Wednesday, February 20, 2008

kitchen market here and there in dhaka city

This is the place of Malibagh Rail gate kitchen market. These rail lines are main link of Komolapur Rail Station. Many trains come and go everyday and night. She is running her business in very risk.
During lunch time customers come very less and in this chance a woman businessman is taking rest (a little bit sleep). But it is very menace for her life.

Many businessmen run business in the railway lands (govt. land). Every new govt. evicts these shopkeepers but few days later they occupy these lands again. In the meantime some govt. service holders and local muscle men gain something.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Need your vote for electing Cox’z Bazar and Sundar ban as Natural New Seven Wonders in the world

First Published

We have heard the name of Seven Wonders of the World. These were made by men and these were not changed long days. After electing new seven wonders in last July 2007 new seven wonders foundation started to elect new natural seven wonders in the world.

To elect natural seven wonders our Cox’s Bazar sea beach (Bangladesh) and Sundar ban (Bangladesh & India) has created wonder to us at the starting time. 158 places in the world selected in the primary selection. In the evening of last 27th December 2007 Cox’s Bazar, the longest and dense sea beach in the world took first place and Sundar ban, the biggest mangrove forest in the world (Bangladesh &India) took second place.

Cox’s Bazar sea beach

Sundar ban

In the primary selection there are 158 places selected in the world. In this chart there are 51 places of America, 31 places of Europe, 27 places of North America, 30 places of Asia, 19 places of Africa and 10 places of Oceania.

At present voting through internet is going on and it will be continued up to 31st December 2008. Up to last 4th December 2008, Cox’s Bazar and Sundar ban were able take place first and second place. To capture of present status we everyone need participation in this election up to last time. We have to cast our vote for Cox’s Bazar and Sundar ban.

What you need for voting and what you have to do:
First you have to have an E-mail address. You have to go in this address. There you can see a map of the world in green color. There are several areas and you have to select Asia. Then you will found 30 places. Then you have to click on Cox’z Bazar and you will see the picture of Cox’s Bazar where below you can see its present status. Same to same you can select Sundar ban too. At the bottom you can see “Vote now for” and you can click for voting for this place.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hilsha Fish is our National Fish

First Published

Hilsha fish is national fish of Bangladesh. People in our country like this fish very much. It is very delicious and nutritious. There is a proverb that ‘Vat-e Mas-e Bangali’ (Bangladeshis are fond of rice and fish). Pohela Boishakh (1st Day of Bengali Year) is celebrated by eating fried Hilsha fish with Panta Rice. New or rich guests are entertained by the Hilsha fish. We get sufficient protein from Hilsha fish. Our national economy is being developed by exporting Hilsha Fish. Not only have these, Hilsha fishes also contribute 1% in our GDP. In the world about 60% Hilsha fishes are found in Bangladesh.

Photo from Khilgoan Taltola Super Market

Hilsha fish is migratory kind of fishes. Hilsha fishes come from the channel (mouth) of rivers from the sea due to spawn in the Bangladesh. After laying eggs they returned to the sea. From six to seven months these young Hilsha fishes stay in the rivers or channels and then they go to the sea being maturity. Hilsha fishes are found almost all the big rivers in Bangladesh. Mainly Hilsha fishes are found in the Padma, Meghna, Jomuna, Brohmoputra and low land area of Southern part of Bangladesh. In the rainy season Hilsha fishes are found more in the Padma, Meghna and Jomuna.

In the decade of 90th, Hilsha fish productions were decreasing due to several reasons, like as: effecting of the Farakka Dam, making dams for irrigation or controlling flood, water pollution, catching young Hilsha fish etc.

As it is a national fish the Government of Bangladesh tries to protect this Hilsha fish by taking some steps. Such as: in 2003-04 Govt. declared to stop catching young Hilsha fish and mother of Hilsha fish. Rallies, seminars, distributing flyers were arranged by the Govt. due to increase awareness. Fishermen and businessmen were organized to protect this silver wealth of Bangladesh.

The Natural gift and the mercy of God, these Hilsha fishes are very dear to the people of Bangladesh and India. Day by day its demand is increasing to the people of Bangladesh and India. On last June- July of 2007, a problem occurred between India & Bangladesh for the Hilsha fish. Due to high demand of Hilsha fish in India, the businessmen and the fishermen of Bangladesh exported most of the Hilsha fish to India and as a result the people of Bangladesh was bereft of Hilsha fish. At that time Hilsha fishes were valuable and difficult to obtain in Bangladesh. People and Newspaper of Bangladesh started to publish the real situation of Hilsha fish and then on 4th July of 2007, the present Care- Taker Govt. stopped to export Hilsha fish to our neighbor country India for six months. Though govt. could not stop the whole dishonest businessmen who send Hilsha fishes to the India in unlawful way; day by day Hilsha fish became available in Bangladesh.

