(P@ul’s Coaching Home নামে আমার একটা কোচিং সেন্টার ছিল, যেখানে ক্লাস নাইন থেকে অনার্সের স্টুডেন্টরা পড়ত। সে সময় এসএসসি এবং এইচএসসি ক্লাসের স্টুডেন্টদেরকে প্যারাগ্রাফ নোট তৈরি করে দিতাম। এরকম কিছু প্যারাগ্রাফ নিচে দিয়ে দিলাম। আপনাদের কিংবা আপনাদের পরিচিত কারও কাজে লাগলে, আমার ভাল লাগবে।)
Junk food is a term describing food that is perceived to be unhealthy or having poor nutritional value, according to Food Standards Agency. The term is believed to have been coined by Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in 1972. The term has since become common usage. Foods such as hamburgers, French fries, Foie Gras, roast potatoes, hot-dogs etc and soft drinks containing high levels of sugar, salt and fat and less nutritional content and are often regarded as junk foods. Junk food typically contains high levels of fat, salt or sugar and numerous food additives such as monosodium glutamate and tartrazine; at the same time, it is lacking in proteins, vitamins and fibre, among others. It is popular with suppliers because it is relatively cheap to manufacture, has a long shelf life and may not require refrigeration. It is popular with consumers because it is easy to purchase, requires little or no preparation, is convenient to consume and has lots of flavour. Consumption of junk food is associated with obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dental cavities. To regulate marketing this type of food there should be advertising regulator and competition authority to launch a consultation on advertising of foods for people.
A School Library
A school library is a library that serves the students, faculty, staff and parents of a public or private school and acts as the fountain head from which streams of knowledge flow. Our school also possesses a library which contains books, journals, magazines, newspapers, films, recorded sound, periodicals, and other media. These not only provide us with knowledge and entertainment but also enhance and expand our school’s curriculum. The librarian, assisted by some volunteers and teachers, is in charge of our school library. His tasks include: collaborating with classroom teachers in student instruction, purchasing books and material, maintaining the collection, circulating materials, cataloguing new materials, facilitating inter-library loans, and dealing with challenged books. We get assistance from our teachers and the librarian in choosing the proper books. It has open shelves for books of references which may be consulted whenever necessary. Despite having many practical difficulties in the way of students making proper use of the library, such as little spare time left after class-work to spend fruitfully in the library, the scene in our school library is inspiring. It shows that, among a section of our students, there is a real desire to read on their own account. At the table, eager young scholars are deeply absorbed in their studies or busy taking notes from the books. Where scholars are busy, the unscholarly are shamed into silence. The library habit is an index of culture, and the habit can be formed only in school. If books are available and teachers are ready to guide and advise, students will soon develop habits of study.
Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. Global average air temperature near Earth’s surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °Celsius (1.3 ± 0.32 °Fahrenheit) in the last century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes, “most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations,” which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the greenhouse effect. The climate system varies through natural, internal processes and in response to variations in external forcing factors including solar activity, volcanic emissions, variations in the earth’s orbit (orbital forcing) and greenhouse gases. Models referenced by the IPCC predict that global temperatures are likely to increase by 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) between 1990 and 2100. About three-quarters of the anthropogenic [man-made] emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere during the past 20 years are due to fossil fuel burning and the rest of the anthropogenic emissions are predominantly due to land-use change, especially deforestation that reflects the long average atmospheric lifetime of carbon dioxide (CO2). An increase in global temperatures can, in turn, cause other changes, including a rising sea level, changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation and increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Other consequences include repercussions to agriculture glacier retreat, possible slowing of the thermohaline circulation, reductions in the ozone layer, increased intensity and frequency of hurricanes and extreme weather events, lowering of ocean pH, reduced summer streamflows, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors. The broad agreement among climate scientists that global temperatures will discontinue increasing has led nations, states, corporations and individuals to implement actions to try to curtail global warming or adjust to it. A hotly contested political and public debate also has yet to be resolved, regarding whether anything should be done, and what could be cost-effectively done to reduce or reverse future warming, or to deal with the expected consequences. Most national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed at combating greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental Pollution is the contamination of Earth’s environment with materials that interfere with human health, the quality of life, or the natural functioning of ecosystems (living organisms and their physical surroundings). Although some environmental pollution is a result of natural causes such as volcanic eruptions, most are caused by human activities. Air pollution is the release of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and nitrogen oxides produced by industry and motor vehicles into the atmosphere. Water pollution occurs via surface runoff and leaching to groundwater. Soil contamination occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground storage tank leakage. Radioactive contamination added in the wake of 20th-century discoveries in atomic physics. Noise pollution encompasses roadway noise, aircraft noise, industrial noise as well as high-intensity sonar. Light pollution includes light trespass, over-illumination and astronomical interference. Thermal Pollution is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human influence. Air pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain and congestion. Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes. Noise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress and sleep disturbance.To protect the environment from the adverse effects of pollution, The United States, Europe, The United Kingdom, China, Australia, India and many nations worldwide have enacted legislation to regulate various types of pollution as well as to mitigate the adverse effects of pollution. Regulations and legislation have led to considerable progress in cleaning up some air and water pollution in developed countries. To avoid ecological disaster and increased poverty, developing countries will require aid and technology from outside nations and corporations, community participation in development initiatives, and strong environmental regulations. ‘Greenpeace’ and ‘Friends of the Earth International’ are two activist organizations that focus international attention on industries and governments known to contaminate land, sea, or atmosphere with toxic or solid wastes. For a healthier survival, human concerns include the range from quality of life to health hazards due to environmental pollution.
