Environment


Wool coat with Faux Fur Hood = $ 250.00

Round-trip ticket from Dhaka to Sweden = $ 1670.00

Cost of solar panel installed on the roof of State Minister for Forest and Environment Dr. Hasan Mahmud’s residence = $ 533.33

Comments made in cabinet meetings such as “”The prime minister in the meeting gave directives to stop felling of trees.” = $ 0

A Prime Minister who can stop Awami League MPs from denuding the forest in our coastal regions and building brick-fields in the middle of forests = Priceless

An earthquake just hit Dhaka. The magnitude was 5.6 in richter scale. Everybody I know in Dhaka felt the jolt. Hence I re-post this blog two years two months later.

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Thousands more die in Indonesia. Earthquake strikes once again. Poor Iran, Indonesia, these countries lie on the fault line. Historically most of the earthquakes happened on the fault lines. California is also situated on a tectonic plate border, the fault line. And all the structures in California are built earthquake safe.

Here is a map of all the major and monor tectonic plates of the world.

platemap

If you can locate Bangladesh in the world map, you will see two plate bounderies, i.e. two fault lines cross Bangladesh. On the noth, the Indian plate clashes with the Eurasian plate and on the east, Indian plate borders Australian plate and continues to Burma plate.

I am not a geology student and won’t pretend to know or understand the basics of the importance of these plate bounderies and earthquake possibilities.

Different newspaper reports inform us that many scientists have been warning about the probability of a devastating 8-9 richter scale catastrophic earthquake in the northeastern and southeastern parts of Bangladesh.

So, major earthquake is also possible in Bangladesh. Are we ready?

Can the authority in Bangladesh speak out with certainty that at least one, only one single rsidential apartment in Bangladesh have been bult to withstand a7.0- 9.0 richter scale earthquake?

We we talk about issues, a variety of issues. There is a word in english dictionery, ‘Priority’. Should we, as a nation, relearn the meaning and implication of the word?

I still do not understand the reason behind the intense media mania on Abdul Jalil. Mr Jalil was an important factor as GS and spokesperson of his party. But his shameful surrender of ideal and political stand only after one day of jail sentence is adequate to make him irrelevant in politics.  But the sudden media hype over Mr Jalil’s recent ‘life threatening’ illness and emergency Singapore trip is very disgusting. Even after Mr Jalil left for Singapore, media keeps on pushing their pathetic reporting. Todays newspaper headlines were ‘Jalil wakes up from anethesia after two hours’, ‘Jalil talks’, ‘Jalil’s wife calls their sons’, ‘ Jalil’s surgery successful’, blah blah blah….

Most shameful of all is that there was no pressing emergency to send Jalil to Singapore. Medical journalism is terrible in Bangladesh. Whatever I could decipher is that Mr Jalil has kidney dysfunction. There are 20 million people in Bangladesh with Kidney disease, and between 20-50 thousand people develop kidney failure each year. Mr Jalil was also developing kidney failure. Kidney failure is a slow process.  His options were to either start dialysis once there is total shutdown  and I am pretty sure, by looking at his photos, he is not there yet (This may be months to a year from now) . Any sane approach was to be prepared for dialysis by preparing a vascular access in his arm through which dialysis may be started quickly once there is complete shutdown.  Singapore physicians are doing exactly that. The surgery they are talking about in newspapers was this access procedure.  And to be fair to Bangladeshi physicians, this procedure can be performed in Bangladesh. It is a very simple procedure and there are many physicians in Bangladesh who do it on a daily basis.  And there are many people in Bangladesh who are continuing their job or running businesses while attending three times a week dialysis.  The other option was kidney transplant. This is another stupid reporting. First, Mr Jalil is not even on dialysis, that means his kidneys are still functional.  Transplant could be considered once a patient is on dialysis for a considerable length of time.  And preparation for transplant may take years. First thing, one has to manage a good kidney. This is something you can not find in a medicine store in Singapore. Somebody has to donate it. I doubt Mr Jalil’s family members will donate their kidney. That means he has to buy a kidney. That further means that some poor soul in Bangladesh will have to sell his kidney. And even one simply can’t buy a kidney from just anybody. There has to be different kind of immune matching including blood group, HLA etc.

So all the media stuff about Jalil’s life was at stake and he had no option but to go to Singapore for emergency kidney transplant were all BS.

Jalil’s case is an example. After closely following all the events in Bangladesh, I can categorically say that I have not yet come across any single illness of any high profile political prisoner in Bangladesh who genuinely needs treatment abroad.

