A “bad” result in SSC is not the end of your world. Here’s why

According to a lot of people, yes it is. And that is completely understandable. Why wouldn’t you think this way? You are left to believe your entire career depends on your result in these board exams. That one bad grade might potentially make or break you. It is scary. And your biggest fear turns in to reality when you don’t get your expected GPA.

Is it the end of the world though?

But as cliché as it may sound, that doesn’t mean you lose. A bad grade in one board exam does not have the ability to define you, or how your life and career will turn out. You might hear otherwise, but really the best thing to do when coping with a downfall is to get back up and keep working hard.

How do you define a bad result? Well, conventionally, anything below a GPA 5.00 is considered not great. But some things most of us do not consider are the factors that might affect it other than the students’ apparent shortcoming. Your result may have been published wrong or simply went to a rather strict teacher who narrowed down to one right answer, something most questions in the creative system is not limited to.

What you need to realise is that the grading system of these exams is not a standard of your merit.

A 3-hour long test cannot measure the depth of your years-long education. So, don’t be too hard o yourself. What might help you cope with your “bad result” is facing this truth.

Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up

Board exams are a huge turning point in everyone’s life, but the importance of it in the long run is trivial. If anything, it is the most valuable point in your life because of the lessons that come with that phase. Call it philosophical but JSC/SSC/HSC and everything after plays a bigger role is teaching you time management, punctuality, multi-tasking ,and most important of all, learning to get back up after failure.

So, something that might help you a lot when trying to cope with your result is to be realistic. It is not the end of the world.

If anything, it’s a step closer to the start.

However, this exam does give you the chance to look for any flaw there might be in your study routine, time schedules and daily routine in general. It might also be an indication that maybe you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Things get much easier when we think more realistically and less emotionally.

Take your time and then go get it

Does this take care of your emotions though? When getting an unexpected outcome, it has a toll on our mental health as well. And as much as it might seem easy to just forget it ever happened and move on, it’s not. Because mental health is a complex issue, not everyone can cope the same way. Sometimes your family may not be as supportive, and sometimes even with supportive parents it is hard to not feel bad.

In this case, the best thing you can do is sulk. Yes, you saw it right. If you need a day or two to do nothing but cry, or be on YouTube, then do it. If you want to sleep your way through it, then do it. Whatever it is, take time off and do nothing but feel whatever you are feeling. Avoid time around your friends, family and the pasher bashar aunty whose daughter got a 5.00 with a 90% in every subject for the time being.

It might not make you feel better right away, but it is definitely a start. 

Bengal Tigers may not survive the upcoming climate change

A scientific study warns of the risk of losing the Bengal Tigers because of climate change. The cats are around 500,000 land species whose survival is in question. According to a recent report by the UN, the survival of this species is in question. This brings upon various other issues regarding climate change and its effects on life around the world.

Our mangrove forest is deteriorating

The Sundarbans is a 10,000 square kilometers of marshy land, filled with various flora and fauna. It stretches from Bangladesh to India, making it one of the biggest mangrove forest in the world. This forest is well known for its rich eco-system and hundreds of animal species. However, scientists are not sure if the Sundarbans can sustain one of its most important animals, the Royal Bengal Tiger. Researchers reported in the journal ‘Science of the Total Environment’ that changes operated by a warming planet will be “enough to decimate” a few hundreds or more of the tigers. According to their research, by 2070 there will be no suitable habitats for the tigers to survive.

Recent research shows frightening results for the tigers

Bengal Tigers may not survive the upcoming climate change

Climate change has already endangered many species. Plenty are struggling to survive under the constant changes in the temperature and our environment. Sharif A.Mukul, the lead author of the report on the Sundarbans, researched for risks beyond the rising sea. Sea levels rising alone could amount to these cats lose half of their habitat. Mukul, an assistant professor of environmental management at Independent University, Bangladesh, believes that cyclones and other natural disasters can, destroy their habitat. They can also cause the outbreak of diseases and shortages of food.