Sound Pollution/Noise Pollution
Sound pollution is displeasing human or machine created sound, measured in decibel units, that is annoying stressful to ears and disrupts the activity or happiness of human or animal life. A common form of noise pollution is from transportation, principally motor vehicle. Most noise pollution comes from machines, especially automobiles, trucks, and aircraft. Construction equipment, audio entertainment systems, power tools, farm machines and din of machinery inside factories can be dangerously loud. Some home and shop tools, lawnmowers and leaf blowers can also be noisy as guns, firecrackers, and some toys. Sound pollution can damage physiological and psychological health. It can cause annoyance and Sound pollution is displeasing human or machine created sound, measured in decibel units, that is aggression, hypertension, high-stress levels, hearing loss, and other harmful effects. To mitigate sound pollution, the authority should take proper steps to restrict vehicular horns up to a certain frequency, educate students, employees, drivers of all vehicles about the sound pollution in masses, start off huge rallies against sound pollution, set up sound detectors near offices, hospitals, educational institutions and residential areas and punish those who violate law by imposing fine.
A Rainy Day
If it so happens that it rains all day long, such a day is called rainy day. As the sky remains cloudy, the sun is not yet seen. The day looks dull and gloomy. Sometimes it rains heavily and sometimes it drizzles. Often there are flashes of lightning and roars of thunder in the sky. Birds are hardly seen to fly as they keep standing on the branches of trees. Cattle keep standing on their sheds. In such a day, people have to remain indoors. The roads become muddy and desolate. One cannot move from one to another place easily. One does not generally come out without compulsion. The poor suffer much as they cannot go out to earn their daily bread. It is a great joy to the students because classes are not held that day. Some people trying to enjoy this dull day spend their time in gossiping, playing cards, singing or hearing songs. After all, a rainy day gives us both joy and sorrows. It comes to different classes of peoples in a different way.
In Bangladesh, nowadays, load-shedding is so humdrum a phenomenon that the term ‘load-shedding’ has crept into common parlance in recent years. In Bangladesh, the generation of power has fallen so low and its distribution so uneven that no one can predict which area will be engulfed in sable and at what time Aladdin’s lamp will burn de novo. It is the sequel of the inefficiency and bureaucratic bungling of the agencies responsible for the supply of power as also their inter-union rivalry. It has been disrupting life at home, the housewives are found groping in murk in the kitchen; all the hustles in offices, mills and factories are suspended, as the proletarians find no other alternatives without sitting idly, research work in laboratories is extremely disconcerted and load-shedding stands in the way of the thorough preparation of the candidates for various imminent examinations. Even hospitals and clinics are not spared. Not only that, kleptomaniacs, cutpurses and other anti-social elements extravagantly prowl on the streets creating a pandemonium. The commodities preserved in cold storages get spoiled. De facto, load-shedding has thus considerably perturbed the socio-economic infrastructure of the state and jeopardized the security of the domestic life of its people. To extenuate the anguished condition of the people the Government should implement new power projects, surmount poor maintenance of the power plants and distribution centres, and retrieve those units lying out of order. Meanwhile, power should be dispersed in an even manner so that no area gets uninterrupted power supply at the cost of another.
A Moonlit Night
A moonlit night is one of the beautiful phenomena of nature. The night is bright, with a blue star-studded sky. “The Queen-Moon is on her throne clustered around by all her starry fays”. The moon may be crescent or full moon. In each season we see the moon for two fortnights with a break in between. But in autumn the moon beams its mellow light and looks glossy like a piece of glass or like a glowing silver ball so superbly in the autumnal sky. Here and there a few patches of white clouds float swiftly in the clear sky. The moon plays a hide and seek with these bulging pieces of clouds. It is very pleasant to look at the sky, people just sit on the roof alone and enjoy the induced beauty; at that time they can also hear the night birds play their sweet notes, wow so romantic really. The earth seems to be immersed in moon light. The ground under the grove looks like a chess board. It seems to be an art of light and shade with the wraithlike figures of trees, shadowed mistily in the moonlight. The shimmering blue bejewelled wavelets in the ponds and tanks look lustrous. Sight, sound and smell woven into the “strange delicate tracery” of moonbeams lap us for the time being in an “Elysian reverie.” A moonlit night is nature’s sweetest offer to mankind. It has a lasting effect on our minds. Nothing beats a haunted moonlit night and on this imposing night, at this witching time, the somber hues of an ominous, dark forest are suddenly illuminated under the emerging face of the full moon —a silver disc that throws over the world a paranormal beauty. Wishes like rainbows lift us up, and the night filled with moonbeams offers us refuge—a light to the soul. Here is all that the mind could desire — beauty, serenity and a profound sense of sacredness.
