Purpose of Narijibon Blog

Nari Jibon Project seeks to increase our students’ and staffs’ abilities through different ways: classes, practice, computers, internet, and now the Narijibon Blog. Readers and writers (our students & staff) of the Blog will both learn about our lives, culture, Nature, activities of people in Bangladesh and the Nari Jibon Project.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Memory Tale

Zannat Ara Amzad Liva

Today I just remember him,
Remember of those days,
Remember about his holding hand,
His eyes;

I remember of those days,
When his heart used to feel,
And love same as mine

I also remember of those days,
When two people
Used to walk by holding their hands;

I will never forget those days.

The Mentality has changed on Women’s outside working

Salma Siddiqa Mumu

To be a girl I feel that women are playing an important role every where in our life. Now they are not confined within the four walls of their parent’s or husbands’ house. They have come out from the kitchens and they are working beside the men. They are also participating in all the developing activities of the Government. They can maintain their families as well as doing outside works.

By getting higher education women are becoming pilots, doctors, engineers, teachers, administrators etc. They gain the ability to prove their worth. They are contributing a lot in the economy of the country. Now people can realize that true development of the county is impossible if women stay at home.

There is no need to say that women are playing a great role in the socio-economic area of our country. Women are participating in various activities to be financially independent. Day by day the financial pressures of children’s education, accommodation and daily expenses are becoming high. So they can’t maintain their families on their husband’s income. So some women are working because their incomes are needed to solve the growing costs of living. They just want to help their husband. Many families, especially the poor families’ welcome the women’s extra income.

Women are getting a great respect in the society by their earning power. But of course there is still a long way to cross to discover their full potentiality in the job marker.

Friday, December 28, 2007

For the first time I went to the Cox’s Bazaar!!

Written By Farjana Akter

During the last autumn I got a vacation. Our college was closed for one week. Then I made a plan with some of my friends. We wanted to go to outside from Dhaka in the vacation. After discussing with our parents we decided to go to Cox’s Bazaar.

We were six friends. In the early morning we started our journey to Cox’s Bazaar by train. We were very excited. We never go outside from Dhaka without our parents. In the train we enjoyed a lot. We passed our journey time by gossiping, playing cards and reading magazines. We reached at Cox’s Bazaar in the afternoon and rented three rooms in a hotel near the sea beach.

I had never gone to Cox’s Bazaar before. So I had a curiosity to see the sea. In the next morning we went for a walk at the sea beach. It was amazing. After seeing the scenery of the sea beach I became speechless.

We enjoyed the big waves splashing endlessly along the shore. We were amused at the frequent change of color of the sea. I felt like living there for forever.

We passed few happy hours at the sea beach everyday. We took bath there and played beside the sea beach. There we rode on the horse. We took many pictures of the nature. We bought many things and collected many stones, shells etc. Everyday we stayed there till sunset. The scenery of the sun set of the Bay-of-Bengal is unforgettable. It was really a wonderful scene, which is impossible to describe by writing. That can be felt only. I will never forget the enjoyable moments of Cox’s Bazaar in my life. We stayed for four days. It was really a wonderful experience of my life. And I feel that our country is the most beautiful country in the world.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We are thankful to Kathryn B. Ward, “The Mother” of Nari Jibon Project

Translated by: Mohtarimun Nahar [Bipa]
Written by: Mayanur Akter [Maya]

We all are thankful to Kathryn B. Ward for creating this Nari Jibon Project. Through this Project, many women and girls of Bangladesh are being benefited. This project is different from other organizations and training centers. Here girls and women can learn in a safe environment. They can learn and develop their skills on many subjects. It has been possible only for Kathryn B. Ward. That is why I thank her from my heart.

The students and staffs of Nari Jibon are sharing their experiences, feelings to other countries through Nari Jibon Blog site. The girls can show their creativity through their writings. Maybe sometimes they tried to write, But they were worried that how will they publish their writings. They were confused. But now they can publish their writings through Nari Jibon Blog. So, students are getting inspiration to write. They always try to write something different than their own previous writings. In this way, their talent and creativities are increasing day by day. But all these are being possible only for the ‘Mother’ of Nari Jibon – Kathryn B. Ward. Otherwise it wouldn’t be possible for the girls and women in this under developed Country. We are also thankful to all the respectable donors.

Girls and women can get training on some subjects, those are given below:

• Bengali

• Tailoring

• English-Office Management classes:
o English-2 Class
o English-1.5 Class
o English- 1 Class
• Special English Spoken Practice Class

• Computer classes:
o Class schedule by appointment-interview
o Computer Basic & Office Program Classes
o Computer Hardware Maintenance and Troubleshooting
o Computer Graphics design classes by schedule on all day
o ICT Magazine
o Photography

Now I would like to write something about me. I am Bangladeshi. So, I am weak in English. When I met with Kathryn B. ward, I became an admirer of her. Then I could not understand her language. But she never underestimates me. She always tries to encourage us. She is simply the best to me. I miss her and really thankful to her. When she comes in Nari Jibon then our Nari Jibon and our mind fulfill with joy. We always wait for her. Madam all-time tries to do something for us. Sometimes I am worried about us that what will we do without her?

Madam all-time wants to develop the women’s skills. She just wants that the helpless women and girls of Bangladesh can do something as their own. As if they cannot be tortured by men. Another greatest part of her activities is to create a Cyber café for women and girls, I found in every cyber café where both men and women are allowed to browse. But our Nari Jibon’s Cybercafé is only allowed for all the girls and women. Outsider women and girls are also allowed here.
She is doing all these only for us then how we will remain without thanking her. We, the students and staffs of Nari Jibon Project are really grateful to her and to all the donors.

At last I would like to say that,
"Flower doesn’t bloom for its own’’
It blooms for all”

Kathryn Madam is trying her best to develop the Nari Jibon Project. She is really ‘The Mother’ of Nari Jibon. Our Dear Madam, Kathryn B. Ward’s Birthday is on 21st December. We wish her all the success in her life. I pray to Allah that, may she lives long in our mind.

I Miss You A Lot !!!

By Sherin Sultana

You are engaged with me in different ways. So.......

I miss you at the cool morning, exhausted noon and the quite night.
I miss you when my mind fills with pleasure.
I miss you when I wish to go out for a walk.
I miss you when Krishnochura blooms.
I miss you when I wish to make a rickshaw ride.
I miss you at the moon-lit-night when I desire to gossip.
I miss you when it rains. I miss you when I sit on soft grass.
I miss you when I look at the enormous sky.
I miss you when I ride on a rickshaw.
I miss you when I make a long journey by bus.
I miss you at Pohela Falgun, Pohela Boishakh and on Valentines Day.
I miss you if I fall in any bad situation.
In the bus, if anyone tries to sit close to me, then I miss you so much.
If I fall in any big problem but I can’t solve that and if I expect help from others then I miss you.
I miss you when I see a couple.
I miss you when I feel sad.
I miss you when I become sick.
I miss you when I feel lonely.
I miss you when I stay alone.
I miss you when I close my eyes.
I miss you also at the time of joys and sorrows.

I feel you so much so that I miss you in every time and every moment.
I want to know - do you feel me in the same way? I wish you feel me.

Bloggers profile (Students)

Sifat Binte Qaiyum

My name is Sifat Binte Qaiyum. I was born in Voirob, on 8th April, in1985. I have passed Secondary School Certificate in 2000 from Ali Ahmad Hhigh School and Higher Secondary Certificate in 2002 from Motijheel Model School and College. My father’s name is Md. Abdul Qaiyum. He is a businessman. My mother’s name is Lily Akter. She is a housewife. I have one brother and two younger sisters.