This government must release all the political prisoners. They must be released without any condition. No release should be under disguise and condition of parole for foreign treatment. There should be a limit to deception.

And this blog post is not even discussing a more fundamental question of the moral right of our political/ administrative leaders foreign trips for every minor medical care while the rest of the country has to depend on local services for the same treatments.

The demolition of Rangs Bhaban was a symbolic equivalent of the 1/11 military government. Exactly as what was with Rangs Bhaban, i.e. spectacular demolition an imposing indestructible structure; this military government embarked on a similar larger scale project with whole of Bangladesh.

Rangs Bhaban demolition in 24 hours notice was termed as a symbolic victory over corruption. Look at this blog and read in the comment section how the early supporters of this military government drooled at this fiesta of destruction.

However, as warned by a few, the bulldozer revolution of 1/11 faltered all through its way. The military government came with promises of rooting out and cleansing the country of corruption. Well nearly one year later, corruption is as rampant as before and none of the so called corruption kings could be convicted in corruption charge. All the unbelievable number of jail years given to politicians are all income tax or firearms cases. Any of the members of the current government can easily be implicated in similar income tax or firearm crimes. Then the bulldozer revolution tried to beautify Dhaka by destroying slums, control the markets by sending soldiers to market places, and control politics by purchasing some collaborator politicians and editors. And fortunately for the people of Bangladesh, all these misadventures failed.

Rangs Bhaban ( although Governments’ collaborators initially tried to publicize that it was built on illegal land, court order confirms that it was not) was evacuated in 24 hours notice, hundreds of businesses got uprooted, and some RAJUK daily laborers broke the beautiful glass walls with big hammers.

Soon the bulldozer revolutionaries started grasping the magnitude of the job and their inability to finish the job they started. A company was allocated the demolition job ( Hint hint: Lt Geneal Hasan Masud). The nation was told that a demolition expert company would do that job with surgical precision.

Well several months later, we now hear that the job was taken by a company which had no idea of the enormity of the job. Only experience they had so far was demolition of two very old three story one unit flat building in Chittagong. And even that company did not keep the job to themselves. They charged the government 75 lac taka and subcontracted it to labor contractors for 25 lac taka, thus earning 50 lac taka by only being a collaborator.
And the result is very visible today.

driving-towards-rangs-bhaban-photo-dhaka.jpgrangs-bhaban.jpg

Look at the mess this government has put us into. This is what happens when the wrong people embark into a job which they do not know how to handle and which is not their job either.

Rangs Bhaban is precariously hanging in the air today. Partly collapsed, the rest of the huge structure may collapse any moment. Dead bodies are hanging from the rubbles. Per different newspaper reports, as many as 30 workers are still trapped under the towering rubbles. No rescue operation is being planned as the building is too difficult to approach.

In previous thread termed Rangs Rongo, many of the military government apologetics boasted that Rangs Bhaban was the symbol of this governments’ crusade against corruption. I agree with them. The current state of Rangs Bhaban is the symbol of this military government.

And most unfortunately, the victims of these misadventures are not us, nor our elite brethren in Bangladesh. The victims are the poor people in Bangladesh. The decision makers of Rangs demolition will roam around and chatter around happily, the conspirators, collaborators of 1/11 bulldozer revolution will keep enjoying the advisorial, editorial, ambassadorial perks, but the poor people of Bangladesh will keep hanging like that poor soul in the picture. Someone buried under Rangs rubbles, the rest of them buried under the soaring price of essential basic food items.

It’s a mess. A big big mess.

Public park space in Dhaka is almost non existent. Almost hidden within this concrete slum of 12 million people, few spots here and there still gives the Dhakaites much needed greenery and some fresh air to walk in the early morning. If you happen to be in Parliament building ground, or Suhrawardi Udyan (Ramna Green) before sunrise, you will see a carnival there. Muffler clad elderly man gossiping in gangs, Saree-salwar-kameez wearing middle aged women walking briskly, young men running and doing physical exercise and even young kids joined the grand festivities with their moms. Suhrawardi Udyan and Parliament building areas are one of the rare open space Dhakaites now have. If you happen to stop by crescent lake, or the road side shops along Ashulia-Uttara road, the jam-packed, inch to inch crowd, will give you an idea of the dire need some park space in Dhaka.

While the governments should consider this park space shortage as an issue of priority and do everything possible to make more greenery available to the public, this government has done exactly the opposite.