The moving moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.
___ SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834) (The Rime of The Ancient Mariner)
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day marked on March 8 is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. The first International Women’s Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions, demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1910 the first international women’s conference was held in Copenhagen by the Second International and an ‘International Women’s Day’ was established, which was submitted by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified. The following year, International Women’s Day was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women’s rights and participation in the political and economic process. Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
May Day/ International Workers’ Day
International Workers’ Day is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labour movement. International Workers’ Day is the commemoration of the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. On May 1st, 1886, workers in Canada and the United States, held peaceful strikes and rallies to demand an eight hour work day. Two days later, Chicago police killed several demonstrators in a clash between workers and scabs in that city. A rally was held in Haymarket Square to protest the killings, and when police tried to forcibly disperse the crowd a bomb was thrown. Seven police were killed; dozens in the crowd were injured. In memory of this struggle and the struggle of all workers for better conditions, May 1st was declared a holiday in 1889, by the International Workers’ Congress in Paris for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace. Due to its status as a celebration of the efforts of workers, May Day is an important official holiday in most of the countries. In most of the world today, May Day is marked by massive street rallies led by workers, their trade unions, anarchists and various communist and socialist parties. As workers, we must recognize and commemorate May Day not only for its historical significance but also as a time to organize around issues of vital importance to working-class people today as songwriter Joe Hill wrote in one of his most powerful songs:
Workers of the world, awaken! Rise in all your splendid might Take the wealth that you are making, It belongs to you by right.
Traffic Congestion/ Jam
Traffic jam and cities, it seems, go hand in hand. Traffic jam is a road condition characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased queueing. It occurs when roadway demand is greater than its capacity. There are several main causes of traffic congestion such as high traffic volume, construction, accidents, unexpected emergencies, events, visual obstructions etc. Traffic congestion has several negative effects. It is responsible for reduction of regional economic health, consequently reducing revenues, late arrival for employment, business meetings, education, or other settings for which prompt arrival is necessary, loss of fuel, air pollution, wear-and-tear of motor vehicles, interference with the passage of emergency vehicles, disturbing quiet residential communities and so on. Present attempts to alleviate traffic congestion include improvements of junctions, including broadcasting road conditions, building new roads and widening of existing ones, restriction of on-road parking spaces, resetting of school opening times, dedicating bus rapid transit roads, quotas on the number of vehicles on the road, traffic management and prevention of accidents, promotion of more considerate driving behaviour, reduction of speed limits, city planning practices that avoid concentration of traffic. Two methods that can be proposed to reduce traffic jam are an introduction of automated highway systems that could reduce the safe interval between cars increasing travel speeds and parking guidance systems to persuade drivers directly to vacant parking spots, eliminating the traffic caused by serendipitous parking space hunters in present-day city centres.
The Grameen Bank is a microfinance organization and community development bank started in Bangladesh that makes small loans (known as microcredit) to the impoverished without requiring collateral. The system is based on the idea that the poor have skills that are under-utilized. The bank also accepts deposits, provides other services, conducts social improvement programmes, struggling members programme, rural telephone programme, and runs several development-oriented businesses including fabric, telephone and energy companies. The organization and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.The Grameen Bank is the outgrowth of Muhammad Yunus’ ideas. In 1976, the village of Jobra and other villages surrounding the University of Chittagong became the first areas eligible for service from Grameen Bank. The Bank today continues to expand across the nation and still provides small loans to the rural poor. As of mid-2006, Grameen Bank branches number over 2,100. Its success has inspired similar projects around the world.The system is the basis for the microcredit and the self-help group system now at work in over 43 countries. This creates economic incentives for the group to act responsibly (such as other members then being able to receive additional loans), increasing Grameen’s economic viability. Besides extending microcredit loans to the poor people, Grameen Bank has taken several innovative programmes for poverty eradication. Despite all these glorious achievements, Grameen Bank is not above criticism. Sudhirendar Sharma, a development analyst, Abdul Barkat of the University of Dhaka, The Mises Institute’s Jeffrey Tucker claim that it has “landed poor communities in a perpetual debt-trap, and that its ultimate benefit goes to the corporations that sell capital goods and infrastructure to the borrowers”.