I like to read various kinds of books. ‘Memsaheb’ is my favorite book. That is written by Soyod Mustoba Ali. My hobby is Reading many kinds of journals and Bengali story books. I am very much interested in traveling. I like Journalism as a profession. After passing my honors I will do a course on Journalism to be a successful Journalist. I am also interested to open a Boutique shop.

The Nari Jibon is a nice organization, which works with the women to develop their alternative skills and show them the way of light in their life. I am very much glad to be a part of this organization. I am a student of English1.5 here in Nari Jibon Project.

Busharat Binte Qaiyum (Lamia)

My name is Busharat Binte Qaiyum (Lamia). I was born on 31st August, 1986 in Dhaka. My family numbers are father, mother, three sisters and one brother. I passed the Secondary School Certificate examination from Ali Ahmad High School in 2001 and Higher Secondary Certificate examination from Dhaka City College in 2003. Now I am doing honors in Accounting 3rd year from Shidheshawry Girls’ College.

My hobby is reading. I like to read many kinds of novels. My favorite book is ‘Uttradhikar’ written by Samresh Muzumder and favorite place is Cox’s Bazaar. In future I want to do a job in a Bank or in any private company. I am a student of Nari Jibon in Computer and English Section. I was informed about Nari Jibon from one of my friends. It is a nice organization for the women and girls. After coming at Nari Jibon, I knew about blog site for the first time. The most important part of this organization is Nari Jibon Cyber café.

I am very happy to get opportunity to learn here. Now I am very much confident on my English and computer skills.

Bloggers profile (Students)

Laily Jahan Meghla

"I am Laily Jahan Meghla. I was born on 20th November in 1986, in Dhaka. I passed my childhood in Dhaka. I passed the Secondary School Certificate examination from South Bonosri Model High School in 2001 and Higher Secondary Certificate from Shiddheswari Girls College in 2003. Now I am doing honors on accounting 3rd year in Shiddheswari Girls College.

My hobby is gardening, reading books and novels, watching cricket Match. My favorite place is Dhaka Carjon Hall. My favorite writer is Shomoresh Mojumdar. I want to do job in a bank. Or I want to be a news reporter. I was informed about Nari Jibon from my friend. Now I am a student of English and computer in Nari Jibon Project.

Blog is a new topic for me. I think it is a very interesting subject. As a new writer I am enjoying a lot and I can show my creativity by writing on my feelings, culture, experiences etc. Here I also like the Nari Cyber café. I am very happy to learn here."

Ayesha Parveen

"My name is Ayesha Parveen. I was born on 5th December in 1983, in Dhaka. I have completed Secondary School Certificate in 1999 from Kadamtala High School under Dhaka Board and Higher Secondary Certificate in 2001 from Ispahani Girls College under Dhaka Board. Now I am doing my Honors in Sociology at Eden Mohila College.

My father worked in SW Shipping Ltd. My mother is a house wife. I have one sister and one brother. My sister is a house wife and brother is a student of English department in Stamford University. My favorite place is Cox’s Bazaar Sea Beach. My hobby is gossiping with my friends and reading novels.

My future plan is to go to abroad for getting higher education and to do a job in a Multinational Company. The Nari Jibon is a good organization for women. I am a student of English1.5 here in Nari Jibon Project. "

Happy Birthday to Kathryn B Ward

By Taslima Akter

21st December, this day is very especial for me because that day is the birthday of Dr. Kathryn B Ward, who is my favorite person. Dr. Ward is a generous person who is founder of the Nari Jibon. She is working very hard to develop the Bangladeshi women. For her warm inspiration when I lost my self-esteemed, I make my mind again to go forward. We are praying in her birthday- may she live long. In 2005 we were celebrating her birthday in Bangladesh. I remember that day again and again. I wish her all the best in her birthday. We all (Nari Jibon student & staff) are missing her in her birthday……….

Shuvo Janmodin (Happy Birthday) to you from our all Nari Jibon staff and students.

Happy Birthday to Katie Zaman

By Taslima Akter

Katie Zaman is the Fulbright fellow and co-founder of Nari Jibon. Katie Zaman is one of my favorite persons. I like her sweet smiling!! I remember her warm receive, suggestion which inspire me for working hard. 20th December is the birthday of Katie Zaman who is working hard for establishment of Nari Jibon. My best wish for her in her birthday. I am praying for her, she can success every step in her life.

Happy birthday to you from all Nari Jibon people.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If I were A Prime Minister of Bangladesh!!!

By: Ruma Akter

Human life is full of dreams. Most of the time, it travels in the dream land. But all the dreams do not come true. I have a dream to be A Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Though it is an impossible wish, but I really wish that. If it would happen in my life, I would like to use all the opportunities to develop our country.

Our country is an undeveloped country. It is surrounded by poverty, terrorism and nepotism etc. If I were the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, I would make the country as self-reliant. I would offer a terrorism and nepotism free society for the people of Bangladesh. I would try to turn the wheel of fate of the poverty-stricken people.

Education is the precondition of development. If I were the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, I would make the education compulsory for all.

Bangladesh belongs as undeveloped country. Most of the people live under the poverty line. Unemployment is also a great problem in our country. For the alleviation of unemployment problem and poverty, I would take some effective steps, such as-- initiative of industrializations, agricultural development etc. To develop agriculture I would try to use scientific methods in agricultural sector. Thus I would help to raise the economical side of the country.

I would like to change my country by investing money in agriculture, developing the technical education, solving the basic requirements of life and increasing the rights of women.

I would try to do everything to make the people happy and prosperous of my country. That’s why I wish -- if I were A Prime Minister!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bloggers profile (Students)

Afrin Afroz Anny

"My name is Anny. my birth place is Dhaka. my birthday is on 21st march, 1990. My father is a businessman and my mother is a housewife. I have two younger brothers. i have completed secondary school certificate examination in 2005 and higher secondary certificate examination in 2007. My native village is my favorite place. Because what i see in my native village, i can’t see that in the city life. Because there is no sound pollution, air pollution, traffic jam etc. So I like it very much. My favorite hobby is watching t.v. and listening music.

My future plane is to be independent in my life and I am interested to help my patents. I want to save money for my future. Now I am taking courses on English and computer at Nari Jibon. at first I didn’t know about Nari Jibon. but now I knew about this."

Surma Akter

"My full name is Surma Akter. I was born in Noakhali in 1986. I passed my childhood in Noakhali. Now I live in Dhaka. My birthday is on 1st July. We have eight family members in our family. We are six sisters and one brother. My mother is a house wife. I have passed secondary school certificate examination in 2002 from Alexander high school and higher secondary certificate examination in 2005 from Ahsono Abdurrobe Government College. At present I am a student of degree first year. My favorite movie is ‘Kirtton Khola’. My hobby is reading books. I like to read story books of Robidronath tagor. I want to be a good teacher in future.

Nari Jibon is a very good organization. I was informed about Nari Jibon from one of my friends Neshu. At first, i was a student of English -1, now i am a student of English - 2. I think Nari Jibon is a nice organization for women."

Bloggers profile (Students)

Hasina Akter

"Hello, I am Hasina Akter. I was born in Noakhali. I come from Nobinbag. My father’s name is Late Siddequr Rahman, and he was a government employer. My mother’s name is Salma Akter. She is a house wife. I have three brothers.

I am a candidate of Fazil Examination and after finishing this I will do a diploma course in Homeopathy medicine and surgery. My favorite place is my native village. My hobby is traveling. My favorite movie is ‘Matir Moyna’. I want to be a doctor in future; I want to take care to the helpless people of Bangladesh. Beside this I want to develop my skills in English and computer. I heard about Nari Jibon from a Graphic student, Shanta.

