When Mandela came to Bangladesh

Nelson Mandela is a household name in our country. You might think it’s because of our natural inclination towards rebels and revolutionaries, but I beg to differ.

Birth of a Madiba

Mandela, or Madiba as his people call him, was not just a rebel, he was also a visionary. Born during the dark times of apartheid in 1918, on 18th July, he envisioned his world free of racism, poverty and discrimination- which he worked for till he couldn’t anymore.

Mandela in Bangladesh

Mandela visited Bangladesh in March 1997, on the 25th years anniversary of Bangladeshi independence.

Now, you might chalk it off as another diplomatic visit of some Prime Minister to a war-ridden country. Or you can try to understand why Madiba was closer to our cause than most.

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

Nelson Mandela smiles during a meeting in Johannesburg in this file photo dated 2 June 2009. Picture: Nelson Mandela Foundation/SAPA

Nelson Mandela has been championed all around the world for his peaceful approach to remove apartheid from South African system. But when those were met with violence, he didn’t hesitate to return fire, so to speak.

He favoured peace till peace wasn’t an option anymore.

Mandela’s reflection in us

Much alike to the beginning of our journey to independence. We kept trying to resolve the national issues peacefully. Until West Pakistani government pushed us to the limit and we finally pushed back.

As Nelson Mandela has been such a powerful figure in history, it’s often of great value to go the length in understanding his contributions and not trust his portrait created by the same source that helped imprison him for 27 years.

For a country like ours was 20 years back during his visit, sympathetic words like “I have come to Bangladesh to pay homage to a nation that has fought for its sovereignty. Celebrating this blood-soaked independence, I am here to say today that escaping the clutches of oppression and the autocratic rule is never easy”, were of paramount importance.

It’s been 20 years since, and it’s only fair to say we need to revisit what he said instead of just tidbits of his life.

Happy 101st Birthday Madiba, we remember you.

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pursuing to learn Bengali

Teach your younger ones consent with this educational video by BRAC

We live in a country where people are not made aware of the concept of “consent”. Especially, there is no scope for the younger ones to know what consent even means. 

All thanks to the BRAC educational program, this educational video has everything about consent that we need to show our younger ones in the most children-friendly way possible.

Click here to watch the video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=379794182771421

This child-friendly video differentiates “good touch” from “bad touch”. It illustrates the concept of “private body parts” in a very simple way. It also talks for both the young boys and young girls and teaches them to be courageous.

The video tells them in the simplest ways, to speak up whenever they feel their body-boundaries are being violated by anyone close or distant. If anything nonconsensual happens to them, children are encouraged to share that with their parents and teachers without any fear of getting scolded at. 

You see, the “bad guy” here can be anyone! Can be of any genders. Can be a relative or a stranger. And this group of people with vile intentions sometimes persuade young children with toys and foods. The video teaches the children not to get lured by the attractions, and to inform their parents before going anywhere. 

We need to give everyone- no matter what the age- a voice. We need to give children a reassurance-  

Hey, child, you are not responsible for someone else’s disgusting action driven by his/her sickening motive. Do not feel guilty for something bad you experienced in which you did not have a say. Do not be afraid to speak up. You are not alone, we all are here, and we are listening to you.

Bangladeshi Photojournalist KM Asad’s photo on the cover of National Geographic magazine

Bangladeshis continue to make us proud on an international level. KM Asad, a renowned photojournalist, took the photo of a Rohingya women and her child, which is on the cover of the August issue of National Geographic.

KM Asad said “Today is one of the greatest days of my life! I feel so blessed to share you that my picture of a Rohingya mother and child, is confirmed to be published as a cover photo of National Geographic on it’s August 2019 Issue! Since I’ve started pursuing photography as a medium of telling stories on 2005, it has always been one of my biggest dreams! I’m so glad that it came true and all the hard works finally started to pay off. It is also a great honor for me to have industry leaders like Sarah Leen recognizing my works! My heartiest gratitude to all the members of National Geographic who’ve supported me a lot. Also grateful to my friends and followers who believe on me and my work.

KM Asad is a independent documentary professional who works for Zuma agency and is a contributor photographer at Getty images.

The August issue, A World On the Move, is about migration, displacement, the causes and effects of leaving everything. According to National Geographic, “by the end of 2017, more people have been forcibly displaced than at any other time since World War II—68.5 million by the UN’s latest count”.

This issue can be accessed from here.

This Indian fisherman survived four days at the sea until Bangladeshi sailors rescued him

A truly miraculous rescue of a man who survived all odds by the nature. Bangladesh cargo vessel rescues an Indian fisherman who was afloat on the sea for four days.

The shocking survival against nature

According to Times of India, on 4th of July around 100 trawlers left the Kadwip port of West Bengal. However, two days later, a storm attacked the sea and separated the fishermen on board. This led them to drift across the International Maritime Boundary into the waters of Bangladesh.