Globalization refers to increasing global connectivity, integration and interdependence in the economic, social, technological, cultural, political, and ecological spheres. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that globalization is the “process by which the experience of everyday life … is becoming standardized around the world.” Globalization is an umbrella term and is perhaps best understood as a unitary process inclusive of many subprocesses; such as enhanced economic interdependence, increased cultural influence, rapid advances in communication, transportation and information technology, and novel governance and geopolitical challenges; that are increasingly binding people and the biosphere more tightly into one global system with one destiny. It describes the growing economic, political, ecological, technological, and cultural linkages that connect individuals, communities, businesses, and governments around the world. Some of the trends that globalization has become identified with include: greater international cultural exchange, greater international movement of commodities, money, information, and people; and the development of technology, organizations, legal systems, and infrastructures, technical/legal, promotion of free trade and intellectual property restrictions that lead to lower prices, more employment and higher output. Distant events often have an immediate and significant impact, blurring the boundaries of our personal worlds, as people around the globe are culturally, materially, and psychologically interlinked. But globalization has both positive and negative aspects. Among globalization’s benefits are a sharing of basic knowledge, technology, investments, resources, and ethical values. Among the negative aspects are the rapid spread of diseases, illicit drugs, crime, terrorism, and uncontrolled migration. The debate over globalization also focuses in particular on how it can be regulated to address growing income and wealth inequalities, labour rights, health and environmental problems, and issues regarding cultural diversity and national sovereignty. But if the IMF, WTO, and UN play proper role through constraining the autonomy of the richer countries in the economic, political, and environmental decisions to reduce global repercussions for balancing social and cultural values with the need for economic efficiency, globalization could have a far-reaching positive impact especially on the developing and poorer countries like ours.
A Street Accident
Chittagong streets—especially the busier ones are often a veritable nightmare. Hair-breadth escapes from debacle— it may be with a vehicle or may be with a rickshaw or auto rickshaw smashed by a truck or a public bus– anything may happen to make one the victim of a tragedy. I had the experience of a gruesome street accident at about 5 p.m. on the 18th of January last. While sauntering along the Jamal Khan Road, Chittagong, towards Chittagong Press Club a mishap chanced before me, which still rushes through all the trials and tribulations of my life. A schoolboy hardly 12 or 13, who was a few steps ahead of me, was going on the same way. No sooner had he intervened of the road than all on a sudden; a motor car came on and hit him. I sprint to the hapless boy in the twinkling of an eye. He was wretchedly made out of breath by that menacingly happened accident. He lay deceased with the concussion and lethal laceration he experienced. Among many transient rues, that melancholic bereavement will ever resound in my heart with its ecumenical doleful complaints! ______
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed,
And the great star early dropped in the western sky in the night,
I mourned, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
-Walt Whitman (1819-1892), When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed
A Rainy Day
Particularly in Chittagong, a rainy day results from surplus water overflowing into the streets, owing to the inefficient underground sewerage system that interferes with normal life by conver¬ting our city into a miniature Venice, after an abnormal downpour for hours. A street scene after a heavy shower of rain—particularly in Chittagong—has its own matchless appeal either at daytime when juvenile hilarity charms the pedestrians or at nighttime when the street lamps twinkle on the streaming waters creating an illusive fairy-world enchantment. A city-dweller, who finds no other alternatives without leaning back quietly by the window and listening to the music of the pattering rainfall, would perhaps use it as his text philosophically like the shepherd Corin in Shakespeare’s As You Like It: ‘the property of rains is to wet and fire to burn’; while a busier one or a slum-dweller might be rather bothered at deplorable plight accompanied by a rainy day. The abundant filth and garbage swept hither and thither by the floodwater often create quite a disgusting sight. The condition of those who are caught on the roads is also both ludicrous and unfortunate. Some wade along shoes in hand and clothes tucked up. Many are stranded midway in trams and buses, getting-more and more irritated and impatient every moment. Men are delayed; work is held up; engagements are upset. A spell of heavy rain in Chittagong means discomfort, loss, and dislocation of normal routine. But it cools the temperature and that is a bliss not to be des¬pised in scorching and stuffy Chittagong. All things considered, we can say with the poet Longfellow—
How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
And in the narrow lane—
How beautiful is the rain!
(-H. W. Longfellow, ‘Rain in summer’)
A Railway Station
A railway station is one of the invariables of modern civilization. It is a place, which aids commuters to detrain as well as entrain. Every railway station is provided with a time-chart for the arrival and departure of trains, personnel of dignitaries ranging from the stationmaster, who restrains the work of the station; to the servile porters who succour passengers with their paraphernalia. Railway stations diverge in size and importance, some like Dhaka or Chittagong, or any of the bigger cities provided with various platforms, some like Chandpur or Laksam having a single platform. The bigger stations have waiting rooms, stationmaster’s office, sundry booing-offices, book-stalls, stationery shops; which cater for the requisites of all exemplars of people. The smaller stations perhaps stand passengers in good stead by providing them with a scrupulously secluded, placid, somewhat deserted and even soporific picturesque atmosphere. But with the arrival of a train, the station abruptly bursts into life—passengers donning motleys rush about in quest of a commodious compartment; porters hurry toting onuses of luggage; hawkers shout their wares in various tones and dispositions – and through all these the functionaries of the railway – the station-master, the ticket-checkers, the guards, the points men – move about in the performance of their concern –- a cosmopolitan congregation, indeed. And then the train steams off, and the station once more relapses into somnolence. Apart from the pragmatic services, a railway station exercises a bizarre incantation on all of us, especially to the folk who contemplate with wide-eyed stupor as a railway engine puffs its way to the station, belching reek and fire like a primeval monster of legendary days; and to the grown-up people—particularly in the countryside—who convene on the platform to accost the incoming or see off outgoing passengers. De facto, despite being a pivotal place of hustle and bustle it is the symbol and embodiment of up-to-the-minute neoteric life.