At first I didn’t know about the blog. Now I know about this. After coming here I knew about many things. Now I am trying to write something on blog."

Aforza Akter

"My name is Aforza Akter. I was born in Mymenshing in 1987. My Birthday is on 10th June. I passed my childhood at Fulbaria Thana. I have six family members in my family. My elder brother is a school teacher and my elder sister is a primary school teacher. My second brother is a Moulana and younger brother is a police. I am a student of Honors in Siddeshwari Degree College and University in Dhaka. I am married. My husband is an engineer. I obtained my Secondary School Certificate from “Assim Girls High School” in 2002 and Higher Secondary Certificate from “Akter Sultana Mohila College” in 2004.

My favorite hobby is reading any kinds of books. I want to be a good teacher. I come to Nari Jibon to develop my skills by taking English and computer courses. Blog is a new topic for me. We can write anything on our Bangladeshi culture and people though this blog. I am very glad to be a part of this blog site."

Monday, December 10, 2007

How long the women will suffer!

By: Sherin Sultana

We are seeing for many days about some activities on violence against women. But did it remove yet? Now I would like to write some lines on my friend Muna who had escaped from her home with his boy friend, Shajal.

Recently Muna has passed Higher Secondary Certificate. Her mind was full with colorful dreams. After finishing graduation Shajal was doing a job. Muna had no idea that the color of love can be changed. All of her loves and dreams were proved false within some days of her marriage.

Muna realized that Shajal did not love her. He just loved the wealth and money of her family and to get that entire wealth he married her. Shajal was forcing her for 2 lac taka, ornaments and furniture. Though Muna got married against her family and they didn’t accept her marriage it was not possible to bring all these from her family and that’s why Muna couldn’t make lasting for a long time in her father in law’s house.

In this large world there was no place where she could go, she was feeling very helpless and alone. Though she left her family and got married against her family, so she had no chance to go there. For the sake of life at last Muna came to Dhaka and within some days she got a job in a private clinic as a nurse. The days were going on but Shajal didn’t take any news of her. When Shajal got the news that Muna was doing a job he came to her, but not for the shake of love. He came to take money from Muna and from then he came regularly.

In this way after passing two years Shajal became crazy to take Muna back. There is no need to think that Shajal has changed and became a good man. But he didn’t get changed. Actually he tried to use a new technique to take money. Though they live together in a same house but mentally they live in a different world. They don’t share anything of their life. Muna didn’t understand about Shajal’s technique.

The great mistake of Muna was to be disobedient with her family. So now she is suffering everything silently. Her every day is passing with this hope that, one day Shajal will realize his mistakes.

Not only in uneducated, half educated or lower class family; the educated women like Muna are also oppressed by high educated person like Shajal. Only the processes of harassments are changed. Now a day the number of physical persecution is getting low but mental and economical persecution are being added as violence.

If any one is born as woman she must have suffer any type of harassments. But how long it will be continued? The women should understand that they should fight to remove the violence against them. At first they need to change their mentality to tolerate every torture and they should take care of themselves. I think then they will be able to make their own fields.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

When Nari Jibon acts as an alternative skill provider

Written by M.G. Rabbany ‘Sujan’

Population is increasing rapidly in Bangladesh day by day and the same time the percentage of educated persons is also increasing. Almost at the same time women’s education is also increasing from previous levels. But Bangladesh government and economy are failing to create sufficient work for these educated populations. These educated and unemployed populations are facing heavy competition to get a job and are struggling with many difficulties. These unemployed and disappointed educated people are also suffering from cheater & bogus employment authorities and corrupted officials even more.

In this situation educated women are also struggling to get a job. Even now women have many obstacles to get a job in our country as they can not join every kind of job. Scarcity of skill is also another problem to get a job for Bangladeshi women. Although the percentage of educated women is increasing, some are not interested to take skills for developing their career and getting jobs. They complete only academic study, but they (also their guardians) are not interested to take skills that can make them competitive in this job market.

Anyway, Nari Jibon provides women with alternative skills according to the demand of the students. Nari Jibon provides Bangla, English language skills, computer and Tailoring skills beside other packages skills (like- Business Management, Photography, Blog etc. with other awareness programs) with internship and more practice time at women cyber café. In the mean time many students already have taken skills from Nari Jibon organization.

The good news is that, recently Bangladesh Election Commission appointed some manpower temporary (for preparing voter and national ID card project). We have learned that some more students were offered jobs. We have informed that already Jesmin ara Amzad, Kamrun nahar, Rozy Alam and Zannat ara Amzad have joined for doing that job. They will be able to work for 3 months at their own area office and 3 months another area office but inside Dhaka if they agreed. They will get 5 taka per voter sheet and their post’s name is computer operator. Kamrun nahar joined as supervisor of a group of computer operators and Rozy Alom has joined as data collector. These students have taken English and computer skills and they are running students & bloggers of Nari Jibon organization still now.

We have also learned that some more students got offer to join the jobs such as Sathi, Moyna, Sultana Dilroba, Suchitra, Sultana begum etc but they did not join the job due to some problems like their guardians were not agreed to work after the evening and some of their personal causes.

Students who have joined to this post also faced almost same problems but they have overcome their problems to make agreement for work with their guardians.

I wish to congratulate these students and pray for them to go ahead through the Blog site of Nari Jibon. Also we (staff & students) are grateful to all the DONORS.

The introductions are given below of those students who have joined to the Election Commission’s recent project:


Jesmin ara Amjad (id# 713), blogger of Nari Jibon and student of English-2 and Computer Section. She is reading in class-15 at Khilgoan Model College University.


Zannat ara Amzad (ID# 712) blogger of Nari Jibon blog site and student of English-2, Computer Section. She has completed H.S.C. examination last year and she is trying to take admission in any university.

Kamrun-nahar Pushpo

Kamrun nahar Pushpo (ID# 715), She is new blogger of Nari Jibon blog site and student of English-2 and Computer Section. She is reading in class-15 at Khilgoan Model College University.

Rozy Alom

Rozy Alom (ID# 555), She is the student of English-2 and Computer Section of Nari Jibon. She has joined as data collector. She is also working in a kinder garden school as a teacher.


When I was writing this article, another Nari Jibon’s graduate (English and Computer) student named Anjuman-ara-ali (ID# 451 ) came to visit our office and informed that last month she joined in a Multinational Company named Flora Limited as a Sales Executive where she will get 5500 taka per month as her salary.

Various Uses of Flowers

By Salma Siddika Mumu

I think a flower is a symbol of beauty. Its sweet and fresh smell attracts to all and keeps our mind fresh. There is hardly any person can be found who does not love flowers.

We all like flowers. Though most of the people of our country are very poor, they cannot buy flowers. Only a particular level of people can buy flowers.

At past we preferred books, showpieces, dresses, ornaments as gift items. Now a day people’s mentalities are changing day by day in our country. Beside those gift items, people give flowers on any occasions. People like to give bouquet to their favorite person. People also go to meet any patient with bouquet and wish them to get well soon.

Now many people are doing business on flowers. Today solvent people are buying flowers. People like to decorate their houses by flowers on any occasions. At present exhibitions and fairs on flowers are also becoming popular day-by-day. Man wants to change their condition by working. The business of flower helps them to solve unemployment problem and it contributes much in the economy of the country.