Conversely, people of India also pressured to the local Govt. of India to solve this problem as they also like Bangladeshi’s famous Hilsha fish!!!!

He is selling Hilsha fish in the Khilgoan Taltola kitchen market

The Problem is—‘I am a woman’

First published

I am Afroza, age 16, when I used to read in the school my mummy used to give me company to go and returned from my school everyday. Now I read in a girls’ college but still now my mummy gives me company almost everyday when I go out side of our house. My elder brother is only three years senior than me but he goes to the school and college alone. How independent my brother is!

I am going to be a Bangladeshi girl

I am Rifat (17), I used to read in a school where we lived and I used to go to school alone but I returned with my classmates. One day I was going to school alone, in the street a young man said indicating me such a sentence which struck me and I cried out. That guy said that I am ripe, juicy and heavy goods etc. I became angry too and that’s why some people crowded. Then I was asked many questions by the people so that I was struck more and I cried out more.

My parents and brother did not allow me to go to the school for several weeks and later I started to go to the school by another way with my guardian. I started to use veil by the advice of my guardians and I walked in the street without looking all around. I just keep my head down when I remain at outside. Almost all the time my mother stayed with me when I used to go outside from our house. Still now I can not move independently or alone.

Now I read in a college my brother also reads in same college. My elder brother participates in various programs besides his study and he also participates in students’ agitation. He can come to the house anytime but my parents don’t scold him but if I don’t wear veil any day they scold me whether it may be very hot day. How independent my elder brother is!!

I am Meghla, age 15. I was reading in a high school and there was a college for higher education where male and female students study. It was before SSC examination a local naughty boy sent a love proposal and I refused his proposal and later he sent marriage proposal to my guardians by his guardians. But my guardians refused to give marriage with him and as a result being angry they threatened to kidnap me and made unexpected problem. It is mentioned that the family was more powerful financially and politically than our family. Then I had to stop going to school and I started to study at our home. I participated in the SSC examination under the control of my guardians. After finishing my examination I was sent to my maternal uncle’s house. I passed SSC examination successfully. Being happy with my SSC result my guardians made me admitted in a college in Dhaka. I am interested to go to the village but I can not go to the village. Now I come to know that my guardians are searching a suitable boy to give me marriage soon. My parents want to be free from danger by giving me marriage soon.

I am Surovi, age 17, is reading in a private Dental Medical College. My parents are also educated and they live out of Dhaka. Few months ago my parents bought a cell phone for me for better communication. I was introduced with a Dhaka University student by one of my classmates. Almost every late night he used to phone me and we talked for long time. Day by day we have become intimate friend but we used to communicate through mobile phone only. But soon one of my relatives knew about it and it became a rumor. Last month my guardians called me and seized my mobile phone. They also stopped my study and they did not allow me to come to Dhaka for study. But I would not get married that boy without my guardians’ permission or before completing my study. Now I am informed that my guardians are trying to give me marriage soon.

I am Sumi; age 22. I am the first of three sisters and one younger brother. My father maintains our family by his small earning with much difficulty. We (sisters and brother) could not continue our study properly due to financial crisis. I am passing time at my birth family and helping my mother doing some household works. Few months ago I took skill on tailoring from a NGO. I was very interested to earn money and to help my father financially. After learning tailoring skill I joined in a tailoring shop by the help of one of my relatives. Then my parents were not fully agreed. But I felt happy as I was able to earn some money though it was not good amount. But disturbance started when I had to work after evening (up to 9.00 pm) before EID ceremony. Then the shop owner took more emergency orders from the customers. At that time my parents prohibited going to the workplace and I had to stop to work. My mother said to me that women should not work outside of house after evening. Later I tried to make my mother understand by discussing our financial problem. But my mother said that, outside people would think bad and talk bad words if I work after evening. That can be affected on me and my younger sisters’ and brother’s marriage. After hearing that I became speechless and couldn’t understand what I should say. Still now I am keeping my silence.

I am Fency Rahman (30) joined last week in a private company. There are found few Rickshaws and one or two CNG scoters in the street near our office gate. But bus-stand is few minutes walking distance from our office. Seeing me some rickshaw pullers demand high fare and CNG drivers say his meter is damaged and demand high charge than the real charge. I am to use rickshaw or CNG as there is no alternative way and they don’t reduce their demand as they know I can not walk long time and I am a woman.