Prerna Singh Bindra, author of The Vanishing: India’s Wildlife said that the number of tigers is going to shrink with time. The reason behind this is because the migrating of the tigers is not a ‘viable option’. Since there are no undisturbed places for these animals in a crowded planet.

Questionable actions from the authorities

Fiddling with the laws, the development of industries and factories around the forest brings in several questions. Department of Environment has permitted at least 190  industrial plants in the ecologically critical area (ECA) around the Sundarbans, claiming that those factories have taken enough precautions on pollution. These factories include gas cylinder manufacturers, oil refineries, fish farms, hatcheries, saline water refineries and many more.

The problematic regulation of the increase of industries around the habitat of thousands of animal species, the extreme increase of heat and the fear of natural disasters have left researchers to wonder if proper precautions will help them protect the tigers after all.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pursuing to learn Bengali

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the US Congress Representative (Democrat) has been in the limelight for quite a while now.

Her campaign celebrates her principles and concentration on issues with capitalism, environment, tax policy, LGBTQ equalities, healthcare and so forth.

She has made the news for various reasons. Her college dance, her stern socialistic views and many more. But her latest tweet just made her relatable to Bengali audiences on a whole new level!

The fierce and quirky socialist politician is here to stay!

Responding to a tweet, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (popularly known as AOC) tweeted about her attempt to learn Bengali. This is for her Netflix special “Knock Down the House”. It is a political documentary where we see her speak a few lines in Bengali.

She further tweeted about how she aims to pursue her knowledge centring on the Bengali language because of her confidence and love for the community.

Source: Twitter

On June 4, 2018, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez ended one of her campaign videos thanking the community saying, “Apnar voter jonye dhonnobad.” [Thank you for your vote].

AOC’s exceptional love for Bengali community

AOC is here for her people and stands for what she believes in

Her energetic and wholesome campaigns not only come from her beliefs. They also come from the diverse support group she has, who she is seen to speak of greatly. Her Bengali American chiefs of staff, Saikat Chakraborty and Naureen Akhter are believed to be her support as they create a bridge of connection between the known politician and the Bengali community.

The idea of attempting to learn various different languages shows how important it is for politicians to learn about their supporters in order to understand different communities of America.

Who is AOC?

Born to Puerto Rican parents in the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez still believes in leading a simple life. Her democratic socialistic view has shaken the Congress. Her authentic democratic social view, has important message including identity politics and socialism, not only for America but the whole world.  

Severe cyclonic storm FANI to strike Bangladesh by nightfall

With the refreshing rain embracing Dhaka today, the question of the cyclonic storm ‘FANI’ (pronounced as FONI) reaching towards us is inevitable. It is continuing to intensify, threatening millions of family and their children across Bangladesh and India. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) says that the Cyclonic Storm FANI is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976.

On 1 May 2019, according to the report of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), the tropical cyclone Fani over Western Bay and adjoining area, moved northwards further over the same area centered around 6:00 pm about 1205 km southwest of Chattagram port, 1160 km southwest of Cox’s Bazar port, 1060 km Southwest of Mongla port and 1070 km southwest of Payra port. It is likely to intensify further and move in a North-Easterly direction.

The cyclone is moving fast towards the North

The projected track of the cyclonic storm ‘FANI’ shows how it seems to intensify with time

However, the latest updates on Google Public Alerts, shows that ‘FANI’ is heading Northwest & adjoining West-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of about 17 kmph in the last six hours. It lays centred at 0530 hrs IST of 03rd May 2019 over Northwest & adjoining West-central Bay of Bengal. It extends about 85 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha), about 70 km east-southeast of Gopalpur (Odisha), about 280 km northeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), and 390 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal).

Bracing the dangerous cyclonic storm

The districts which are prone to danger are Chattagram, Cox’s Bazar, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Khulna, Barisal and Bhola. At an inter-ministerial meeting at the Secretariat in Dhaka yesterday, the State Minister and other members of the Meteorological Department took the decision to evacuate the residents of the coastal areas to the 3,868 shelters within Friday evening.

