Daycare services are very rare in Bangladesh and out of reach of the poor. We can blame her but first we need to provide her options. Probably she thought this is better than sending the kid to a madrassa or losing the job and create more problems in the family. I have heard of an NGO providing day care facilities to the poor. I hope such initiatives are proliferated soon to put an end to this misery.
Muhammad, please put your url of your blog in the designated box rather than in the comment. It will blocks your comment otherwise.
In Dhaka, I have seen that a lot of these people are sending there kids to Madrassahs because they keep their children all day with food etc. In other words, they are sending them to religious schools because they cannot afford good schools or child care while they work.
First, is this really an representation of the state of children of working women/parents? I have spent a significant part of my life in Bangladesh and I visit frequently now, and I must say that seeing chained and shackled children is NOT something I have come across.
The article promotes some ideas will appear to be representative of a general state, which is all well and good — except for the fact that the assumptions extrapolated are highly misleading.
And since when are ‘religious schools’ and ‘good schools, child care’ mutually exclusive.
Well, I think madrasshahs in general in Bangladesh do not teach science and maths enough and do not prepare you for the real world skills. Based on that criterion, I would think religious schools and good schools are mutually exclusive. There may be exceptions of course.
I am glad you defined it more. Think for a minute though, madrassas are like any other specialized school (music, art, drama, schools — e.g Shanti Niketon in India for instance, where other subjects like science, math, history and to a much lesser degree literature/political science etc. are taught)…till a certain level (I believe it is till about the 7/8 grade), they are taught all subjects just as in a regular school, but the emphasis in undoubtedly on Quranic study. My point is, while it is true that the focus is religious studies, does not mean these students less competitive or that these schools are not good …. it simply has a different emphasis and we need all kinds of people/focus in this world.
Yes students who go to madrassah’s are usually less competitive. I have seen Madrassah’s where reading the local newspaper is banned in fear that they will forget god. Especially the Quomi style madrassah where no one knows what is taught. It is a complete black hole.
We can argue for days on the relative definition of “competitive” “good” “abuse”…in fact, any one of the key words … in all this chaos and debate, just stop to pause and reflect how quick most of us are to criticize anything that has to do with Islam. It’s the new antipathetic syndrome. Tsk tsk.
Back to the point of the post though, before we got carried away with the idea of madrassa and all that, what legal protective rights to these kids have. Say they go to the police, is there a law that actually will classify this as child abuse? That is truly the concern here.
Before we make too much assumptions we need to find out how many cases like this are happening in the country.
Or this is just a rare case of the case of every house hold ( which is not I m sure)
Also education social class outlook information about child up bringing plays a vital role in this scenerio.No education on parenting or child raising.No educational classes to single parenting,no promotions on Media for parenting.
I am sure none of us would do that but the question lies why this lady is doing that ?
Does she knows the dare consequeces of this type of behavior?
fire, child abuse, death, earth quake?
What are her shortcomings to adapt this technique?
Poor,uneducated,stubborn,single mom,single household in the house?
We need to put us in her shoes to find the answer and than come for a solution to the problem.
It feels bad because the social class system between haves and haven’t( poor and the rich) are so much wide that its hard to believe where are we heading in the future.
Poor getting poorer Rich getting richer
In econimic term wrong distribution of wealth is the problem of Bangladesh.In my term wrong people on the decisions making ladders is the problem for Bangladesh.
Thats why we see Ferrari and BMW’s, Hummer etc
on the road.
Yes I agree with Kawser. Putting us in the mother’s shoes will probably bring out the thinking like the child will be safe (not get lost or kidnapped) this way. But the decision is inhuman. We can simply compare the situation with UK and form a judgement or we can criticize the limitations she faced, which forced her doing this. We can also criticize the role of the neighbors here or the community.
We talk about laws on protection from child abuse, where we cannot protect these kids forced to work just to earn their daily bread. Where the basic necessities like getting 3 meals a day is not secured, why don’t we talk about state protection for those children? Why don’t we talk about securing full free education for these kids including meal?
“what legal protective rights to these kids have. Say they go to the police, is there a law that actually will classify this as child abuse? That is truly the concern here.”
This is exactly what I was thinking, and I guess that’s what Rumi bhai had in mind in highlighting this.
Naureen you are quite right about it not being mutually exclusive but I think Asif bhai is also right about madrasas not being the grounds on which one might peruse a book on neurology. 🙂
Rezwan, it isn’t about comparing Bangladesh to UK, it’s about good standards and bad standards. In the UK, we have social services, we have child care facilities like nurseries and creches.
The lady in the above picture, if she was well motivated she could organise a nari samiti composed of mothers like herself in her area and start a process whereby they could employ unemployed mothers to take care of children, I’ve seen such a thing in the UK.
My question is this: is this about a deficient value system or the absence of social conscience in Bangladesh?
Yes, it is about lack of education but there those who wait for others to start the educative process for them and there are those who use their own initiative. I respect autodidactic people.
What I’m saying is that there is an element of condescension in the idea “giving” and someone receiving because he or she doesn’t know how to do it themselves.
Mr Kawser, when you said, “when it comes to real work we are behind,” I hope you were speaking for yourself and not for people you don’t know.
We have to know our limits. There are certain things expats can facilitate best. We should focus on that. There are certain things that we have to leave it to the people inside the country and discussions need to happen on a policy level. Here is what I think expats can do best.