The word “discrimination” comes from the Latin “discriminare”, which means to “distinguish between”. Gender discrimination in the region is deeply entrenched in the low access of women and girls to education and health services, to economic opportunities and to political participation The Asia-Pacific region has made good progress in reducing gender discrimination in recent years, but appalling disparities remain in four critical dimensions: economic participation, education, health and empowerment. The prevalence among women of poverty and economic dependence, their experience of violence, negative attitudes towards women and girls, racial and other forms of discrimination, the limited power many women have over their sexual and reproductive lives and lack of influence in decision-making are social realities which have an adverse impact on their health. Lack of food and inequitable distribution of food for girls and women in the household, inadequate access to safe water, sanitation facilities and fuel supplies, particularly in rural and poor urban areas, and deficient housing conditions, all overburden women and their families and have a negative effect on their health. In Bangladesh, stark discrimination against women is reflected through a variety of social factors, including disproportionate rates of literacy and employment. One of the fundamental reasons women are subject to discrimination is that they do not have a voice in decision-making at home or in society, even when the matters are directly related to themselves. With a view to making gender equality a reality as a core commitment, positive policies in the following areas are required to be pursued: a. ensure access to basic education; b. develop schemes for skill development, business counselling, networking and development of professionalism; c. ensure access to finance – micro-credit as well as providing collateral free loans of bigger amounts; d. develop marketing and sales infrastructure to facilitate and promote marketing of products produced by women; e. develop mechanisms to encourage women headed businesses; f. develop institutional capacity and encourage the creation of women entrepreneurs associations; g. ease transportation and accommodation problems of the female workers; h. ensure security of workers enrooted to their work. i. encourage freedom of association; j. internationally, resist move to link trade with labour standards.
A Tea Stall
In Bangladesh, highways are dotted with local restaurants popularly known as tea stalls. In tea stalls, there are small-time vendors who primarily sell tea, coffee and milk along small roadside shops. Tea stalls generally serve local cuisine and also serve as truck stops. They open up early, at crack of dawn and keep open late into the night. A tea-stall is often a meeting-place of friends and it generally spreads strong local knowledge and thus often becomes human Yellow Pages and discussion tables for the respective localities. Some enterprising tea stalls sell soft drinks, cigars, betel leafs and betel nuts, gutka and newspapers too. The daily paper or papers on the table supply good topics for light discussion about the affairs of the day, strikes, wars and what not. Villagers discuss village politics in a village tea-stall.As people from all walks of life even thieves, pickpockets, robbers and murderers come up to have rest and refresh¬ment in a tea-stall, the police have to keep a close watch on tea-stalls.A well-kept tea-stall may serve some good purpose but one that is ill-kept may cause ill-health, and also help spread diseases for its unsanitary and unhygienic condition.
My favourite game/sport: Tennis
“Variety is the spice of life,” says Cowper. Different forms of recreations or diversions appeal to different temperaments. The best form of recreation is, in my view, a game of Tennis in the evening. There are certain obvious defects in Cri¬cket, Football or Hockey as recreation, for example, there is a segregation of the sexes; they all are mainly recreations for the males. Tennis as a recreation has some special features to present. In the first place, it. is an international game; it is as international and representative in character as is the United Nations’ Organization. As Sir Samuel Hoare points out, “Never was there such an international game and never was there such a sociable game.” Whether Tennis is played on “the Centre Court at Wimbledon”. or on the mud-plastered court in the club on school grounds it draws men and women, boys and girls and is played with both enjoyment and enthusiasm. The point about Tennis as a form of recreation which makes a special appeal to us is that it calls into play every inch of muscle and every ounce of strength and teaches the sense of time. Physical energy is not self-sufficient; it is always controlled by the inner powers of the mind. For example, top-spin drive in Tennis is a drive made with the object of hitting the ball fairly hard and yet not sending it out of court behind the opponent’s baseline. Then there are the backhand and forehand styles of the drive. The whole game of Lawn Tennis consists of attack and defence, stroke and counterstroke. As Mr Burrow puts it, “the opening stroke of every rally is the service, and this ought to be the opening of the attack.” I always play Tennis as recreation and gather a kind of creative energy which I can well apply to the more serious studying job with the greatest of ease and elegance.