According to Meteorological Department Director Shamsuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh will be in full range of the storm on Friday by 6 pm.

He insisted that the authority must give full support on the internet and other necessary network connections up until the storm arrives just so that the common people connect with each other in order to get prepared.

Measures taken so far

On the other hand, 137 storm shelters in Satkhira have prepared themselves to tackle the storm and 66 medical teams have been kept on standby in Lakshampur to protect and combat the storm strategically.

The fishermen and the trawlers are advised to remain closed and many stores and residing places near the coastal areas have been told to be evacuated until further notice. The Meteorological Department have predicted heavy rainfall, storm wind and rough sea conditions to occur which will cause extensive damage to houses near the danger prone areas.

Sri Lanka attack: A common enemy and the resurgence of ISIS

Little less than three years ago on July 1, 2016 – IS attackers invaded the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in a diplomatic enclave of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Gunmen killed 20 hostages many of who were tourists, foreign dignitaries and two police officers before authorities raided the restaurant and terminated the nearly 12-hour standoff. Soon after, ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack.

Time may have elapsed but Dhaka did not forget dismay of that dark night.

We did not forget the precious lives of the two Bengali students who came to visit their motherland. Nor did we forget the nine Italians and seven Japanese men and woman who lost their lives in our acreage.

Dhaka remembers with immense trepidation and utmost concern as yet another horror of ISIS is unleashed upon our cousins in Sri Lanka.

Horror sweeps the land of Lanka

From the latest news received from The Guardian, the explosions at eight sites across Sri Lanka have now left the death toll at 350 and above. More than 500 has been injured.

On Sunday 21 April a series of synchronized bombings took place in Sri Lanka. The explosions targeted Christians at Easter Sunday church services in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, and sightseers staying in hotels in the capital.

On Tuesday 23, two days after the tragedy Islamic State released a video claiming responsibility of these premeditated attack.

The capitals that have been hit by the joint attack includes:

Colombo – Where six out of the eight explosions were carried out

Negombo – Explosion at St Sebastian’s church

Batticaloa – Blast at the Zion Church

A timeline of events

21 April 2019 8.45 am – Explosion at Shangri La hotel in Colombo

21 April 2019 8.45 am – Explosion at St. Anthony’s Church in Kotahena, COLOMBO

21 April 2019 8.45 am – Explosion at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in NEGAMBO

21 April 2019, 8.45 am – Explosion at Kingsbury Hotel in COLOMBO

21 April 2019 8.50 am – Explosion at Cinnamon Grand Hotel in COLOMBO

21 April 2019 9.05 am – Explosion at Zion Roman Catholic Church in BATTICALOA

21 April 2019 1.45 pm – Explosion at New Tropical Inn in Dehiwela, near the national zoo. This was the seventh explosion.

21 April 2010 2.15 pm – Explosion at a house in Dematagoda, COLOMBO, during a police raid where three police officers were killed. This was the eighth and the final explosion for the day.

Within noon, the country was consumed in a pandemonium of destruction, damage and loss.

Widespread hysteria engulfed the entire country forcing the Government to block all major social media networks and messaging services, such as Facebook and WhatsApp by 2.20 pm.

Later within the hour, the government declared an indefinite islandwide curfew. By evening, it was learnt through the Tourism chief, that the outbreak of bombings caused the death of at least 32 foreigners and severe injury of 30 more among who many were Bangladeshi.

The bombers

According to Reuters, a combined effort of nine suicide bombers created the entire operation among which, one was a woman who blew herself up in front of two of her children. Killing them all with several police officers, informed a Sri Lankan investigator.

The Sri Lankan authority further added that they continue to investigate whether Islamic State (IS) who claimed responsibility for the coordinated blasts, had provided more than symbolic support, such as by training the attackers or building the bombs.

On Tuesday, 23 April – a group of eight men who appear to be the Sri Lanka bomb attackers is seen at an unknown location at an image taken from video uploaded by the Islamic State’s AMAQ news agency.