Flowers are using as gift items and to decorate places on various occasions, program, seminars etc. This will help to encourage the flower cultivators to cultivate flowers more and more. Therefore, a new business may emerge in our country.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Monowara Begum who faced domestic violence after marriage

By Taslima Akter

My name is Monoara Begum. I was born in Araihazar, Dhaka. My father was a service holder and mother is a house wife. We are two sisters and one brother and I am eldest daughter of my parents. My father died when I was only 8 years old. After death of my father our family faced serious financial problem. My mother faced much problem to arrange sufficient food for us. One of my neighbors (I used to call her aunty) took me in Dhaka and gave a work in a house as domestic worker. My salary was only 50 taka per month. At the end of month I used to send it to my mother. Nearly 5 years, I worked there. When I was 13 years old one shop keeper (who has a shop near by my work place) proposed to marry me. First time I refused and told him that I am poor girl. In reply, he told me that there is no rule that poor girl can’t get married. After seeing her good behaviors and passionate I was convinced and at last I fall in love.

We got married without permission of my mother. After two days of our marriage we decided to go to Bramonbariya in my father-in-laws house. My hardship life started when I reached to my in-law’s house. I had to hear lots of bad commands regarding our marriage. My mother-in-low, sister-in-low started to misbehave with me without any cause. In my in-laws house I didn’t get anyone who liked me. They abused me both mentally and physically. They didn’t give me enough food and enough cloth to wear though they had no financial problem. My husband knew everything but he could not say anything as he got married without the permission of his parents.

After few months of our marriage I went to my village to meet with my mother. I stayed few days with my mothers but no one from my in-lows house communicated with me. After some days one of my husbands neighbor (aunty) came and took me with her and that was my offence. I had to stand outside of the house whole night as punishment. They didn’t open their door. Next morning the village people came to know about that and to stop the mouth of village people my father-in-low took me in his house (it was just show). After this incident they had increased their torturing. But outside people didn’t know it.

After one year of marriage I became pregnant. But I didn’t get time to rest and enough food during my pregnancy; even I had to work hard. After passing hardship days I gave birth of a female child. My new born baby became sick after 2 days of her birth. But no one took her to doctor and at last she died. Maybe for the careless and for working hard my daughter died after 2 days of her birth. Another fault was I gave birth of a female child and for that my husband also started to torture me along with others. My husband used to angry with me without any cause. He was unemployed because my father in low stopped his business after our marriage.

One day my husbands requested his father for giving money and send him abroad. My father-in-low said, “we hoped, we could take wedding gift (dowry) from your in-lows family. And If we could take wedding gift (dowry) we would not had to think about your future but you got married in a poor family and could not take any wedding gift.” My father-in-low was so angry and was saying that he will not give any money. After lots of request my father in low agreed to give money and my husband went to Malaysia.

I was in my in-low house when my husband went to Malaysia. My mother-in-low wanted I leave their house and to make me leave their house they again started to abuse me physically and mentally. Sometimes they didn’t give me any food. They all always wanted that I leave their house and then they can get her son married again.

My husband didn’t stay long time in Malaysia as his visa was false. He had to come back to Bangladesh after 3 months. He was very much upset as he had to come back to Malaysia. The people of my in-lows family started to sandaled me and was saying me opoya (ominous). In spite of all these abuse I was living with husband and became pregnant again. I wanted to safe my upcoming baby and for that I left their house without telling anyone.

I was passing my days in my mother’s house. Since I left my in-lows house no one communicated with me. In due time, I gave birth of a male child. It was the happiest moment in my life but my happiness didn’t last long as I had to think of the child’s father. He was not there. My mother started to work as a domestic worker after the death of my father because my brother was too young to work. Our family was poor and I felt that I was burden of my family. When my son was 6 months old, I came to Dhaka with one of my neighbor and took shelter in one of my relative’s house. Dhaka city is totally unknown to me and I didn’t understand where I can get work. I took a job in a garment factory with the help of one of my relative’s neighbor and my salary was only 300 taka. I had to do overtime work. After getting work I took my mother and younger brother in Dhaka city and we rented a room. My husband didn’t communicate with us even didn’t meet with my son.

After long days my husband went to our village to meet with us but he didn’t get us over there as we were in Dhaka. Later he got our address and came to Dhaka along with one of our neighbor who knew our address. My husband came to me and begged pardon for what he did before. He informed me that he had left his parents. As I used to love my husband I forgave him. He took a job in a garment factory. His income was very poor. We had to do hard and also do overtime for earning more money for our family. Few months later my husband left his garments job and managed a job in a travel agency. Now he is earning much to maintain the family. We have rented a separate room. I have resigned my garment job. Now I am mother of two sons. I want to make my son educated.

I knew about Nari Jibon activities from one of my neighbors. After visiting Nari Jibon office I became interested to take training from here. I was uneducated but have confidence that I can study and get admission of Nari Jibon in Bangla section. I have a dream that after finishing my course I would like to start home based tailoring business. I would like to help my family financially. My husband makes all the decision of my family. I can’t make any decision but I think when I will be able to earn and help the family financially I could make some decision and my husband will priorities me before making any decision. Now I can read, write and make sentence in Bangla, can make little word in English and also know little about addition, subtraction, multiplication etc.

I would like to give my special thanks to all Nari Jibon donors and also mother (founder) of Nari Jibon who built this institute and given us the opportunity to learn what we really need.

See the video of Monoara where she is expressing her feelings and also moment of her studying.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Street Hawker in Bangladesh

By Tahmina Akter

A street hawker is a common figure in Bangladesh. Now a day he is seen to sell goods as moving shops. He sells things of common use or fancy items. He carries his goods in a bag or in a basket. He sometimes carries his moving shop on his bicycle or on a pushing car. He walks along in the roads by calling the names of his articles by singing a song or by ringing a bell. His peculiar calls draw the attention of children, women, folk and simple persons.

A hawker sells children & women’s favorite things, such as: toys, dolls, biscuits, cakes, ice-cream, sweet meats, fruits etc. He sometimes sells common necessary things, such as: clothes, cookeries, vegetables, newspapers, magazines and many other necessary and fancy articles. A street hawker is a man of jolly nature. He sometimes sings comic songs or plays flute or shows some magic in order to get the attention of people around him. Then he approaches with a smiling face and he declares his items are the best from others. By his pleasant words he convinces the people and able to sell his goods at a high rate. He some times deceives his customers both in kind and quality. Maybe they do this for their poverty.

A street hawker is highly welcomed by the children. He is a favorite person to them. Sometimes he deceives with the children, women and simple people. So some people do not like him.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

An Anecdote of my friend, Mitu

By Sherin Sultana

Mitu was very favorite and close friend of mine. She was so different among our friends. There are some people who can attract others very easily. Mitu was like them, full of joy and lovely. She always made fun and we became impressed on her. Beside academic knowledge she had many extra qualities. In Orientation program, Pahela Baishakh, Pahela Falgun or any other cultural occasion she was ready to participate without feeling any hesitation.

Though she was so enjoyable but she was very alone in her own world. She was from a broken family. Some days she stayed with her mother and some days with her father. I noticed that she had no eagerness to back home, when we had to reach before the fixed time. She always wanted to remain busy on other purposes and returned home when she wished. Financially Mitu was solvent; she got everything what ever she wanted either from her mother or from her father. The thing was that, she never faced any type of guidance from her family and so she was practiced a little uncontrolled life.

The life was going on like this way but when the most favorite person of her life refused her, she can’t control her. To forget her sorrows, she selected another type of life. Everyday she made new relations with new persons. She was always busy to talk to them whole day and night on phone. Now her life is going on like this way. When she needed supports and guidance from her family, at that time for the lack of proper guidance she is advancing an uncertain life.