Rabindranath Das was one of them. While officials thought that the missing fishermen passed away, the crew bulk carrier MV Javad, a vessel of steel manufacturing company KSRM, spotted a man floating off the Chittagong coast. Namkhana fisherman, Rabindranath Das, survived the sea with a piece of bamboo and jerrycan tied together.

The rescuers found him four days after the trawler sank on Wednesday, 10th of July.

Safe and secure from the sea, Das is, however, traumatized by the memory of losing his fellow fishermen and neighbours. They lost their lives gambling with the sea until they could not survive it anymore. According to him, 11 fishermen along with Das himself, jumped into the sea after their trawler capsized on 6th of July. They offloaded a dozen of fuel drums, bound them with ropes and held onto it together. They survived the sea with no food and only rainwater to drink. Das broke down in tears as he spoke of his nephew Swapan who he held on to till Wednesday in the morning. He was washed away a few hours before his rescue.

Despite the trauma and risk of losing everything within a split of a second, Rabindranath Das did not lose hope and stayed resilient until the very last second.

The hero returns home

Das was handed over to the Indian High Commission on Friday, in Bangladesh. According to sources, his wife Banani was ecstatic and at loss of words with gratitude. She said, his children longed to see him.

Rabindranath Das returned to Kolkata on Saturday. However, according to Bijan Maity, secretary of Kakdwip Fishermen Association, Das is extremely weak and needs proper medication and treatment as soon as possible.

Coping with the sea with no safety

Due to the challenges of the climate changes that bring in drought, flood and other natural disasters, fishermen are brave and resilient throughout the year. The acts of bravery is a mask they wear to support their own family and survive the harsh economy.

Death of fishermen is normalized unless a miracle occurs. The security and safety of the fishermen in the sea remains questionable at all times.

Lights, camera, pose!- How to make yourself look better in pictures

As you rummage through the umpteen pictures in your phone’s gallery, it is quite common to feel disappointed. The dilemma of asking your friend for another picture or settling with mediocre ones is a real thing. And you question yourself whether donning that cherry-red dress or that emerald-green Punjabi that day was worth it.
But fear not! With these photography tips in mind, you can be the star of your crush’s Instagram feed.

The Basics

When it comes to lighting in portraits, there are endless possibilities both indoors and outdoors. Acquaint yourself with the surroundings. Capturing pictures early in the morning, during late afternoons or in overcast weather can result in fascinating natural-light portraits.
However, be careful during midday or indoor photography. As you must always make sure your face is facing the light to help you define the features and minimize unappealing shadows.

Going “Extra”

Wearing that lacy maroon kameez and making your beau get a matching shirt may seem like a lot of effort. But you would thank us when it results in that picture-perfect moment captured in a photograph! The background and the setting are also paramount to the success in taking a good picture. A neutral, uncluttered background; or an interesting wall, fence or even a door can provide the perfect pop of color and texture.

Moreover, you might want to choose a place that goes well with your outfit. If you are wearing western apparel, you might want to go for places such as Edith, Horse and Horse, The Red Chamber or the fancy hotels in Dhaka- as the ornamented furniture, ravishing décor and chandeliers and the gorgeous lighting make the places very photogenic! However, if you are going for a more traditional attire, check out places such as The Green Lounge, Cha Walah, Chows restaurant, Ajo Idea Space, etc. Places that provide picturesque outdoor as well as indoor settings for the photographs.

Props

As someone who carried balloons all the way to Maldives and took a picture jumping with them with the sun-kissed resort; pristine coral reefs and turquoise water in the background; I can’t stress my love for props and how much props can add to enhance the overall photo. Although you have to be careful of not taking too much focus away from the main subject, using props in the right way can add a sense of story and give the subject an extra layer of depth. These could include hats, umbrellas, mirrors, balloons or even everyday items such as a flower or a musical instrument. You can also find numerous videos and articles on the

Google how to use these props in your pictures and mesmerize your social media followers!

Getting the right photographer

Being photographed is an unnatural and stressful experience. Even the most expensive camera equipment and all your photography “wisdom” would go in vain if you are not relaxed and comfortable around the photographer. Make sure you take a friend or someone who is open to suggestions. And is willing to provide guidance like “Raise your chin a little” or “Look the other way for a fake candid!” to help you shamelessly pose without thinking twice.

Before-After

It is true that capturing photos in their natural setting may create striking portraits. Even so, adjusting the brightness and contrast, altering the hues and playing with the shadows can enhance your shots significantly. Editing platforms such as Aviary, Luminar, Lightroom and Photoshop are a great way to help you achieve this and take your photographs to the next level.