Standing in front of a black flag of the Islamic State, the eight men announce their devotion to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

“We pledge allegiance … and to obey him on everything either in easy or difficult conditions,” they say, before praising the God.

All the men in the video had their face covered in black scarves except one. The one man who appear to be the mastermind of the entire attack and who also had his face uncovered is known as Mohamed Zahran.

The Sri Lankan intelligence has deduced that Zahran is a Tamil-speaking preacher from the east of the Indian Ocean island country. It looks like he is well known for his militant views, according to Muslim leaders and a Sri Lankan intelligence report.

Rendering to Reuters, leaders of three prominent Sri Lankan Muslim groups voiced that they had held several meetings with Sri Lankan defence and intelligence officials in the past three years to warn about Zahran’s radical beliefs after he began posting content that included messages supportive of Islamic State.

They also informed that Zahran was at a time, an individual with less than 200 followers. However as soon as he began posting extremist videos on his Facebook page in 2016 that called for violence against non-Muslims, his name became more alarming among the Muslim community.

The resurgence of ISIS?

After this barbaric tragedy, many questions have bubbled to surface. ISIS’s influence and ideological strongholds were perceived to have declined over the years.

They have been driven out of Mosul surely but the recent atrocity goes on to show that ISIS is not at its end after all.

Whatever their motives may be, their acts have prompted strong apprehension that has spread from our minds and around the world, leaving us feeling quite deserted and exposed to yet another dose of attack.

Possible link to Christchurch attack

“The initial investigation after the Sri Lanka bombing has revealed that this was in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attack,” junior minister for defence Ruwan Wijewardene of Sri Lanka told the parliament.

He did not elaborate on why authorities believed there was a link to the two tragedy that has occurred in a span of thirty –eight days. The New Zealand mosque shooting involved the murder of 50 people at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch during Friday prayers on March 15. A gunman single-handedly carried out those attacks.

This is yet to be proven whether this is indeed retribution of the earlier attack at Christchurch, New Zealand. However, given the nature of the tragedy and the extensive loss of lives, it is one of the primary notions that must be addressed.

As the argument continues to rise, officials say that the deadly attack would have taken weeks to organize and New Zealand Prime Minister Adern expresses serious scepticism to the idea that these two attacks are if indeed interlinked.

Why networking is important and how to do it right

Networking isn’t too difficult despite what some of us may think. It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and venturing from one social circle to the next. Eventually, you will come across people who share the same interests as you.

It’s pretty straightforward. The more you connect with people the more your network grows. And so do the perks that come along with it. When you see an opportunity to foster friendships with people from the same career path, just take a deep breath and go for it.

If you’re still not clear on what do, here’s a quick starter’s guide to get things moving.

1. Establish a rapport

Networking is essentially all about building genuine relationships with people within the industry. It makes life easier when you’re able to “click” with someone instantly without too much effort. And that’s always a great confidence booster.

You can break the ice with anything that comes to mind; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a work-related topic. Just be yourself. Make each other feel at ease by exchanging jokes, talking about hobbies or other common interests. Try to eliminate as much awkwardness as possible.

The whole point of networking goes beyond making good impressions. It’s about forming lasting friendships so you don’t end up becoming just another name on a business card.

You want the person to remember you wholeheartedly so grab every chance when it comes to mingling; whether that means a lunch invitation, a meeting over drinks or something unexpected. Like, a random encounter in an elevator.

2. Keep in touch

Keeping in touch with your contacts is a vital element of networking. Once the foundation is laid you want to retain and strengthen all those new relationships you just built. And that’s best done by maintaining active communication.

Reach out to your new friends every so often with the occasional phone call, text or e-mail. Interact with them on social media. Post on their wall, comment on their status updates or drop a quick “Hi!” in their inbox every once in a while.

Once all the formalities are out of the way you can plan more personal meets. Like a coffee date or brunch that can help create a closer bond. This will ultimately grant you more insight into the world you work in.