Mitu’s younger sister Nitu was very polite and soft minded. It seemed to me that, in this family Nitu was only person upon whom the family could depend and yet it was going on with her supports. But at present she is also acquiring the nature of Mitu. She changes her boy friends one after another. Her demand is only money. Now her relation with her family locates only for money.

I saw how a person can be changed for the lacking of love, affection and proper guidance. But when I saw to be change the nearest parson in front of my sight then I couldn’t keep silent. I feel very sad.

We always learned to hate the wicked persons but never tried to know the cause of their wickedness. We should show the right way to them. Otherwise the next generation won’t be able to safe.

I know if I try I won’t be able to become like Mitu or I won’t be able to join her broken family. I only can be a calm witness of this reality.

Justice for Nadine-delayed - fugitive sajid absconds again

From Kathryn Ward--re those searching for recent information about Justice for Nadine:

In regard to (lack of) Justice for Nadine:

Her alleged abuser and rapist, fugitive Sajid Huq, missed a second court date on 3 December in New York City. An erstwhile Columbia University graduate student, he has been absconding since missing his first court date (1 Nov--warrant issued). Meanwhile, he (and his friends) have been posting his rationalizations for his abuse-rape on various blogs via a variety of names. See for example, in mid November, the excellent post on the case by Abdul Kargo and the ensuing comments--some by Sajid et al in T'ings 'n Things "What is a woman's worth measured against?". See my own recent post on the case and coverage in Bideshi Blue and other posts-links in the last month.

You can read more about this case on the Justice for Nadine facebook page, 9,411 and counting members from around the world, including pictures of Nadine post assault and also picture of Sajid. Pls inform the police and/or call 911 if you see him in USA. Elsewhere, inform the authorities.

Beyond this case, please reach out: listen and learn more and join community discussions and programs on domestic violence and violence against women VAW ...where ever you are. If you need to find out more about domestic violence programs in Bangladesh, USA, or New York City, New Jersey, or Washington, D.C. or Maryland and/ or programs such as Sakhi, Manavi,or Asha, follow this link. Another good site is Adhunika's blog.

My thoughts are with Nadine and her family-friends during this difficult time.

Some parts cross-posted Bideshi Blue who is posting every day on the 16 Days to Eliminate Violence Against Women (25 Nov-10 Dec) and also Take Back the Tech campaign against VAW on ICTs and internet.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bloggers profile (Students)

Papia Hossain Shampa

"My name is Papia Hossain Shampa. I was born in 16th January in 1983 in Dhaka. My future plan is to do a private job. My mother is a house wife. I live with them. I have no brother and sister.

I can not recollect all the memories of my childhood. But some of the memories of my childhood of school days are still in my mind. When I read in class six, my father got me admitted in a government school where I spent ten years. On the first day when I entered the school compound with my father, the children were enjoying themselves. I might not be quite free and easy in their middle. My heart began to beat fast. When I was taken to the headmaster then his smiling face and gentle words put me to be easy. He used to inspire me to do well in the examination. He was my best guide. I could never forget him. I have passed my Secondary School Certificate in 2000 from Khilgaon Girls High School and Higher Secondary Certificate in 2002 from Shiddaswari Degree College. I have also passed B.S.S in 2006 from Shiddaswari Degree College. Now I got admission in M.S.S in Chittagoang. It is my favorite place. It is really impossible to describe the beauty of the rising sun at the sea beach of the Bay of Bengal in Cox’s Bazar.

My favorite book is ‘Himu’, that is written by Humaun Ahammed. My hobby is gardening. I have a garden in front of my reading room. Whenever I get time I work in it. I water the plants regularly. The garden looks very charming. Reading books and watching movie are also my hobby. After completing my education, I will do a job. I want to be a Banker.

First I came to Nari Jibon with my friend. Here I am learning English and Computer. I enjoy learning here. Teachers are also good here. They are very friendly.

Blog is a new subject for me. I heard for the first time about blog from here. I am a new Blogger. I feel very happy to be a part of the Blog Project. We can share our Bangladeshi culture, social values, religion, music, art, profession etc to any other countries through the Blog writing. The most important part of the Blog is it brings out the creativity and talent of people by writing. I feel very proud and happy when I find my own writing on blog. "

Nelufa Akter

"My name is Nelufa Akter Rumi. I was born in Dhaka in 1992. My birthday is on 5th January. I live in Dhaka. My father’s name is Mr. Aoul Khalek. My father is a government service holder. My mother’s name is Mrs. Fatema. She is an ideal mother and house wife to me. We are six sisters. I am the youngest from all. I read in class IХ.

Our country, Bangladesh is a very wonderful and beautiful country. My favorite place is the Chittagong. My hobby is traveling, hearing music, reading books and watching television.

My future plan is to be a good actress or teacher. I was informed about Nari Jibon Project from my sister. Now I am a student of English-1 section."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Once in a Moon-lit Night

By Sherin Sultana

Today the urban life is of brick and stone. The natural beauty is not seen to our sight. The nature is defeated by men’s artificiality. She doesn’t get her proper value still the nature comes to the earth with her own elegance and glory.

Some days ago the electricity had gone at night. As usual all of us were gossiping. At that time I went to the balcony and suddenly I became so much wondered that I can’t express. The moon-light in Dhaka city can be such beautiful, was not known to me. I think the moon-light was really exceptional on that day and the whole world was overflowed by moon light. I wished to bath in the rain of the moon-light, and run away from the crowded place to any unknown soundless place.

I am in Dhaka city since many years but I couldn’t feel in my mind that I saw the moon-light and feel like so much exiting in this way. That scene had driven me mad. Maybe I didn’t get time or opportunity to observe this.

I couldn’t do anything on that night. I was just looking out side only. I remembered about those days of mine when I was in the village. The nature always plays with its natural beauties. I can remember how many times I passed without sleeping and by gossiping in the moon-lit night. I used to walk in the narrow path [village road] in the silver moon-light. I felt to hold the moon-light. In this way I wanted to feel the moon-light. At that time I thought, the nature becomes beautiful in the moon-lit-night only in the village. But now I realized that moon-light is always beautiful in every place.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cyclone sidr and my experience

By Taslima Akter

Bangladesh swallowed by terrible Cyclone again after 1991. The name of this cyclone is sidr. Sidr’s blew all Bangladesh with coastal area. The costal areas of Bangladesh were mass of ruins in one night. Today is 11th day of sidr. Inferential in this cyclone there are 40 million people and 9 million residential house partially or fully sustain. There are million people distressed and passing their life fearfully. Million people are passing their night under the open sky and there is very grave position of women and children. Although many organization and generous people are helping the distressed people but that is not sufficient for all. I want to share my little experience with Nari Jibon blog readers:

Thursday (15.12.07) morning at 6:30am we caused to depart to the Sylhet. I and my family traveled to Sylhet for visiting the Sahjalal Mazar (one of the famous Mazar of Bangladesh). On Wednesday whole day the sky was cloudy and we heard the news from television and read the news about cyclone. But we didn’t thought that how horrible this cyclone sidr might be. Thursday morning sky was very cloudy and strong wind was blowing with rain. Driver was driven the car slowly. We reached in Sylhet at 1:00pm. I sat beside the window of the car and seeing outside scenery. When we reached in Sylhet it was raining heavily and strong wind was blowing all around. We reached to the mazar wet in rain. When I stayed in Mazar I felt peace in my heart and forget everything about bad weather. I received a phone call from Rafiq Bhai (director of Nari Jibon project) and knew about situation of Dhaka and also informed that tomorrow (Friday) the office will be closed due to cyclone sidr. Then I afraid and wanted to returned to Dhaka hurry. Gradually the weather was becoming very bad in Sylhet area.