Last week in last month, one day I had no money in my hand and after office I went to the bus-stand on foot like other male staff of my office. But alas! I did not get permission to get up in the bus though every 15-20 minutes later bus was coming in the bus-stand. Before stopping bus, helper shouted “Empty seats available for Rampura-Badda-Uttora-Tongi but women seats fill up, please don’t get any women”. But male passengers got up in the bus forcefully but I failed to get up in the bus. I have heard this slogan everywhere in every bus-stand though there were no empty seats in the bus and male passengers were seated in the women fixed seat in very congested.
So, what can I do! Later I came at home by a Rickshaw as there was no way. I also had to think that I can not stay for long time in the bus-stop alone as known person could see me and criticize me.

I am Kulsum Banu, (25) got married six years ago with daily laborer (mason) who lived near our village. In the meantime I have given birth to two sons. Elder one is 4 years and younger one is one year old. My husband used to maintain the family by his daily income and he had no property except his small homestead and a cottage. Five months ago I took TK 5000 loan from a local NGO to earn some extra money by doing a small business. But one month later my husband came to Dhaka to work as a mason. Four months already passed but my husband did not contact with me. I was just informed that my husband was working at middle Badda in Dhaka. Every week NGO workers come to take installment and but I can not give. Other money lenders and NGO workers insult me. I have started to work in other families as a temporary housemaid and I am passing time with my children with extreme difficulties. I can not collect work in the village. My husband does not come and I don’t know his address. I want to go to him but my relatives don’t support me to go to Dhaka as I am a woman. Now what will I do? Suicide!!! I don’t know—I can not think.

These kinds of incidents happen often around us to the women. These are common incidents to the women’s lives and these kinds of problems don’t broadcast. Women bear these harassments silently. But how many days will they tolerate???

Monday, February 4, 2008

The ‘Porabari Chom Chom’ a famous and legendary Sweet

First Published

Once, the Tangail Porabari chom chom was famous throughout the Indo Pak sub-continent. The very name of Porabari chom chom still bears the old glory of Tangail. It has an eternal appeal to all. The color of this sweet meat is as like as the color of a brick. The Porabari chom chom is one of the world famous sweet for its extreme sweetness, uncommon taste and flavor. It is of various designs and shapes. Tangail has got a special recognition in the world from the British domain for this uncontested sweetmeat.

Porabari is a village. It is situated about four kilometers west from Tangail town. Its sight is calm and quiet. The village was named Porabari because the house of a sweet maker businessman was burnt (Porabari means “burnt house”). Nobody can ascertain the name of the man who first made this sweet meat. It is known that a man named Dasarat was the first sweetmeat maker in this village. The Ghosh and Pal tribes were engaged in the sweet meat industry generation after generation.

From the old sweet makers and sweet traders it is known that once there was a launch ghat at Porabari. The bank of Dhaleshari is a branch river of the Jamuna. Steamers, launches and big cargoes anchored there. Men of different position and taste used to come to Porabari. Once, Porabari was a thriving business centre where men including luxurious living gathered all the time. The fame of the Porabari chom chom sweet is not a matter of recent years. It has been reigning for more than one and half centuries. The Porabari Chom Chom sweet was full of taste and juice as like as the honey of the bee hives. It is said that a man (Dasarat by name) or an unknown Thagore coming from Asam first started to make chom chom with the sweet water of Daleshary mixed with the thick milk of Porabari. It can be cited that the taste of chom chom is mainly dependent on the taste of the water of Porabari. The secrecy that lies behind the preparation of chom chom of Porabari is the water of Porabari.

This is why the same sweet makers of Porabari failed to make sweets as fine as that Porabari in other districts. It is the water of the Dhaleshary that is responsible for gaining reputation in making the famous sweetmeat chom chom.

The position that was occupied by the chom chom of Porabari from British dominion in India is going beyond the possession of Tangail due to various adverse reasons.

The sons and grandsons of Khuka Ghosh of Pach-Ali bazaar always supply with the fresh and pure chom chom. They supply with chom chom at the price of 100/120 taka kg. They send their sweet meat to 40 shops in Dhaka and Mymensingh regularly. Besides, in many shops of Dhaka and Mymensingh the Porabari chomchom are supplied from the real proprietors. On the other hand, about two hundred or more shops have business of Tangail Porabari chom chom only on the basis of sign board. They actually do not have the pure sweet meats of Porabri. They are supplied with adulterated and impure sweets and they sell them under the sign board of Tangial Porabari chom chom. Now it is the race of the government and the industries set up at Porabari to take immediate measures to protect the prestigious industry and the long tradition Tangail from failing.

Beggars' problem in Bangladesh

First Published

Beggars are found in the villages, in towns and cities. In a word, beggars are found begging every where in Bangladesh. Mainly they gather on Friday near the mosques in the towns, bus stand, railway stations, in front of markets, and in the traffic signals. Most of the beggars are unable bodied. Some are blind, and some are lame. Some boys and girls are also found begging in the streets. Those who are very poor, landless or helpless may beg but some able bodied beg being averse to work. During the rainy season poor people of rural areas come to Dhaka for begging alms. They lead very miserable life. At the bus stand, market place and in the traffic signals old beggars and beggar children stretch their hands for taka (money). They cause troubles.