If you fail to keep in touch then there’s no point reading the next chapter. Your story ends right there.

3. Helping hands

Networking is basically a two-way avenue. The more you help out the more favors you’ll get back in return.

It’s like playing a co-op video game. You can’t complete certain missions without a partner providing occasional assistance to help you along the way. By the same token you want to help out when your partner is in need.

In a professional context always offer before you ask and take a genuine interest in other people’s projects.

Reach out from time to time and ask your friend if he/she needs a few helping hands; this will greatly enhance your reputation and credibility as people will start to observe a more attractive personality in you.

If you don’t have intimate knowledge in your friend’s project, provide a contact that can out help out instead. Having a contact in your pocket that can help a friend is synonymous with helping them yourself.

Words can have a powerful influence on people. Remember to thank or show gratitude in any shape or form when your friend agrees to help you.

4. Bring a wingman

Attending an event alone can be daunting when you’re in a crowded room full of new faces.

Having a buddy by your side when you’re networking will boost your confidence and help take away some of the awkwardness. Bringing a friend from a different company is even better. It’ll break the ice more quickly and will stir up more interesting topics to discuss.

Finally, a friend can help take some of the load off if you notice the conversation is becoming one-sided. Talking about yourself all night can get a little redundant. That’s when your friend enters and spins the conversation and stops you from bragging about your own agenda.

5. Mix and match

Make an effort to attend a variety of events as much as possible.

Going to summits and seminars allows you to connect with influential people on a more personal level. The more you explore the greater access you’ll get to people from other relevant fields in the industry. That’s a valuable asset to have in your arsenal.

Speaking out at different summits and seminars gives a platform to offer your thoughts and ideas to others even if it’s an event you wouldn’t normally consider attending.

Doing all this strengthens your reputation and eventually, you’ll be able to influence others to join your cause.

RECAP

All in all networking is a make-or-break game, but once you’ve mastered the ropes it’s a lot less intimidating.

There is no substitute for relationship building. Think of it as a long-term investment, the more hands you shake the more benefits you’ll receive in return.

Be confident and come dressed with a smile. And as long as you have this basic toolkit the rest will come naturally.

Why we need to start taking sexual harassment accusations more seriously

Have you ever wondered what goes inside the mind of a serial sex offender?

People don’t wake up one fine morning and think, “you know what, let’s try to molest someone today.” No, they build up an appetite for such behaviors through years of internalized, devious narratives. Like Ted Bundy, they work on gaining the trust of the people around them, making sure that no one else notices when they indulge themselves.

Perhaps, these offenders feel that they are entitled to behaving like this because they are good looking, charming and/or belong to certain strata of society. Most of all, they do this because they feel like they have the power in such situations.

No two sex offenders are alike. However, most sex offenders are experts in rationalizing their behavior. They often commit crimes in situations where sexual violence is more likely to go unpunished. Trying to fit an accused sex offender into a typical profile is also foolhardy, because, in all honesty, no such profile exists. Ted Bundy, for instance, was not only an A student but also someone who volunteered for his university’s suicide prevention centre. Does that sound like a typical serial rapist and killer?

Why we need to stop accepting excuses

In the recent spate of allegations, several victims have mentioned how the perpetrators used their position and organizational power to both coerce women for sexual favors and also to evade scrutiny when official complaints were raised. They have engaged in actions that border on the verge of paedophilia. Only a small percentage of survivors ever come forward. If the accusations are this grave, then you have to wonder what else has been done that will never see the light of day.

Also read: The case of Nusrat and our “rape culture”

Some of the perpetrators have used their (allegedly) frail mental states as an excuse for their behavior. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, let me be categorically clear: anxiety or any other kind of mental illness does not give you license to be a sorry excuse for a human being. Nothing does.

Sexual harassment survivors rarely come forward, but when they do, they find a litany of obstacles blocking their way to justice.

There is victim blaming, yes, but there’s also fence sitting, stonewalling and gaslighting.