A complete guide to finding the best career counselor

With graduation nearing and the future still vaguely thought out, anxiety would take the center stage for any fourth year. For students who have mapped out every detail of their career path, researched all the possible detours and shortcuts to their target goal and planned out as many contingency plans as they can, career counselling may seem pointless. For students confident enough to take the wheel of their own future, that opinion is justified. But for people still scrambling to piece together the job life that would coincide with their self-actualizing needs, the following may prove to be somewhat useful.

Read more: How to write a cover letter that will stand out

Why career counselling?

Many people perceive career counselling to be one dimensional, but that is a misconception. In reality it is a brew of personalized solutions to individual requirements. It can act as an algorithm of sort, concentrating on weaknesses while supporting the strengths. You also learn how to to prioritize problems, and it can become a guide in the midst of midlife crises. It can also specialize in skill development, be a competent advisor, and help with job search.

Making the best choice

Once one has obtained an idea about the desired goal, one should delve into researching the world of career counselling. Consulting with people who have experience in the field- both positive and negative- would help to form realistic expectations. Reading reviews about the counselors, checking the availability of courses, comparing affordability, etc. would help to make well informed decisions.

Costing

When it comes to the pricing of career counselling, it usually varies according to the content of services being offered. It ranges from around BDT 10,000+ to BDT 30,000+. There is of course opportunity cost involved as well. In terms of time consumption as well as the scope of personal control, you may feel you have limited option.

Benefits

Thin line flat design of business leader with success idea, career opportunity for leadership development, marketing strategy winner. Modern vector illustration concept, isolated on white background.

A lot of universities generally offer courses and career counselling services. Some common areas they focus on are the development of basic skills in students. Example includes editing and writing resumes, conducting one-on-one interviews and sessions to prepare for the corporate world after graduation. They also lend a hand in linking students to suitable internships; often sending their CVs to multinational companies, banks, and other establishments—usually the kind of organizations the particular student is interested in exploring and pursuing a career after graduation.

Responsibilities of a career counselor

Some responsibilities for a career counselor may include handling queries and helping with issues about studying abroad. They also deliver information about relevant business concepts, Permanent Residence permit, Green Card, etc. Offering skill development courses in MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, Internet Browsing, E-mailing, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Graphics Designing, etc is another responsibility.

The online scope of career counselling in Bangladesh is currently weak. It is still a very risky concept to the general population, and most students prefer to cooperate with the consultancy of career centres or senior teachers of their universities instead of seeking professional help. But it is a growing market with the potential to reach and benefit the addled students of this country trying to make sense of a future they have vaguely set up for themselves.

First ever Bangladeshi female commentator: Shathira Jakir Jessy

For the first time, ever! A Bangladeshi female commentator did the commentary during the Bangladesh Vs. India match on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. On Star Sports.

Yes, folks, you read that right. History has been made, as the former national cricketer, Shathira Jakir Jessy had been selected to commentate in Bangla during the Bangladesh Vs. India match on Tuesday.

“This is a historic moment for Bangladesh – for the first time ever, a Bangladeshi girl will commentate on Star Sports. It feels great to think I am that person.”

Said Jessy earlier in an interview.

Besides this, she will also commentate during the England Vs. New Zealand and Afganistan Vs. West Indies in Bangla on 3rd and 4th July respectively.

Caged Realities: Zoos in Bangladesh and their mistreatment of animals

Photo Courtesy: Dhaka Tribune

We treat the animals in our zoos the same way we treat the students in our schools. Both institutions were established for the purpose of education. But none of them actually accomplished that goal but rather make the lives of their inhabitants miserable.

We lock our students and zoo animals up in a cage without their consent. We make them participate in socially acceptable tasks because it will appease society. In the process, we forget how their cruel treatment altogether.

The space problem

The Dhaka national zoo resides over 186 acres of land. Which is not a small space.  But no space will ever be big enough if you exceed the carrying capacity of that place. We find 26 alligators caged in a reservoir that was meant for 8. You’ll notice the same tragedy if you look inside the deer cage. Or the cage in which the elephants are. It’s the same everywhere.

Caged Realities: Zoos in Bangladesh and their mistreatment of animals

Thanks to the lack of proper funding and attention, most of the zoos in our country, including the biggest zoo that is situated in Mirpur, Dhaka, has not seen a renovation in years.

Even though the designs of the zoos were made decades ago and remains unchanged, the number of animals in the zoos keep increasing.

This unplanned increase in the inhabitants of the zoos has resulted in going over the maximum capacity of the zoos and has made the living conditions of the animals unbearable.  

Read more: Bengal Tigers may not survive the upcoming climate change

Unhygienic conditions

Due to lack of adequate space for the animals to sustain, the overall conditions inside the zoos of our country has become very unhygienic. There aren’t enough people employed to look after the animals and the ones that are employed don’t have adequate training to take care of them.