After having lunch we took sit in bus at 3:30pm. That journey was long journey in my life and I enjoyed the journey but also was afraid of upcoming cyclone situation. I enjoyed the natural beauty of sylhet and thought how beautiful is Bangladesh. In bus we heard a bad news of an bus accident and where 3 people are dead and more 20 people injured. After hearing this news we were very much anxious. Driver had driven the car slowly and carefully. When we crossed the Sylhet area, we found that car which one fall in accident. We can understand that the driver could not control the car for strong wind and rain. When we crossed Brahmonbaria area, we saw 2 other accident and after seeing this we got frightened and were counting the time when we could reach to Dhaka.

We reached to Dhaka at 9:30PM. We thanked the al mighty Allah that we could reached Dhaka safely but we didn’t know that we have to face inconvenient situation. When we were looking for transport to reach to our resident we could not get any. Every one was trying to reach their home fast because that time wind was so strong and it was raining cats and dogs. We can’t decide what we will do and we had to walk not getting any transport. I faced this situation in my life first. That was awful night for me. I walked in footpath holding my fathers hand and was seeing the situation of street people. They didn’t have any safe place to passed the terrible night. They were wetting in rain and sitting wrapping poly-thin in their body. At last we reached our home fully wet in rain. I felt pain in my legs. After taking dinners we tried to sleep but could not due to for roaring of cyclone.

At about 3:00am I got a phone call from my aunty she informed us that some robber attacked her house and tried to broken the door. She shouted but nobody heard her voice due to strong wind and rain. We were very much worried about her. And that time mobile network was almost down and sometimes we didn’t get her mobile connection due to network problem. Finally we got to know that the robber could not enter her house and we got rid of tension. We passed that night fearfully. I and my family became sick as we had to wet in rain. On Friday I took rest all day long. We had to face the electricity and water problem.

Saturday morning I came to Nari Jibon office. I saw the newspaper and knew that how the cyclone sidr destroyed the costal area of our country and thousands of people killed, thousands of house destroyed and damaged crops of thousands hectors. If we compare the cyclone with the cyclone of 1991 then we could see in this year more crops & houses are damaged but less people are killed this year. We are seeing in TV and news paper that many national and international organizations are helping the cyclone victims along with Bangladesh govt.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nari Jibon blog training on video and digital camera

Yesterday (Friday) Nari Jibon project arranged training on video & digital camera. The trainer was Ms. Taslima Akter. Two work study students (shirin sultana & Mahfuza parul Tania), 3 old blogger (Zannat Ara Amzad, Jesmin Ara amzad & Kamrun Nahar Pushpo) and 3 new blogger (Salma Akter, Shahida Islam Mony & Khadiza Khatun) and 3 staff & blogger (MG Rabany Sujon, Shamima Akter and Afroza Akter Kajol) attended the training program.

"Trainer Taslima is discussing about utilities
digital camera and video camera."

"Taslima is teaching the bloggers how
to take picture and operate the digital camera."

Ms. Taslima briefed the new old bloggers about video blogging and then she train to students how to take pictures, how to operate digital camera, taking picture and video in different zoom, how to download the picture from memory card and camera and also capture the video from tape. After completing this training blogger expressed their feelings:
Mahfuza parul Tania said: “I am very happy to join here and also proud that I m working here as work study student. Today is my great day because I learned many new things and uses new technology. I want to apply my experience in blogging activities and also want to learn more.”

"Ms. Taslima is teaching the bloggers how to take video"

Zannat Ara Amzad said: “I am a blogger and I feel proud when I say am Nari Jibon blogger. I learned many things from Nari Jibon. I didn’t know how to use digital camera and also how to make video before but today I learned and now I can make it. I am thankful to Nari Jibon executive director Dr. Kathryn B ward and all others of Nari Jibon project for giving us this opportunity.”

Jesmin Ara Amzad said: “This training is very important and I enjoyed it. I suggest to all please sharing your experience, knowledge to others by blogging. I want to learn more and apply to my experience in Nari Jibon blog.”

Shirin Sultana said: “I am a Nari Jibon blogger. Today I learned how to take picture and video, I enjoyed this training very much and also very happy to join this program. I think of buying a digital camera so that I can take lots of pictures from Bangladesh and I would like to show how beautiful is our Bangladesh.”

"Bloggers are sharing their knowledge to each others"

Kamrun Nahar Pushpo said: “When our computer teacher Ms. Taslima Akter informed me about video and digital camera training on Friday, I was so exited! After getting this news I thought about it again and again what will be the moment of our training and it maybe unbelievable to you but it is true that I could not sleep last night as I was so excited. Today I introduced with new technology and now I can use it and it is great achievement to me.”

"Bloggers are practicing "

Salma Akter said: “I am new blogger of nari jibon. Today I learned how to take video and this is new things for me. I want to learn more on it and would like to establish my career as a blogger.”

Shahida Yeasmin Moni said: “Here I am new student and also new blogger. Now I am learning about blog. I guess that blogging is very important and also enjoyable parts of website. I want to establish my career through the blogging.”

"Bloggers are practicing the video and digital camera"

Six more students also learned about blogging (what is blog, how to write, what will write, what is website, browsing the website) through this training. They are Rumi Akter, Anukona, Bithi Akter, Ruma Akter, Hasina Akter & Tahmina Akter Rani.

All the bloggers enjoyed the training program and thanked the trainer and founder of Narijibon and other donors for giving them opportunity to learn about blogging, about digital camera, video camera etc. They also thanked the donors of Nari Jibon for all its programs (training) that are running by their direct finical assistances. They are requesting the donors to continue their cooperation so that they and new others can learn more things from Nari Jibon that would be great help for them to build up their career and make them self-reliant.

Friday, November 23, 2007

How we can help the cyclone sidr affected people

Written and pictures by: M.G.Rabbany Sujan

Already we all aware that few days ago clone sidr attacked on Bangladesh and southern parts’ people are facing real terrible days after the cyclone sidr. Cyclone sidr damaged everything in these areas. A good number of people already died, some people missing still now and some people are struggling with death. The rest of the people are suffering for foods, clothes, dwellings, diseases. Internationally, nationally, locally almost everyone is trying to help these victims. In Dhaka, already many clubs, co-operatives, organizations, Schools, Colleges, Mosques or groups of young peoples are collecting your helps. They are collecting old clothes, dry foods, medicines, current money etc. They are going to the door to door, lane to lane and they have opened camps in various areas. All classes of people are contributing what they can. Poor peoples are also providing their best.
You can also help them and remove their sufferings or protect their lives.

These pictures have taken yesterday evening from Rampura Ekramunnesa college’s camp where some more relieves have collected by the local people. Some young boys are working hard to collecting and maintaining these relieves. Friday 23rd November, one team will go the Cyclone sidr area to distribute these relieves. Tonight relief committee will decide where they will go and if possible they will continue to collect relief for cyclone sidr affected peoples.

These pictures are taken from Malibagh Chowdurypara near the mosque named “Matir mosjid”. There are two spots for collecting relieves. Above one inform that they will go to distribute relieves after collecting sufficient relieves and last one will send their relives to the cyclone affected area in the next Sunday or Monday.

Actually a large number of groups are collecting relives for the cyclone victims in Dhaka city. I think, government should collect these relieves from the locally small collectors to distribute these relieves among the cyclone affected people, as it is very expensive to go to the cyclone affected area and distribute relieves and some small collectors maybe failure to distribute these.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

After the Cyclone Sidr-3

Written by M.G. Rabbany Sujan

Instantly, what is important to do for the victim of sidr

The numbers of death is increasing day by day. Yesterday army briefed that death toll is 3167 and missing-1056 people (Daily Prothom-alo 22 November, 0 7) but non govt. sources are saying more.