These are the reasons why Me Too still hasn’t picked up pace in places like Bangladesh. Instead of diligently investigating accusations, matters are swept under the rug. We shame the victim, accusing her of not keeping quiet about her shame. Sometimes, close relatives also blame the victim for speaking out in the first place.

Also read: Let’s dare to debate about harassment

On the other hand, a bevvy of options is made available for the accused. We create excuses for the individual. “He didn’t mean it. He was young. He was misguided. He can get better.” We refuse to indict the accused, while mounting piles of evidence continue to grow. But then again, does evidence really matter when the “she was asking for it” mantra still reigns supreme?

Why sex offenders go free

Only 2% of rapists are convicted. It’s not difficult to see why that’s the case. Of course, rape and molestation aren’t the same things. But they stem from the same mindset: the kind of mindset that objectifies women to the highest degree. And they aren’t alone: in closely knit communities, they are often aided and abetted by various kind of facilitators.

One recent survivor recounted in her Facebook post how others helped the accused in getting her alone in a room, and how afterwards, many tried to persuade her from taking the matter to the authorities, because ‘it would make life difficult for her’. This kind of gaslighting is shocking but not entirely surprising.

Legal recourse is rarely pursued, and even when it is, the onus is on the victim because the benefit of the doubt goes to the defendant (which, in this case, is the accused). And that kind of doubt can be easily created. Gina Tron of Vice wrote about her own assault story, discussing how the defence attorney used photos and drawings from the Internet to construe that Tron liked ‘rough sex’. Her case was eventually thrown out, because “they apparently thought I hadn’t fought back enough and I wasn’t bruised enough and I didn’t go to the police soon enough.”

With such a bleak outlook, it’s no surprise that so many survivors choose to remain silent. They have to put their reputation on the line, with so little to gain. It’s fortunate, then, that brave souls still come forward in the hope that other’s do not face the same fate.

On the other side of the coin

Of course, not all accused are equal. Some are, in fact, wrongfully accused, but historically, that number has proven to be very small (2-8% of all accusations). There is a danger that Me Too accusations can destroy a person’s life before he/she can dispute the claims made against him/her; however, in most cases, the accuser has much more to lose by coming forward.

Making sure such events do not happen again is no mean feat, and makes for a conversation that’s best left for another day. But it’s a conversation that we need to have frequently and more often. Otherwise, these stories will continue to slip through the cracks.

Let’s dare to debate about harassment

With the recent events uprising, from a mere t-shirt logo to Nusrat’s death, the idea of the existant rape culture in our society has finally settled in and exposed more topics of discussion.

Read more: The case of Nusrat and our “rape culture”

While some are still educating themselves on the idea of sexual consent and how it can be minimized to a level where there is control over these issues, the recent uprise of survivors of harassment is taking a toll on certain communities of the society.

It is important to realize that sexual preferences followed by harassment, has become a case which is often not given enough priority to, which leads to misinformation and rise to similar problematic behaviours.

Why the #metoo and #talkaboutit failed to beam minimization on sexual harassment

Given light to many cases of sexual assaults and non-consensual incidents from the entertainment industry to communities as important as debate events, have shed light to the people that even the safest places may bring about cases like these. The idea of understanding how sexual harassment does not only limit to non-consensual penetrative sex is necessary to be known. The idea of hiding behind curtains about cases like these forms more problems in further investigation, however, it’s important to realize that the rate of socially educated members of our society is very less in number.

Read more: Why we need to start taking Sexual Harassment accusations more seriously

Coming out and the victim-blaming culture

Facebook itself is an open platform which single-handedly gave space to both the survivors and common people to view cases and bring forth their statements about cases like these. However, as said before due to the lack of understanding of the degrees of sexual harassments, often survivors are forced to delete their confessions and stories because of fear of being misunderstood furthermore.