The took away almost half of Ramna Green (25 acre of 62 acres) and silently gave it to a club of 1500 elites of Dhaka, the Dhaka Club. The hitherto public park space will be the golf course for the 1500 elites of Dhaka. And this broad daylight robbery of public land occurred almost 5 months ago in June 2007.

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Bangladesh is now in the middle of an overwhelming natural disaster. At least 60 people (Much higher unofficially) has lost their lives and 6 million people have no food or shelter. Flood has devastated a big chunk of Bangladesh. Business, education, healthcare and normal life have been shattered in 1/4th of Bangladesh. Agriculture live stock loss is projected to reach billions of taka. People, women-children, old-youth are desperately looking for a dry land to rest or cook. The children are hungry. There is no food to eat, not place to rest, no transportation to move.

Finally after two weeks our CA visits a camp in Kurigram after landing in a ‘built for him’ heliport. And while the law advisor asks people to pray to God for reprieve and our generals compete with each other for a photo-op, a thousand hired workers hurriedly launch a crore taka budget demolition fiesta.

Yes, the fiesta to demolish Rangs Bhavan.

As Rangs Bhavan disappears rapidly, questions and concerns remain.
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In Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s literature, you would not be able to finish a full sentence without getting the description of dozen of different flora, starting from the century old shade trees to the little grass flower. Bibhutibhushan was the master in bringing up the real nature of Bengal in his letarature. As clearly depicted by Bibhutibhushan, an exceedingly lively nature and rich biodiversity made the landscape of Bangladesh.

 Several years ago, I had an opportunity to travel to the Chimbuk hill at BandarBan hilly district. While I expected a visual commentary of Bibhutibhushan, I was shocked and saddened to see an indiscriminate massacre of nature. The arakan mountain range that runs parallal to the coast line through Chittagong or the more intimidating landscape of the hill tract districts used to be home of dense lush green rain forest and was inhabited by an amazing range of creatures. Wild elephants used to roam along the foot of the hills in dense jungle, they also used to have leopards, porcupines, gibons, orang otangs, deers, bears, pythons, Nil Guy etc. Now-a-days, this dense green rainforest has turned into governments fruit gardens.

For many decades, there have been government programs of planting fruit trees along all the rainforests and to accomodate more fruit trees there have been more felling of trees that were meant to be there naturally.

Tagore wrote, “Oi Maloti lota dole, pial o toru ro kole”. As both  Maloti lota and pial toru are not lucrative, they have to give way for Ipil Ipil trees or amra gardens.

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Photo: Moshiur Rahman [ I know this picture hurts. And exactly that is what I want]

All babies look kind of similar when they sleep. If you look at the picture, you will notice that overwhelming all the mud and dirt, a peaceful sleep glows all over the face of the baby. The baby was probably sleeping while the whole family were buried alive during the landslide. Now the baby has slipped into another sleep never to wake up from.

This little child was supposed to live a full life. Very unfortunately the life has been shortened. And it happened all because… because what?

Is it because the bay was born in a poor family?  Or because the parents could not afford a crib, let alone brick house in a residential area or an apartment in a bay view high rise?
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Egyptian Islamist zealot turned Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri is apparently the poster boy of violent terrorism and his face in the media evokes a violent image of Islam. During the early school days of Zawahiri, the then Egyptian government decided to exterminate Islamic militancy by hanging every possible person with the slightest connection with Islamic militancy. The bloody and heavy handed violent methods of Egyptian government in controlling the influence of some relative less violent groups like Muslim brotherhood evoked sympathy and ideological allegiance to these groups among many young people. At that time Zawahiri was recruited to Muslim Brotherhood and later he assumed a leadership role in Egyptian Islamic Jihad. If we take lesson from history we would see that violently exterminating the leadership of Egyptian Islamic groups did no have any long term effect in curbing Islamic terrorism. Rather we now have this Ayman al-Zawahiri threatening the world with new fear every now and then.

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Storm 1991 victim

I was a student of Chittagong medical College, when the cyclone of April 29 hit coastal Chittagong. It was drizzles all day, winds were gaining momentum as night fell on Chittagong. When I came out of the library building around 9 PM, the winds were quite strong, campus was deserted, and hospital lobby was empty. I had to stay over in the hospital that night because the road connecting the hospital and the student’s dorm on the other side of the hill was too unsafe for walking in that storm. Falling trees, flying debris were everywhere. As night progressed, storm got fierce and fiercer, as if the immense 6 story quarter mile long building will fall apart. As I took shelter in a bed at the sick student’s ward, it was a scary sleepless night. We, half a dozen stranded souls, kept waiting for the morning only to see utter devastation of the medical college campus. The beautiful hilly tree lined campus was in ruins, 50% of all the large trees were uprooted, and power lines were all over. The hospital, the highest tertiary healthcare-trauma center for all of southern Bangladesh was totally ineffective as the fallen trees completely blocked all the roads including that to the emergency.