Leisure, often referred to as free time, is “time spent out of work and essential domestic activity”. It is the period of discretionary time before or after compulsory activities such as eating and sleeping, going to work or running a business, attending school and doing homework, household chores, and day-to-day stress. For an experience to qualify as leisure, it must meet three criteria: the experience is a state of mind; it must be entered into voluntarily; it must be intrinsically motivating of its own merit. Active leisure or recreational activities involve the exertion of physical or mental energy, such as walking and yoga, kickboxing and soccer, playing chess or painting a picture. Active leisure and overlap significantly. Passive leisure activities are those in which a person does not exert any significant physical or mental energy, such as going to the cinema, watching television, or gambling on slot machines. People who work indoors and spend most of their time sitting and doing sedentary office work can add physical activity to their lives by doing sports during their leisure time, such as playing a ball game, going camping, hiking or fishing. On the other hand, people whose jobs involve a lot of physical activity may prefer to spend their free time doing quiet, relaxing activities, such as reading books or magazines or watching TV. Some people find that collecting stamps, postcards, badges, model cars or ships, bottles, or antiques is a relaxing hobby. Leisure can cost nothing, yet be priceless and helps balance work, family and devotional life as well as gives us a chance to relax and recharge our guts to enable us to be productive in accomplishing the main mission.
Bangladesh, officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is surrounded by India on all sides except for a small border with Myanmar to the far south-east and the Bay of Bengal to the south. The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 square kilometres (55,600 sq mi) is ranked ninety-fourth, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world, or the most densely populated country if small island nations and city-states are not included. It is the third-largest Muslim-majority nation but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8. Bangladesh achieved a decisive independence from Pakistan on 16 December 1971 after a bloody war of long nine months. Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy. The Constitution of Bangladesh was written in 1972 and has undergone fourteen amendments. Bangladesh is divided into six administrative divisions, each named after their respective divisional headquarters: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, and Sylhet. Divisions are subdivided into administrative units known as Zila (districts). There are sixty-four districts in Bangladesh, each further subdivided into thana (“police stations”, formerly called Upazila or sub-districts). Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. Other major cities include Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet. Bangladesh is located in the low-lying Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta. Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, a hot, humid summer from March to June. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains an underdeveloped and overpopulated nation. Jute was once the economic engine of the country. Bangladesh grows significant quantities of rice, tea and mustard. Although two-thirds of Bangladeshis are farmers, more than three-quarters of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from the garment industry, which began attracting foreign investors in the 1980s due to cheap labour and low conversion cost. Obstacles to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, mismanaged port facilities, a growth in the labour force that has outpaced jobs, inefficient use of energy resources (such as natural gas), insufficient power supplies, slow implementation of economic reforms, political infighting and corruption. One significant contributor to the development of the economy has been the widespread propagation of microcredit by Muhammad Yunus (awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2006) through the Grameen Bank. Recent estimates of Bangladesh’s population range from 142 to 147 million, making it one of the ten most populous countries in the world. Bangladesh is ethnically homogeneous, with Bengalis comprising 98% of the population. The remainders are mostly Bihari migrants and indigenous tribal groups. Bangla is the official and the main language of Bangladesh. Two major religions practised in Bangladesh are Islam (83%) and Hinduism (16%). Other religious groups include Buddhists, Christians, and Animists. Health and education levels have recently improved as poverty levels have decreased. Most Bangladeshis are rural, living on subsistence farming. Health problems abound, ranging from surface water contamination to arsenic in the groundwater, and diseases including malaria, leptospirosis and dengue. The literacy rate in Bangladesh is approximately 41%. Literacy has gone up due to many programs introduced in the country. A new state for an old nation, Bangladesh has a culture that encompasses elements both old and new. The Bangla language boasts a rich literary heritage.Its greatest icons are the poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Bangladesh also has a long tradition in folk literature. The musical tradition of Bangladesh is lyrics-based, with minimal instrumental accompaniment. Around 200 dailies are published in Bangladesh, along with more than 1800 periodicals. The culinary tradition of Bangladesh has close relations to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as having many unique traits. Rice and fish are traditional favourites; leading to a common saying that “fish and rice make a Bengali”. The sari (shaŗi) is by far the most widely worn dress by Bangladeshi women. The lungi, a kind of long skirt, is usually worn by Bangladesh men. The two Eids, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are the largest festivals in the Islamic calendar. Major Hindu festivals are Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, is one of the most important Buddhist festivals while Christmas, in Bangla, is celebrated by the minority Christian population. The most important secular festival is Pohela Baishakh or Bengali New Year, the beginning of the Bengali calendar. Other festivities include Nobanno, Poush Parbon (festival of Poush) and observance of national days like Shohid Dibosh. Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Bangladesh. Other popular sports include football (soccer), field hockey, tennis, badminton, handball, volleyball, chess, carom, and kabadi, which is the national sport of Bangladesh.