Often many forget the true message of what these movements hold. The idea is to shed light on the existing rape culture and everything surrounding that idea. The motive is to degrade the predators and bring justice to the cases in order to avoid scenarios like these and bring more caution to people. The cultural and social construction of women coming out in one word brings lojja in the family as the stigma in our country keeps pushing these cases in the box.

Lack of understanding

“#metoo in Bangladesh shouldn’t be just about calling people out, it should include forming and updating institutions that are equipped to dealing with these complaints. It’s equally important to understand the cases and analyze them from a logical view point given the facts are all being said to light”

Says Antara Islam, an International Relations student from Dhaka University.

The lack of responsibility from the respective institutions, groups and head of events raises a question of partial judgement. It is evident that often cases like these when addressed takes time to be judged however, only empathizing with the situation should not be the only way to address cases such as this. A diplomatic stance on serious harassment or any sort of non-consensual cases is an unprofessional approach and often problematic for the victim.

The art of consent and why it is important now than ever

Let us first understand that there is no single definition to identify and understand the concept of consent. There should be three ways to approach this which are affirmative consent, freely given consent and capacity consent. It is crucial for us to analyze and ask ourselves if the person expressed affirmative responses to the action. Further questions follow if the consent was offered from the point of free will, without being induced with fraud, violence or compulsion.

Not only that, it is important to keep age, the idea of intoxication, physical and mental disability and most importantly the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator is also highly necessary to keep in regards. Consent itself is a step by step process let that fact be known because a simple ‘yes’ does not open doors to every action. As the recent allegations from many debaters who have faced harassments and became victims of non-consensual acts, it is evident that cases like these will happen despite the knowledge and full understanding of what sexual harassment is, because the idea of consent, often times becomes a blurred concept many still lack to grasp.

The time is now

The rise of confessions of cases like these on the internet shows us how important it has become for survivors to speak their truth.

Bangladesh has already been stamped a label which is hard to remove but not impossible. This is our time to address the toxic movements of non-consensual acts masked by casual approaches by the perpetrator.

For the proper safety of women, it is important to not only address the situation rather take actions for proper justice. Cases like these needs observation, legal approach and most importantly acknowledgement. It is time for us to rise to the movement, yet again.

It’s time to talk about teenage pregnancy in our country

We say that we want to be supportive and we want to help the women in our lives overcome obstacles. But at the same time, we want to shut down discussions about topics like teenage pregnancy. There is a reluctance to broach taboo topics and we want to save ourselves from all the backlash that follows. However, this is not an issue that will go away if we put our head in the sand.

It is time we stop being afraid of society; we need start being afraid of the repercussions we will will inevitably face as a society if we continue to ignore sensitive topics.

So, who are are the ones facing teenage pregnancy issues? Teenage pregnancy issues are felt by young women–married or unmarried. They are either sexually active, they plan on being sexually involved in the future or are currently pregnant.

What the problems that sexually active women have to overcome?

Protection is inaccessible

Well for starters, women fear social stigma and fear people finding out about their choice to be sexually active.This fear makes men and women so afraid of society that they feel hesitant to buy protection before engaging in intercourse. Women are afraid of being so they avoid going to the store to buy condoms. Condoms, one of the most accessible methods of protection, becomes inaccessible to women. This leads to men and women engaging in unsafe sex and putting themselves at a risk of STDs,

Lack of knowledge

The problems don’t end there. Most young women in Bangladesh do not know how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. They do not how to get protection and what kinds of protection are available. They are also unaware of the signs that their body displays when they are pregnant. The stigma is so ingrained in their minds that buying a pregnancy test is almost impossible. They end up not even taking the test and going into a sudden panic attack when the baby bump starts to show.

The vicious cycle that is being driven by social stigma goes beyond shaming and creating conditions where misinformation is rampant.

Society ignores sex, but what about happens after? Society also stigmatizes abortion. Most teenage women in Bangladesh are unaware of the steps that could be taken after unprotected intercourse. Steps include things like morning-after pills or going to the doctor during early pregnancy stages and getting an abortion.