1. Tech transfer
2. capacity building in Bangladesh by funding grassroot org (BEN/BAPA example)
3. Funding areas which are not getting highlighted by the NGOs and government for various limitation.
On the bright side, a lot of these things are already happening. VAB, SpandaanB, BEN are just few of those examples. On the negative side, the talkers on the NRB community still outnumber the doers by a vast majority. We do try to intellecutalise issues (when its not needed), find faults with new solutions etc without providing alternatives — to a certain extent to rationalise our inaction.
“What I’m saying is that there is an element of condescension in the idea “giving” and someone receiving because he or she doesn’t know how to do it themselves.”
I have not experienced it myself. If you detect it, I suspect its more out of frustration rather than anything else. I know quite a few of Bangladeshis who are doing extremely good work spending hundreds of hours of their personal time doing good deeds. Then there comes another group whose main job is to tarnish the good work of these people by criticising or finding faults with their work. Naturally, certain amount of criticism will creep in. My advice to the complaining bunch is that don’t just find faults with the system, provide solutions. Quick example. In the Boishakhi mela in London, at least 3 people came to our stall and told us that we are paid by India and America. What nonsense is that! If working for the little people of Bangladesh are dalali of India, then I don’t know what to say. These same people would probably be watching Hindi movies all the time and their wives are talking about Kabhi Saas bhi bohu thi. But do some work for real change, you are india’s agent. Normally, I don’t react to these things. But when I see these middle aged talkers harassing 20 somethings volunteers our group, naturally there will be a reaction. I probably went on a tangent here but I hope you can catch what I am trying to say.
Mr Muhamad says
when you said, “when it comes to real work we are behind,” I hope you were speaking for yourself and not for people you don’t know.
No Mr Muhamad I am not only talking about me
I am talking of each and every individual who has something to do with Bangladesh and some how some time came out of Bangladesh with the grace of peace loving green Passport. All of us.
Its not about you and me its about our nation its about each and every individuals to has a capacity to do something or do more if they are already doing it.
I didn’t mean to point any finger on any one but really how much are we doing. The population of the country is 156 million roughly there are 50 organizations of Bangladeshi involve in the progress work for Bangladesh in the country and 5 org may be to tarnish the image who knows?
but is that enough Mr Muhamad? May be I said I am talking about only me when it comes to real work we are behind how forward are you ?
Can you show me the path to help Bangladesh may be no one showed me the path I might follow your path?
Even in Islam it is said when you do good deeds do it in the light of the day and in open atmosphere where people can learn and take a lesson from your good work to do good things by themselves.
Please as an elderly brother of our community help the young generation give us some teachings we want to learn?
“to see the change in the world be the change it self that you want to see”
Technological know-how and advancement is one major issue for Bangladesh, but there’s been considerable progress in the last ten years. Not long ago a villager in Bangladesh didn’t know anything about mobile phones but now he/she at least knows how to use it (a bit to loudly perhaps). What’s missing, of course, is the knowledge behind the creation of such a device.
Lobbying is something I’ve been doing since I was an undergraduate, but mostly in the UK. My hands are tied up with the anti-genetically-modified products movement in the UK. I wish I could contribute a lot more to the movements in Bangladesh.
Asif bhai, because my 70 odd years old mother is retired in Bangladesh and because of the hundreds of relatives who live in Bangladesh, I will never do a wholesale trashing of Bangladesh. If I say anything at all, I say so because I don’t want to see Bangladeshis living with poverty of mind and social surroundings. It’s thanks to my “white” English wife’s interest in Bangladesh that got me reconnected. Several years ago, I wouldn’t have said anything on Bangladesh.
A Hindi movie watched in the latest 86 by 86 inches LCD screen, with speakers in the four corners of one’s living-room. Yes, that’s the life of luxury.
Mr Kawser, unfortunately, I never had a green passport, and when my father arrived in the UK, he came with a Pakistani passport. 🙂
Mr. Kawser, I’ll tell you what my late father used to say, “jibon tho pehyesi, ekon ki korbo (life’s been given to me, what am I going to do now?).” My father used to say, “just because I’m biologically responsible for your life, don’t expect me to give you fatherly guidance, you’ve got a brain, so use it.”
So, I won’t show you the path, find it yourself. Use your own brain.
“How forward are you?” Well, I’d say am very forward, and because I’m so, I tell you that what Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, etc, does or doesn’t say is irrelevant to me, it’s all dead dogma and it’s stagnant.
Elderly brother? How old do you think I am? How old are you?
I’m in my early 30s mate!
Yes Mr Muhamad I haven’t turn 30 yet. To me age is a state of mind and experience that you gather. I respect your fathers advice and let me tell you my late fathers advice to me for life was “Be bold in what you stand for”
Yes I have my own direction where I am going and I do have a great respect and honor for respected persons to advice me or critic me.
I do have a green passport that brought me to USA and respect my country and my green passport.
I am dedicated to change Bangladesh for the better.I am on my way and I am following my life long advice of my role model and till the last drop of my blood is circulating in my body the love and dedication for Bangladesh will never end. It will end the day I die.
I don’t know what would you liked to be called a Bengali or Bangladeshi or may be British who knows I have respect for you for the love and honour you have for our country.
I hope that answer your question if not please ask by email “email@example.com