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I know this topic is not as sexy a topic as those on Dr Yunus, Sheikh Hasina/Khaleda Zia and their sons or even cricket. But I dare write about it because we can no longer afford to ignore this issue.
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While trying to visit Dhaka’s main water bodies this time, I came up with two interesting findings,

1. A water body, when it goes through a posh area, it is called a lake. The same thing when it enters middle class Dhaka, it renames itself as a Khal or jheel. A Gulshan resident can not tolerate a Begunbari or Meradia resident living beside a lake!!

2. Except the Dhanmondi lake (And part of Gulshan lake) most of the water bodies in Dhaka are either lined by slums (More specifically slum latrines) or small industry waste disposal system and there is no easy access to reach them.

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As I grew up in north Dhaka (Then north, now probably central), I witnessed years of massive land fills eliminating water bodies, swamps from Dhaka.

Even now, the moment you leave the city limits you see low-lands spread all the way to the horizon. And alarmingly, you will not find a single water body which has not yet been marked for death by imposing signboards of real estate businesses. (Thank you Jugantor owner Mr. Babul).

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A lead newsitem following Mr. Wahidul Haq’s death was donation of his body for medical science. His body was handed over to BSMMU. In the past, several similar gestures and wishes could not be fulfilled due to family unwillingness as well as inaction of the authority citing lack of guideline and law. When Aroj ali Matubbor first donated his body for medical science, that created a huge backlash and controversy. Writer Humayun Azad’s wishes could not be fulfilled as apparently the family was not sure about it. In this context after death, Mt Wahidul Haq created another milestone in Bangladesh. He finally succeded in donating his body while all previous attempts failed.

With his donation Mr Wahidul Haq threw a challenge to the medical community of Bangladesh. Now it was the responsibility of the medical community to harvest all the organs and save multiple lives by transplanting them. I don’t know what exactly happeneded with his body, but I doubt his organs could have been harvested for proper transplantation. We simply do not have an efficient system in effect to harvest body organs and parts those can be life saving to others.

In this juncture I also take the opportunity to remember Dr Enamul Haq who first donated his cornea in Bangladesh. In a very humble move late Shahadat Chowdhury, ex editor of Bichitra and 2000, was the one who came forward to receive that cornea for his injured eye. Thanks to the way they showed, only organs that is regularly harvested in Bangladesh is the cornea (eye).

I hope, thanks to the way Mr Wahidul Haq showed just showed us, someday our poor healthy young man and women will no longer have to sell their organs. Posthumous donations will ensure enough organs for transplantation.

Related Blog is here.

A major disadvantage for them is that they work and live out of our views, even out of the radar screen of any dedicated NGO. Otherwise, like garments industry workers, ship breaking workers, the deep sea fisherman of Bangladesh are also vital to Bangladesh economy and with their blood and toil, Bangladesh earns millions of foreign currency every year.

These fishermen, while fishing with their self made trawlers, brave the rough seas at the largest and arguably the wildest delta of the world. They compete with the fishermen from neighboring countries who has modern sonar, radar, automated net and fishing gear equipped vessels and yet they come back home with catch enough to sustain the economy of the country.
Because they live in so remote coastal parts of Bangladesh, there is very limited knowledge about their life.

However, on a regular basis we read in newspapers about missing fishermen in the Bay of Bengal. This is almost a monthly event. We never know how many actually ever return. There is no registry for these people who are lost on a regular basis.

They have many problems, first being the danger of working in the rough seas with ill equipped boat without any navigational and rescue device.

Without navigation knowledge and equipment, very frequently they find themselves in foreign water and a large number of Bangladeshi fishermen are now in jail in countries like India, Myanmar, Thailand etc.

They don’t get adequate wages for their risky and very hard job. The fishermen can only keep 40% of the catch while 60% goes to the owner of the trawler. Yet, unlike garments workers, they have no association and their anger/sorrow is far removed from our policy makers to really make any law protecting their rights. Here is a picture of some fisherman who otherwise would be another 40 lost fishermen lost in the Bay of Bengal. But luckily they were rescued from yesterday’s storm.