Sometimes they cause accident. It is a great problem in Dhaka or in the Bangladesh. Now a days they play many tricks to draw the attention of the people. Many falsehoods are being played by them. Many of them recite verses from the holy “The Quran” and some are found singing Islamic Gazal (song). While begging in the street some of them utter peculiar sound to draw the attention of the passers-by. Some of them carry testimonial of the local chairman or from any important person, or from the physicians to help them for the time being. Some beg for the treatment, some for the help of his daughter’s marriage. There are countless false tricks they apply. Children also take some tricks to beg. Sometimes they sell used/stale flowers during traffic signal, sometimes they beg in the park saying false story like as I have not take any food whole day, my step mother does not give me food etc. then they try to cry but few minutes later they laugh.

In some places some beggars are proved cheaters. Some able bodied are found pretending lame, blind or dump. Some healthy beggars pretend to be patients. Women beggars are mostly divorced or widow or bereaved of their husbands or parents.

A mosque, two gates near Nari Jibon office where were thirty six beggars Photo: One blind beggar going to beg to door to door by the help of his wife. They live in Khilgoan Railgate slum From a research on three husband beggars living at Modhupur thana in the district of Tangail it is known that all three hundred beggars are landless. Some of them may have the minimum land only for living or shelter but most of them live in other people’s home. Some of them live in the hut built by the road side. Some of them have their son or sons who are day laborers. Their sons’ also have a needy family. Their daughters generally work as maid servants from the childhood. Their daughters somehow get married by the help of employers or others with landless day laborers. The rural beggars are mostly above sixty. There is some interesting information in the beggars’ society which many of us don’t know. There are some rules to be involved in the beggars’ society or to be a professional beggar. Though there is no organized association of the beggars, they form unauthorized unity. Usually in the thana level or big bazaar area they have a fixed place where they meet hat day. There they can discuss their problem. They select one leader among them and they also select leaders (group leader) in the rural area. These leaders have religious knowledge than others. Under this leadership beggars must oblige some rules such as they beg alms in an area or in a village on the fixed day. None can beg after lunch time or Zohar namaz. None of them can violet the rule. Before starting begging beggar one must seek permission from the villagers. Having permission one has to take oath from the group leader. Group leader give him a stick of bamboo or wood and a begging bag. If a person involve in begging profession he could not quit the begging profession ever. Whole life he will continue begging and most of the time he will pray and obey the religious rules. He will pass his whole life in the way of religion. New beggar will invite some old beggars at the starting time. Beggars can not engage in any profitable business or income generating activities. They have a proverb that if any person fall in serious sick and then if he sacrifice his life in begging profession, Allah will recover him. We found some able bodied beggars who sacrificed his life in begging profession. One may beg alone or many in a group. But we have found some beggars who violet their rules. In the rural area have some beggars who are not professional they come seasonally facing serious problem for a while. In the village if you need some more beggars for a big function you need to inform only one beggar or rural beggars’ leader then they will collect how much you need.

Income source of beggars: In the Muslim society, there are some Islamic or religious values that encourage the people to give alms to the beggars. Those are as follows; “if a beggar comes to beg on horse back he should not be avoided.” The Muslims offer their food grains to the beggars at first before eating the new food of the new seasons. The Muslims offer money or rice to the beggars for the purpose of gaining good benefit of his business. The Muslims also offer new fruits of new trees to the beggars. After the death of any relative the Muslims entertain beggars to get blessings from Allah. The Muslims try to get the good wishes of Allah by helping the beggar. They give away sadga, fitra and jakat to the beggars. (Sadga means one man one day food where are 1kg rice, slight salt and something like curry, many families in the villages offer sadga every week).

Some time people in the village or towns promise in mind to give money to the beggars if he/she faces any serious problem or diseases or danger to be recovered. On the basis of the religious faith the Muslims feed the beggars to their heart’s content in any Islamic festival. For the purpose of any bigger function they invite them through the group leader. The beggars of rural areas gather in the market day. In towns they are mostly found in the bus stand, railway station, or in the launch ghat where there is crowd of people.

There is no unity in the beggar women. They do not get Sadga or any kind of beg offering. Usually they don’t follow beggars’ rules. They can go far from their dwelling place. But they attend the bigger festival or function with the help of the women of that house. Besides, beggar women work as messengers of the village women to carry massage to their relatives. They don’t receive as much beg as the male beggars receive.

The male beggars are called Fakir and the female beggars are called Fakirnee. This is the real picture of the beggars of Bangladesh.

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