Caged Realities: Zoos in Bangladesh and their mistreatment of animals

That’s not all. There is also no littering policy in place that is strictly maintained. So, when visitors come, they end up throwing things here and there and even end up throwing things at the animals.

Read more: Dhaka: A city on the edge

Safety of animals

Most animals within the zoos are not taken care of properly. But, sadly, not being taken care of isn’t the worst thing that happens to them.

Caged Realities: Zoos in Bangladesh and their mistreatment of animals

The animals face cruel treatment from the zookeepers. Due to having inexperienced people in charge of taking care of the animals, most of the times they don’t understand the gestures made by animals or are able to identify the reason for their discomfort. Result? they end up ignoring the helpless cries of the animals and display cruelty out of ignorance.

Lack of awareness from the people

Despite all these, neither the zoos nor the government is the biggest culprit for this failure. This is because, despite the way in which the authorities treat the animals, zoos in our country get thousands of visitors every day.

Caged Realities: Zoos in Bangladesh and their mistreatment of animals

According to an article by The Daily Star, the Mirpur Zoo still gets over 30lakh visitors a year. This is a clear indication of our ignorance as humans and our failure as a nation to stand up against the mistreatment of animals who spend all their lives in captivity.

Its time that we as a nation start acting as we care instead of just sharing a cute dog photo of “bideshi” dogs and start showing through our actions that we care about our animals in captivity, like Raj, The  Royal Bengal Tiger and proud father of a white tiger cub. That is probably the only way to make our Government care about these animals too.

References

  1. https://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/spotlight/the-zoo-not-119140
  2. https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2017/05/26/dhaka-national-zoo-cages-too-many-animals-in-too-little-space

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Bangladesh moves to make technical education compulsory in every school

Photograph by: Saikat Mojumder

In the midst of all our hopelessness and complaints about our education system, there’s perhaps one silver lining at last. Our education system is finally about to include compulsory vocational education at the school level.

The Education Minister of Bangladesh, Dipu Moni, expressed the necessity of implementing technical and vocational education in the education system of the schools in Bangladesh. She stated that every school has to make technical and vocational training compulsory from 2021.

“Every school must have at least two trades from which each student will choose one. If any student fails to complete higher education, he or she must get employed under the chosen programme.”

She stated.

Read more: Bangladesh earns the highest rate of trust in vaccines, France the lowest

Dipu Moni also added that the government wishes to develop this particular sector of education. So in essence, the process of reforming the education system has already started. And we can hope that a bright future lies ahead of us!

Thank you for reading this article. If you like our content, support us and help us grow by sending your feedback, suggestions, stories and questions to [email protected]

How far would a Bangladeshi food joint go to hide the truth?

Restaurant businesses have recently gained a lot of popularity among people from all walks of life. Whether it is for eating, hanging out with friends or even an online check-in update, restaurants are people’s go to. But the more these businesses are expanding, the more they are starting to adopt some ill practices.

Reviews vs customer satisfaction

At this day and age, online reviews of these restaurants might make or break their business. And so, their need to control these reviews seems more like their first priority than customer satisfaction. What’s ironic is that this practice alone can lead to the staff misbehaving with customers. As it seems, these restaurants would pretty much do anything to increase positive reviews and eliminate the negative ones.

Recently, a similar incident reached the public when a food blogger had to face some questionable actions from the staff of a restaurant. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Not only are there restaurants that try to control their customers’ reviews but many of them have also gone as far as to take their phones foribly and “like” a bunch of pages or leave a good review through their profile.

And so, there is very little room left for genuine feedback of these places. These food businesses are more inclined to create fake positive feedback. But they won’t acknowledge constructive criticism and improve the quality of their restaurant.

In order to sabotage a growing business, there are situations where a restaurant would pay customers to leave negative feedback about another food chain. But because the truth comes out, they are left serving the same quality of food with no idea about customer satisfaction.

The copycat syndrome

Realistically speaking, the concept of trying to make one’s restaurant seem the most appealing and affordable is understandable to a certain degree. Almost every day, there is a new food chain that wants nothing but to dominate the other businesses.

This results in a lot of them thinking it’s better to forge reviews or outright copy a well-known chain instead of actually working on customer service and the quality of their food.

And because there is a lack of specific laws, or more importantly, the implementation of these laws, it is not hard for them to try to imitate a well-known brand down to its menu design.

Burger Princes and Moonbuckses are found in every other alleyway of Dhaka.

Of course, often times the price is reduced by 10/20 Taka and a “2.0” is added to avoid suspicion.

Cheap, knock off restaurants like these have been doing good in this country so far. How they will continue to do in the future is, of course, something only time will tell.

Watch: Reverse Engineered – Takeout Beef Cheese Delight

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