rid of this problem. The attention of the government is drawn in this regard. When each and every person is sincere to drive this curse of drug addiction from the society, local people can get rid of it.

 

 

 

Celebration of Independence Day

Staff Reporter, Mirpur, July 5, 2012: ‘The National Day’ was observed with great enthusiasm and due solemnity at the college premises of Rotary School and College. A special committee was formed earlier to celebrate the day. The Assistant Lecturer, Mr. Abul Kalam Azad was the head of this 7-member committee. The committee launched on the occasion a number of programmes including discussion meeting, milad mahfil etc. The college premises were decorated beautifully. An artistic gate was built at the entrance of the college field. Some special guests as well as our guardians were invited to attend the programmes. At 7 a.m. the programme began with the hoisting of our national flag by the principal. Students brought out a colourful procession and paraded round the main street of the town. Then a discussion meeting was held in college auditorium. The Deputy Commissioner, Dhaka, Mr. Maruf Hossain was the chief guest. He delivered an important speech full of patriotic zeal. Among others Mr. Zahur Ali Mollah, Mr. Yakub Ali and on behalf of the students this reporter spoke on the occasion. The Principal Mr. Nurul Momen presided over the meeting. At the end, a milad and doa mahfil was held. Maulana Yakub Ali conducted it.

 

 

 

Water logging in Dhaka City

Staff Reporter, Dhaka, July 5, 2012: Excessive rainfall triggered a massive water logging which has crippled life in several areas of Dhaka city. Low-lying areas like Mirpur, Farmgate, and Rup Nagar remain waterlogged with knee-deep water flowing at several places. The worst-affected lanes in these areas are the ones located near the telephone exchange. Even the manholes in these areas remain choked. The floods and prolonged water-logging have caused significant displacement presenting humanitarian challenges in safe water supply, sanitation, shelter and food security. It also damages dwelling houses, roads, educational institutions and so on. Efforts to drain out rain water from these localities have proved futile. It is known to all that the root cause of water logging is faulty drainage system.   Large-scale use of polythene bags and ceaseless dumping of garbage by the people into storm sewers have chocked the outlets in many places. Shortage of fund, skilled manpower and lack of proper planning are responsible for the prevailing situation. Government of Bangladesh, the UN agencies and NGOs conducted assessments of the situation from various scopes and recommended a number of long and short-term actions. According to officials, the PMC engineering wing had recently taken an initiative to remove water logging from different parts of the city.

 

 

A massive fire on Feroza-Yakub garment factory

Staff Reporter,

Mirpur, July 5, 2012: A devastating blaze raced through a garment factory near Bangladesh’s capital on Tuesday. The fire started in a 10-storey factory owned by local business giant Feroza-Yakub Group in the Mirpur industrial zone, just outside Dhaka. killing at least 25 people and injuring more than 100, witnesses.The extent of damage caused by the fire and origin of it could not be ascertained immediately. Fire fighters said the fire gutted fabrics, garments machinery and other equipment. The blaze broke out on the two upper floors during lunch break. A gate on a stairwell was locked, trapping people inside the factory. Many of the dead included trapped workers who jumped from the smouldering building engulfed by flames, said witnesses at the scene.

As witness saying, at least 25 bodies were loaded onto ambulances. Islam said about 13,000 people work at the factory each day, though most were outside buying lunch when the fire started. Being informed, fire fighting units from Fire Brigade Headquarters in Phulbaria, Kazipara and Pallabi rushed to the spot. The flame could not be tamed till filing this report at 8-10 pm. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, and the government ordered an investigation. The company and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association announced they would provide roughly $1,420 in compensation to families of the dead and would pay for the treatment of the injured.Workers’ safety in the rapidly growing textile industry is a major concern but has improved in recent years, the association said. Labour rights groups say safety standards are still inadequate in many factories.

 

 

Food adulteration is on the increase

Staff Reporter, Dhaka, July 5, 2012: It may arouse astonishment among the people of the world that Bangladeshis devour adulterated foods from outside and still they are alive. Food adulteration has become a new problem in the country. People do not bother what they are having as foods even they know that it may cause them much harm.

There are hardly any food items from fish to meat, vegetables to milk; biscuits to juice that are not adulterated in one way or another. The hotels and restaurants are also serving these poisonous and unhealthy menus. Different reports show that adulterated foods are causing serious diseases including diarrhoea and dysentery round the year. Recently, the government and general public have been much worried about this issue. The government has set mobile courts to detect and punish dishonest people. But these scopes are hardly enough. And at least some steps are taken by the conscious people of the country. For example, they are trying to avoid some of these foods. But it is not enough. Both the government and public have to work together in order to eradicate this problem entirely.  

 

 

Book fair commenced at Bangla Accademy

Omor Ekushey Boi Mela, popularly known as the national book fair of Bangladesh, has been started at the Bangla Accademy premises from today. It will take place over whole month of February, and is dedicated to the agitators who died on 21 February 1952 in a demonstration calling for the establishment of Bengali as one of the state languages of former united Pakistan. The Prime Minister inaugurates the fair. Between 300 and 400 publishing houses takes part. In the book fair all the leading publishers set up stalls. Some importers of foreign books also have their own stalls. Islamic Foundation and Bangla Academy open stalls at book fairs. Thus there is a large number of well-decorated and attractive book-fairs thus widen the forum of reading public.  Besides books cassettes of Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, folk songs and of recitation are also put on display for sale. At one corner of the fair the visitors can find a few stalls that sell snacks mainly traditional Bangladeshi snacks. Spectators from all classes of people including old and children are found gathering there. Visitors are found to maintain discipline at the time of entering the fair. They felt enthusiasms and fervor to collect books according to their choice. Law enforcing agencies cover the whole areas with full of security. Book-fairs are a noble venture and it proved a success.

 

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