Doctors are inaccessible

Teenagers fear society and their perception so much that they refuse to seek help from doctors. They think the doctor will violate confidentiality and tell their parents or hand them over to the police. This forces teenagers to suffer in silence from the traumatizing effects of teenage pregnancies. Young girls have to turn to random YouTube videos about how to conduct abortions on their own. Some young women go through the pregnancy; then they are traumatically forced to give up the child for adoption and spend the rest of their lives in shame. In the worst-case scenario, teenagers end up taking extreme alternatives like self-harm or suicide to avoid facing their parents or neighbors.

What options do teenagers have under such circumstances?


Seek Help

Get help. Teenage pregnancy can result in complications and even lead to death if the mother is not taken care of properly. If you think you might be pregnant, take the test. As much as we would love to say that you should find the courage for going to the stores and buying the test for yourself, we all know that it might not be possible for everyone to all of a sudden face all these stigmas at once. Resorting to online stores might be a good alternative. Many online shops have the option to order pregnancy tests that will be delivered within hours. Chaldal.com, Daraz, and bdfamilymart are a few examples of such websites from where you can buy a pregnancy test.

Go See a Doctor

In terms of contraceptives and morning-after pills, you could buy those too from online shops. But what is even more important than this is seeking help directly from doctors. Most doctors aren’t allowed to disclose the information of the patient to anyone other than the patient.

…Or, Opt for Online Healthcare

However, if you still don’t feel like you can trust them then you can always opt for online health care services like bdhealth services. But none of these solutions will work out if teenagers themselves don’t try to seek out help if teenagers don’t themselves seek out knowledge about maternal health and sex education.

What can we do as a society?

We can start being more inclusive. Changing our minds about sex is probably not going to happen in a day. But this is a change that is necessary for the better of the next generation. Even if we can’t find it in ourselves to be more accepting about sexual activeness of youth, we can at least try and not criticize sexual health for teenagers to a point that they feel like it is something they should be afraid of.

We as a society have to create an atmosphere where children learn about sexual health and teenage pregnancy during their early age.

Children need to be provided with sex ed and not just the generic version that only scratches the surface and does not get into details because of the social stigma. Comprehensive sex ed that includes lessons regarding how to take a pregnancy test or how to take contraceptives is what is required to help teenagers get better equipped about how to handle teenage pregnancy.

An expatriate’s Pohela Boishakh in New York

Pohela Boishakh in New York City is both weirder (and more ordinary) than you think. Weather is a big, big thing here, and although there aren’t millions of Bengalis here, nearly everyone appreciates the good tidings brought by spring (and its promise of summer).

Read more: The story of how Bengalis owe Pohela Boishakh to Mughal emperor Akbar

Far from home

Of course, there’s no Mongol Shovajatra to see in Queens. But there is Jackson Heights, which holds Pohela Boishakh celebrations every year at the Diversity Plaza. The same place is home to a variety of Bengali restaurants, such as Ittadi, which often serve their own versions of Panta and Ilish on the day.

It’s especially hard for me to find more traces of Pohela Boishakh here because I was never into celebrations myself back in Bangladesh. But we get to see people embrace the inner Bengali inside them more frequently than expected, often arranging small events in their own communities, such as those in Astoria or Ozone Park. Perhaps, absence does make the heart fonder.

Pohela Boishakh is just one festival

There are other ways to celebrate spring too. Sakura festival celebrates the coming of spring (and cherry blossoms), taking place throughout 28th to 29th April. There’s already been a Cherry Blossom festival on Roosevelt Island, but the only train station on the island was swarmed with people afterwards, as escalators broke down and trains arrived infrequently. The MTA later rerouted other trains to the island station to relieve overcrowding, while the police helped to direct and control the crowds.

So far, I have only had one fried Hilsa fish and some sweets. Dieting doesn’t really allow me to stuff myself, but it was pretty good, all things considered. If you happen to live abroad as well, do let us know how you are spending your Noboborsho today. Especially if you have weird and exciting stories to share.