In a blog titled ” What Khaleda Zia should tell India”, about six months ago, I wrote the following,

she should mention of a more serious threat, coming out of India through it’s border into Bangladesh.

She should remind India that rather than spending money in rocket, nuclear science, and not pretending to be world’s most advanced country, India should focus a bit more into some basic issues.

She shoukld tell that ..”Only 4 countries are still polio-endemic – : Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. ” This deadly polio virus is more dangerous than any possble terrorism.

Bangladesh is a succes story in immunization campaign agaist different deadly diseases. Polio was eradicated six years ago. But as India ( While focused on showcasing herself as world’s super power, did a poor job eradicating Polio; and this polio is spreading Back to Bangladesh.

Following this blog, I took a great deal of lashing as being an ultranationalist xenophobic, anti-India bigot, religious fanatic etc. However better late than never , World health Organization has finally came out with this statement yesterday, India actively ‘exporting’ polio to Bangladesh. I am not surprised at this statement. Considering the gravity of the situation, I knew it was coming.

Yesterday I wrote about Bangladesh being the Asian hub of MDR TB putting the whole region at great danger of having a MDR TB epidemic.

These are not issues of politics. These are matters of priority. While India is busy climbing up the stairs to become a superpower, they are forced to neglect in this basic sectors. At the same time, Bangladesh turned into a five year cycle of election-new government-political agitation-hartal-violence-lathicharge-caretaker govt.-new govt. Other than sporadic incidents, issues other than good old politics has been out of public’s mind.

We must set our priorities straight. We must tackle these looming public health calamities with all the resources we have. There is no alternative to political stability, national consensus, good governance and regional cooperation to achieve our goal. We can’t afford to fail in this endeavour.

Can there be any worse terrorist in the world than that kills one people every ten minutes?

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*TB kills one every 10 minutes in Bangladesh

*A total of 70,000 TB infected persons die each year and 300,000 new TB cases are expected every year in Bangladesh. Globally, one third of the world population is already infected with TB, while more than 10 million develop TB each year.
60 percent of the TB cases are still undetected.

*Millions of children are contracting TB every year. Our physicians are not adequately trained in treating children with TB. There are no curricula and any concerted effort in launching a campaign for treating children with TB.

*There are estimated 3-4% multi drug resistant TB in Bangladesh. There are very few available medication for multi-drug resistant TB and these medicine are not produced in Bangladesh. And some of these imported medications are abused as they are being used for common cold or viral infections without any real need. As a result, resistance is developing against these antibiotics in Bangladesh.

*Multi drug resistant TB is a clear and present danger. If we can’t control it now, a perilous future awaits us in Bangladesh.

* Bangladesh faces the possibility of being a pariah country where foreigners will not visit. An epidemic of multi-drug resistant TB may even prompt all foreigners currently living in Bangladesh to leave this country. Foreign business, investment, manpower export, all will stop. If Bangladesh fail to contain multi-drug resistant TB it will poses a grave danger to the dense population in this subcontinent.
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Bangladesh has many problems. Jamaat, Shibir and Bangla Bhai are few of such problems. But while we are focused on those problems, please, let’s not forget about the clear and present danger like multi-drug resistant TB in Bangladesh.

In the early days of current BNP government, in the pre-RAB era, a crime drive called “Operation Clean heart” was initiated by the government. However this operation clean heart was popularly called ‘operation heart attack’ as those who were killed in this operation were all declared dying of heart attack.

Similarly another heart attack death occured yesterday, involving, this time, a member of police. During picketer-police hustle, a brick hit the police constable, Narayan’s forehead and later he was declared dead at Heart foundation hospital.

And spin regarding this death started even before the death was declared. State Minister for home immediately ceased the opportunity of this killing to put the blame squarely on opposition leader Sheikh Hasina’s raucous remarks.

And a counter spin was staged by news outlets like Daily Star, Prothom -alo etc. Their stance is that it was right that Narayan got hit in the forehead but he also had a heart attack at the same time.

All the party involved quoted the physicians at heart foundation hospital at their own sweet will.

The home minister’s vile efforts to politicize the unfortunate death against political opponent must be condemned.

At the same time conscientious souls should also condemn the double standard of media outlets like Daily Star or Prothom-Alo. These outlets claim aristocracy by preaching against Hartals, at the same time when this unfortunate death’s happen, they can’t hide partisanship while trying to undermine another hartal casualty by promoting it as a mere heart attack death.


The Daily Star photo declaring the death as heart attack death.