Electronic mail (abbreviated “e-mail” or, often, “email”) is a store and forward method of composing, sending, storing, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. The term “e-mail” applies both to the Internet e-mail system and to intranet systems allowing users within one organization to e-mail each other. Email is the electronic transmission of messages, letters, and documents. In its broadest sense electronic mail includes point-to-point services such as telegraph and facsimile (fax) systems. In getting started with E-mail one needs to have a basic E-mail system which requires a terminal or personal computer from which a user can access the sophisticated E-mail software running on a host computer. When using this application system, each person connected to the system is allocated a mailbox and set of programs for creating, transmitting, and reading mail. It is commonly thought of, however, in terms of computer-based message systems where the electronic text file that is received can be edited, replied to, excerpted, or even pasted into another electronic document that can be used or manipulated by a word processor, desktop publishing system, or other computer programs. Users of such systems, called store-and-forward or mailbox systems, can broadcast messages to multiple recipients, read and discard messages, file and retrieve messages, or forward messages to other users. Extensions to e-mail allow the user to add graphics and sound to messages. Today, more than ever before, society has a greater need to have communication capabilities that are fast and reliable. Businesses rely on these capabilities so they can maintain efficient and productive companies. They also have a desire to keep the amount of paper involved in communication transactions to a minimum. So, today e-mail has proven to be one of the most popular office automation application systems that facilitates human communications.
Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Generally, the removal or permanent destruction of indigenous forests and woodlands results in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity. In many countries, massive deforestation is ongoing and is shaping climate and geography adversely. Deforestation results in declines in habitat and biodiversity, wood for fuel and industrial use, and quality of life. There are many causes, ranging from slow forest degradation to sudden and catastrophic clear-cutting, slash-and-burn, urban development, acid rain, and wildfires. Deforestation can be the result of the deliberate removal of forest cover for agriculture, commercial logging or urban development without sufficient reforestation, or it can be a consequence of grazing animals, primarily for agriculture. Currently, 12 million hectares of forests are cleared annually which is of great concern. Almost all of this deforestation occurs in the moist forests and open woodlands of the tropics. Alteration of local and global climates affects through disruption of the carbon cycle and the water cycle, soil erosion, silting of water courses, lakes and dams, extinction of species which depend on the forest for survival and above all desertification. The integrity of our national forests is gravely threatened by the impact of deforestation. Hence, government should adopt concrete measures to bring an immediate end to illegal logging and adopt policies that will reduce the consumption of wood and paper products and increase the use of recycled materials.
Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. The climate system varies through natural, internal processes and in response to variations in external forcing factors including solar activity, volcanic emissions and greenhouse gases. Several eco-models predict that global temperatures are likely to increase by 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) between 1990 and 2100. About three-quarters of the anthropogenic emissions of carbon-dioxide to the atmosphere during the past 20 years are due to fossil fuel burning and the rest is predominantly due to land-use change, especially deforestation. An increase in global temperatures can, in turn, cause other changes, including a rising sea level, changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation and increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Other consequences include glacier retreat, reductions in the ozone layer, increased intensity and frequency of hurricanes and extreme weather events, species extinctions etc. The broad agreement among climate scientists that global temperatures will discontinue increasing has led nations, states, corporations and individuals to implement actions to try to curtail global warming or adjust to it. Most national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed at combating greenhouse gas emissions.
Water pollution is a state resulting when substances are released into a body of water, where they become dissolved or suspended in the water or deposited on the bottom, accumulating to the extent that they overwhelm its capacity to absorb, break down, or recycle them, and thus interfering with the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Contributions to water pollution include substances drawn from the air resulting in acid rain, silt from soil erosion, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, runoff from septic tanks, outflow from livestock feedlots, chemical toxic wastes from industries, and sewage and other urban wastes from cities and towns. Virtually all water pollutants are hazardous to humans as well as lesser species; contaminants cause liver and nerve damage, skin eruptions, vomiting, fever, diarrhoea, and fetal abnormalities. Clearly, the problems associated with water pollution have the capabilities to disrupt life on our planet to a great extent. But the government alone cannot combat water pollution and solve the entire problem. It is ultimately up to us, to be informed, responsible and involved when it comes to the problems we face with our water. As we have already headed into the 21st century, awareness and education will most assuredly continue to be the two most important ways to prevent water pollution. If these measures are not taken and water pollution continues, life on earth will suffer severely.
Environmental pollution is the contamination of Earth’s environment with materials that interfere with human health, the quality of life, or the natural functioning of ecosystems. Although some environmental pollution is a result of natural causes such as volcanic eruptions, most is caused by human activities. Air pollution is the release of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) etc produced by industry and motor vehicles into the atmosphere. Water pollution occurs via surface runoff and leaching to groundwater. Soil contamination occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground storage tank leakage. Noise pollution encompasses roadway noise, aircraft noise, industrial noise as well as high-intensity sonar. Air pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain and congestion. Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. Noise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress and sleep disturbance.To protect the environment from the adverse effects of pollution, The United States, Europe, The United Kingdom, China, Australia, India and many nations worldwide have enacted legislation to regulate various types of pollution as well as to mitigate the adverse effects of pollution. To avoid ecological disaster and increased poverty, developing countries will require aid and technology from outside nations and corporations, community participation in development initiatives, and strong environmental regulations. ‘Greenpeace’ and ‘Friends of the Earth International’ are two activist organizations that focus international attention on industries and governments known to contaminate land, sea, or atmosphere with toxic or solid wastes. For a healthier survival, human concerns include the range from quality of life to health hazards due to environmental pollution.