Bangladesh government, foreign agencies, NGOs, political parties, personally and other organizations have taken steps to help them and they are assuring more help for the cyclone sidr’s victims. But in this moment, what is the emergency need to the victims of cyclone sidr? What we can provide for the cyclone victims to survival their lives. I think we need to identify what would be important things/relief in this moment for them. What are emergency reliefs in the short term and what can be their long term relief? Otherwise sidr affected people will suffer more soon.
In this moment sidr affected people need some special things to alive which we can say; these are most immediate reliefs. First they need pure water and hygienic foods as the sidr affected people do not have stock of foods. Salted water or sidr damaged their sources of pure water. If we become failure to supply pure water they will fall in sick soon by water borne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery etc.
If we provide them one-time cooked food (khichury) or packet food or some dry foods like chira, gur (molasses), muri, biscuits (which may be not fresh or hygienic) they will be able to go on for the time being. (We also need to be care that in this chance some dishonest businessmen can supply/sell their old/waste dry food). They will not be able to live several days by these dry foods or packet or cooked food. Who will go to them again and again? Then they will take impure food, water and then another devastating epidemic might be arisen. We need to supply them sufficient food that they are habituated to eat and which they can easily digest and we need to supply them water purification tablets and managing other sources for supplying water like tube-wells.
As they are now much shocked and weak, they are not taking foods regularly and some people are not going out to collect relief. They are going to be sick and weak and we need to take care of them. In this situation, we need to provide them more health services, well nursing for the injured and sick peoples and we need to open some more settle light clinics and mobile clinics. All the health services have to be fully free and not lum-sum admission fee as they have no current money.

Many of them lost their dwelling places and clothes. Cyclone sidr vanished to their houses, utensils and clothes, which cyclone people could not find out. Many people are passing night under the open sky. It is also emergency necessary for the victims to manage their living place/house and clothes. As winter is already started we need to supply sufficient necessary warm clothes to the victims. Especially we need to supply children’ clothes/warm clothes soon. We need voluntary people who can help to build their houses. If we are unable to make their houses, we can give them long term loan without interest or with slight interest.

We have come to know from different sources that some NGOs are trying to collect their installments after the cyclone too and we need to think about these as it will be another hit for them.

Cyclone sidr damaged almost all the electricity’s sources and we need to repair these centers. At night they are living in the dark. And instantly, we need to supply sufficient candles, kerosene oil, matches etc.

Providing above mentioned things/relief can remove their present sufferings but we have to think how we can remove their problems in long term. If we feel satisfaction removing their present/temporary problems they will face problem more in the long run. Some NGOs or money-lending businessmen will take this chance and it will make more suffering for them. So it is necessary to give them financial support to cultivate the crops for next season. We can provide to them seeds, fertilizers, money and other necessary things. As the cyclone destroys many trees we can give to them tenders of trees. We can also help them by providing kids’ of goats, cows, poultry etc. we need also provide them business materials like nets, boats, tractors, etc according to their profession.

In conclusion, I want to say, we need to think how we can save their lives from the next cyclone NARGISH. We need to build more cyclone shelters, develop road communication. We also need modern equipments for our meteorological department so that they can alert the people of the coastal area earlier and save their lives.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

After the cyclone sidr-2

Writen and pictured by M.G. Rabbany Sujan

Cyclone ‘sidr’ devoured house wives’ favorite papaya tree too

The natural calamity of Bangladesh ruined the farmers in Bangladesh much in 2007. Two times flood damaged the crops two times. Later farmers invested their last wealth in the field and most of them took loan from various sources. But they failed to take crops in to their houses which were their last resorts. Cyclone sidr damaged their last shelter at the end of season.

This picture is taken from Modhupur upzila under Tangail district where cyclone sidr was powerless but damaged ripe paddy, winter vegetables, some trees.

Village housewives planted papaya tree in front of their kitchen houses/yard which they take care of as like as their child. Recent cyclone sidr damaged it and they are trying to protect.

Soon farmers in Bangladesh will start to reap paddy (boro season) in the coming dry season (Irrigation). New army supported care taker govt. has made some rules to distribute fertilizers among the farmers to control fertilizer’s high price. They appointed one dealer in every union council. Farmers need some formalities to buy fertilizers from the dealers like purchasing issue cards, serial, current money, fixed date, time etc which are very difficult for the illiterate or hardworking farmers. Farmers also have to spoil more time and money for buying fertilizer under these systems. But before they used to buy fertilizers from the nearby grocery shops and sometimes they used to buy on due. Then they did not need formalities, current money, carrying cost and wasting their valuable time. Recently we observed (Daily news papers) some farmers’ agitation demanding fertilizers various districts in Bangladesh. Though government declares that they have no fertilizers crisis and they would recruit three sub-distributors in every union council which can be reduced farmers sufferings/agitations.

Authorities need to make rules going to the field or grassroots to make rules flexible for the farmers or if they make rules by sitting in the air-conditioned rooms by wearing black sunglass they may have problems with farmers in near future.

Now we need to think how farmers can recover from their present situation.

My experiences of Cyclone Sidr

Kazi Rafiqul Islam

I woke up early in the morning on Thursday 15 November 2007. I felt bit cold. I open up some windows of my house. It was raining with strong wind. I heard last night about the Cyclone Sidr. It was then far away from coastal area of the country. To learn more about the cyclone I turned on my TV. From TV news I learned that the severe cyclonic storm code named SIDR with a core of hurricane winds advanced closer to the country’s southern coast.

I came to office facing rain and wind. I got an email and some satellite image of the Cyclone and its power from our Executive Director, Prof. Kathryn Ward. I learned that the cyclone Sidr is more powerful than the Cyclone Katrina that hit in the USA in 2005. We also learned that the cyclone might hit Dhaka and nearby areas. I got frightened. Due to rain and gusty wind students were not coming to NJ. I informed the ED. She told me that the Cyclone might hit Dhaka and asked me to go home and keep the office closed on Friday.

On the way to my residence I talked with many people about the cyclone who said that this cyclone might be more dangerous than the cyclone of 1970 that killed thousands of people of Barisal, Bhola and Patuakhali area. My fear was increasing to hear it. I was thinking how the lives of thousands of people of the coastal areas will be saved where we do not have enough cyclone shelters.

I was also thinking about my sisters who are living in Barisal and Cox’s Bazaar. I phoned to my younger sister who living at Cox’s bazaar. My younger sister Reba informed me of the cautionary signal number 9 that was hoisted over there. She requested me not to worry about them as they are living in building. Then I phoned to my youngest sister Keya who is living in a village of Barisal district. My youngest sister informed me that it was raining over there with strong wind. She did not know much about the Cyclone as she could not turn on her TV as there was no electricity. I informed her about the cyclone and asked her to be careful..

In the evening it was raining heavily and strong wind was blowing over the city. I turned on the TV and learned that the cyclone Sidr is going to hit the coastal area of Barisal, Patuakhali and Khulna within two or three hours. People of the coastal area were asked to take shelter in cyclone centers. At about ten pm I heard from news bulleting that central part of the Cyclone Sidr was crossing the Khulna Barisal coastal area over the Bolleshwar river.

Due to strong wind electricity was cut off at about 10:15 pm. Then I went to bed but could not sleep as the roaring of the wind was increasing. I was in a building but I could hear the roaring. There were some tin shed house in front of my house and there was a big and high Ucaliptus tree in front of one of the house. I was thinking that the tree might break or fell down and it might cause of great damage of the house if it fell on the house.