The Life of a Rickshaw Puller
Rickshaws, the traditional eco-friendly, nonmotorized vehicles in Bangladesh are a mode of human-powered transport: a runner draws a three-wheeled cart which seats generally two persons. Rickshaw pullers come from the lower level in Bangladesh society almost from the villages, mostly are economically marginalized. With a vision of a good life, the illiterate villagers migrate to Dhaka and after fighting with poverty at last take rickshaw pulling like hard job. By doing a whole day of hard work a rickshaw puller still cannot earn proper money for quality existence. The average income to a rickshaw puller is 200 taka. But rickshaw pullers cannot lead a good life due to illiteracy and superstitions. They generally take unhygienic food in the roadside restaurants. However, the rickshaw pullers are not socially well recognized. They live in slums, generally do not have family planning and cannot send children to school, thus then they turn into street children. Bachelor rickshaw pullers live like homeless people whereas they are actually not homeless. After whole day hard job, they return with weak body and mind. With limited income, they cannot maintain family properly. So wife also joins in income generation, does a job as housemaid or garments worker. Such a way is going in their life circle. The crude reality, Bangladesh government is now evicting the rickshaw from Dhaka with the help of World Bank without rehabilitating the poor rickshaw-pullers. As rickshaw pullers are the essential cogs in Bangladesh’s machine, they deserve better. So, our government should aim at not just improving the educational standard and the physical well-being of the rickshaw puller and their families and dependents, but also socially and psychologically empowering the rickshaw pullers.
Unfair means in the Examination
Adopting unfair means in the examination has taken a horrible shape recently. There are many causes responsible for this national problem. Nowadays students are very much involved in harmful politics. Teachers, too sometimes attend their classes irregularly. Parents and guardians, in many cases, fail to look after their children. For all these causes, students neglect their studies, sit for examination unprepared and adopt unfair means. Optimistically enough, the authority has decided to put an end to the adoption of unfair means by strengthening the administrative measures; such as interchanging the examination centres, forming invigilation teams, cancelling the centres defamed for unfair means and taking punitive procedures against the guilty-ones. In addition, it is encouraging to notice that the deterrent actions recently taken by the authority concerned started yielding affirmative results.
Our National Flag
The national flag of Bangladesh was adopted officially on January 17, 1972. It is based on a similar flag used during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. The map was later deleted from the flag, most likely to simplify the design and to remove the difficulty rendering the map correctly on both sides of the flag. The national flag of Bangladesh is bottle green in colour and rectangular in size with the length to width ratio of 10:6. A red disc is on top of the green field, offset slightly toward the hoist so that it appears centred when the flag is flying. The red circle has a radius of one fifth of the length of the Bangladesh flag. The bottle green background colour stands for the greenery of Bangladesh with its vivacity and youthfulness, and secondarily, the traditional colour of Islam. On the other hand, the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice of the citizens of Bangladesh made to obtain their independence. The civil ensign and naval ensign place the national flag in the canton of a red or white field, respectively. The original flag was designed by painter Quamrul Hassan. Prescribed sizes of the flag for buildings are 305cm X 183cm, 152cm X 91cm and 76cm X 46cm and for vehicles are 38cm X 23cm and 25cm X 15cm. On the 3 March 1971, the initial version of the flag was hoisted in Bangladesh for the first time at the Dhaka University. Our national flag is the emblem of our patriotism, sovereignty, independence and national identity.
National Martyrs’ Memorial situated at Savar, about 35 km north-west of Dhaka, symbolises the valour and sacrifice of the martyrs of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistani rule. The main monument is composed of seven isosceles triangular planes each varying in size in its height and base. The highest one has the smallest base while the broadest base has the lowest height. The planes are folded at the middle and placed one after another. The highest point of the structure reaches 150 feet. This unique arrangement of the planes has created a structure that seems to change its configuration when viewed from different angles. There is an artificial lake and several mass graves in front of the main monument. A national competition was held for the design of the project in June 1978. Among the fifty-seven competitors, Architect Syed Moinul Hossain’s design proposal was selected. The architect has used concrete for the monument while all the other structures and pavements of the complex are made of red bricks. The whole complex is spread over an area of 34 hectares (84 acres) which is again wrapped around by a green belt of 10 hectares (24.7 acres). Several mass-graves and a reflection water body are placed in front of the monument. The project was constructed in three phases. The glaring spirit of the Liberation War still arouses the people to stand against all injustices and unfairness and helps attain overall progress of the country. Standing in front of the national memorial we bow down our heads in reverence as the towers soar up symbolizing the loftiness of the martyrs’ spirit.