Roaring of the cyclone was increasing. At 2:00 am I got a phone call from my eldest sister who was in her sister’s house at Barisal city. She informed that they were in great danger. The roof of the house (tin shed house) was flown away by the cyclone and somehow they were saved and took shelter in her daughter’s father-in-laws house. Cyclone is becoming stronger gradually. She also informed me that her village house was seriously damaged by the cyclone. I phoned my youngest sister in village. She informed me that she is safe but many trees were broken and fallen down by the Cyclone. One big tree fell on the Mosque near by our house and seriously damaged. She was crying in fear of more damage. I requested her not to lose her courage.

At about 2:30am I heard a big sound outside. I looked outside and saw that the Ucaliptus tree had fallen down on a tin shed house and people are shouting. Later I heard that no people died as it fallen on one side of the house. Any way god saved many peoples’ lives. I thought to take some picture of the fallen tree and house in the morning. The tree was gone early that morning.

Since there was no electricity I could not turn on the TV or Radio all day long (Friday). We could not contact cyclone affected people as we could not get the mobile charged. Those who had mobile charged before could contact with their relatives. Finally, I bought a news Paper (Daily Ittefaq). I learned the coastal areas of the country (specially Barisal, Bhola, Borguna, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Bagerhat, Satkhira) were almost destroyed by the cyclone Sidr and it killed hundreds.

So we were detached from the world. At night Dhaka city became ghost city. We did not have electricity, no water; we could not take bathe also many people could not cook as they did not have water. To do household works we had to buy candles with double price as the supply was less than necessity. Some how; we passed the night. On Saturday morning we got power supply and water. We got our mobile charged and could open TV.

Every day the numbers of reported dead increases and private channels report higher numbers than BTV (government channel). This morning (Monday) I learned from private TV news bulletin that more than 3000 people were killed by the cyclone. Thousands of people are homeless. They do not have food, clothing, and shelter. They do not have pure water. People are suffering from diarhoea and other water born diseases. Thousands of livestock drowned.

Govt is continuing the relief and rescue activities which are not sufficient. Govt relief and rescue teams did not reach to all the affected areas. Army, Navy and air force are working in govt relief activities. They are dropping relief packets from helicopter. People are fighting for the relief packets because the relief is not sufficient for the affected people. Three or four people are getting relief out of ten and what they are getting is much less than their need.

I saw in TV news that that some people are being buried with the cloths that they wore but people could not collect cloths ( Kafoner kapor) for the dead people. Dead people are still found floating in water and or lying in jungle. People are crying for their dead and missing relatives. They are thinking how they will survive? Fishermen have lost their boats, nets. Farmers have lost their crops. They do not have seeds, bull/buffalos, or fertiliser to cultivate. No house, no food, no shelter. Some of them will get some food or some cash for the time being. But they will have to live long without any help. But they will continue hoping that their missing relatives will come one day. They are crying and the wind is becoming too heavy to hear them crying.

From my observation and previous experiences I can say that many people of the coastal area were not informed about the cyclone and its power. People did not understand its destructive power. They did not go to the shelter. Actually the cyclone shelters that were built for the coastal area people were not sufficient to keep all the people.

We are getting different statistics of death from Govt or non Govt media. I think it will go up to ten thousand or more. Thousands of people are still missing. No one can say whether they are alive. Probably we will not get the statistics ever. The government promises investigations into accidents and disasters, but then no reports are released and no real steps taken to protect people. But accidents and disasters are continuing and killing hundreds of people’s lives every year. How is it? We should think and take necessary step to get rid of these reoccurring problems.

In the year 1970 about six lac people were killed by the cyclone. Govt. weather office/ media could not warn the people as they do not have modern equipments and communication facilities as we have now; still we are losing thousands of peoples lives. Why we are losing lives of people who are living in the coastal areas and earning money for the country through their different works. If the country can not save them, give shelter in any crisis why they are allowing them to live in those unsecured areas?

Now it is time to think about the people of the coastal areas. We need to make them aware of any cyclone/flood/Tsunami and any other disaster. B.Govt should make sufficient cyclone shelter for the people of coastal area. Our Govt. needs to make standby rescue teams so that they can do the things as and when needed. We can take loans for making park, high raised building etc but we can not save the lives of our people by making sufficient cyclone centers. How is it? We know that the world climate is changed and we might face different cyclone, tsunami, Earthquake etc in the up coming days/years. But we need minimum safely that we can expect from the govt.

We need to save the affected people of the coastal area first. They need food, Clothing and shelter. We should tell the people of other countries/donor agencies about the actual situation of the cyclone affected people for assistance so that they can help and save thousands of lives.

Monday, November 19, 2007

After the Cyclone Sidr

Written and pictures by M.G. Rabbany Sujan

More than 2608* (The Daily Prothom-alo, 19th November) people dead, thousands people injured, loss of dwelling places, animals, crops, trees and other wealth by the cyclone sidr in last week. Barshal, Khulna Bagerhat, Gopalgonj are more affected but Cyclone sidr blew and destroyed all over the Bangladesh. After the two times floods and recent cyclone sidr made the people disappointed. I was living in Dhaka during these natural calamities.

We left our office before one hour ago of office ending period due to cyclone sidr (Thursday, 15.11.07). It was raining and blowing cold air from the early in the morning rain. But loading storm and heavy rain blew on Friday mid night when were became very much fearful. We lived in Dhaka without electricity, supply water at least 48 hours. We passed this time in the dark and we were afraid. We did not get any information as we had no electricity, mobile connection/charge etc. But we heard some people crying/ shouting/loud of storm as the some tin-shed house were broken beside my house.

We (office staffs) came to the office Saturday as usual. I went to visit the Malibagh road side slum near by our office to observe how they passed cyclone siddr night. They informed that they could not sleep that night as they wet in the rain and they tried to protect their house and beds, clothes from the rain and storm. Their house was made by polythin (plastic thin cover) and thin stick. Kulsum baowa’s house was broken and today (Saturday 17th November) she was making her house again. Saturday they were also making dry their wet rice, beds, clothes etc. An old women was making warm clothe (Katha) as two nights she suffered in very cold air. Some women have new born baby and they are taking care of their baby giving mustered oil and feeding best milk as their baby also wet/suffered cold airs in the last two days/nights.

There more than 30 families live in this slum. They have no electricity supply, no water supply or any other facilities to live there. Some families are new comer from the rural area in Bangladesh and they came during flood period in this year and some were evicted from their old slum in Kamalapur rail station’s slum. They have also made a latrine adjacent their houses which they only use during daytime and at night they complete their toileting in the roadside. They bring water from the nearby mosques or markets or nearby public toilets or kindness house owners but most of the time they have to steal water as often they are scolded or driven away. I have talked with Sufia and Komola and they came from Perojpur as their houses and lands were broken by the river and now they have nothing in the village. Now they are working as part time housemaid (buya) to the several houses. Korimon bewya (widow) is now begging in the Dhaka city door to door. They informed that they did not know anything about cyclone sidr and they have faced many serious natural calamities like this time. But they became more scare eviction by the police or govt. or mastans (local muscle men).

They are repairing their house after the cyclone “sidr” in Dhaka (Saturday, 19th November)

She is taking care of her new born baby and another child is helping her.

Karimon beowa is sewing and preparing a warm clothe (katha) by pieces of clothes which she collected from roads or beside houses.

After cooking lunch Halima is feeding her child.

This is their daytime latrine near their houses.