And again this incidence exposes our non existent trauma system. At many as 20% of head injury/ intracranial bleed patients may have presentation similar to heart attack, abnormal ECG, abnormal blood test that are usually found in heart attack etc. These kind of patients need CT scan of the brain to rule out bleeding and if there is a bleed, evacuating it and decompressing the brain becomes an urgency. As far as I could dig out from different newspapers, heart foundation doctors, being trained only in heart problems, and lacking significant exposure to head injury patients, naturally inclined to treat heart problem, which they know how to treat. But they probably didn’t know that the apparent heart attack like presentation may be the result of bleeding in the brain.
For the sake of truth, the country should know the exact cause of the death. I hope autopsy will reveal the truth.

Lately when I visit Bangladesh , an increasing number of visitors come to greet me, known, fairly known, somewhat known, less known, hardly known or even unknown. They all have one thing common to them. They all carry a CD with them. A CD, very carefully cased, then wrapped in clothe, handled very respectfully and carefully, gets out of the hand bag or shirt pocket and unwrapped in shaky hands. Then the CD is handed over to me with a body language similar to when the British Monarch hands over the Victoria Cross to the recipient.

I can’t cite any data, because there are none. But recently, chest pain caused by coronary artery disease followed by coronary deaths have taken a epidemic proportion in Bangladesh. Every death news I get coming from bangladesh, a middle aged man, women, an elderly, or a young man; there is 90% possibility that the death was due to heart attack.

With rapidly developing cardiology service in Bangladesh, people with chest pain are now getting an angiogram to confirm some blocked coronaries. After the angiogram, these women/men, with the CD of the angiogram are left wth the decision on how to treat the blockage. Thus they start their journey to solve the unsolvable arithmetic.

They are often told, without giving any time to elaborate or Q &A, ” you have block, you need stents. If you put the regular stent this will cost you 1.5 lac, but if you put the medicated stent, it will cost you 4 lac taka”. In most cases I saw, they have no clue what a stent is, what is the benefit of a medicated vs a non-medicated one.

Most cases they have some money left in providence fund they thought of using for daughters marriage or sons foreign trip.

Now they start debating how to better use the money. Should they go to NICVD at Dhaka where it will cost less, or Heart foundation or other new hospitals in Dhaka, or go to India or Singapore.? They get a price quote for life from all these places. Medicated stent …Taka, non medicated stent…taka.

They keep on bracing the madness of Dhaka streets, in search of a solution to the riddle. Is it worthy paying 2 lac for a renewal of life, how to renew it, with medicated or nonmedicated stent? Where to go, NICVD, India? Or rather to save the money for daughetr’s wedding or son’s possible opportunity for a job in malaysia.

With pain in the chest and a CD in their hand, they keep calculating with a resolve to solve the unsolvable riddle.

If you hadn’t already seen the landmark oscar winning 1956 movie “Around The world in 80 days” based on Jules Verne’s famous novel, please see it.

All of the India episode of the movie was shot in Bangladesh, the then east pakistan. You will see, with surprise, how less and huch much our landscape has changed over the last 50 years.

When the train was going through riverine planes of Bangladesh, you will find that there is little change in the sight. Exactly the same paddy fields, the canals, rivers, fishermen etc.

However the deep forest scenes of the movie was shot at Lauachhara reserve forst at Moulvibazar area of Sylhet. These specific forest was slected and the several thousand strong crew flew all the way to Sylhet only for the deep wild nature of the forest. Even 20–30 years ago, the jungle used to be pitch dark during the brightest of the days. This forest, loosing almost 70% of it’s flora and fauna in last 50 years, still is the richest biodiverse forests in Bangladesh.

The dense canopy of the forest is the unique home of magnificient Dhanesh bird.

In addition to rampant deforestation, settlement, poaching; the recent Magurachhara gas field explosions damaged this natural resource extensively. And now the propsed gas pipeline threatens the remaining of the reserve forest.

While talking about Lauachhara, off course, we must not miss out on Holook Gibon, for which this forest is so famous and which attracts thousands of scientists, visitors, wildlife photographers every year. Lauachhara forest is the home of this most exotic creature, the rare ‘holook gibon’, locally called as ‘ulluk’. A recent census counted the number to ‘ulluk’ to be 300 now while it was 3000 only a decade ago.

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While we are worried that the number of real ‘ulluks ‘, the holook gibon is receeding alarmingly, another kind of Ulluk, the holook humans are, no doubt, abundant in Bangladesh. One famous example is our ex president HM Ershad. His repeated sommersaults around the Bangladesh political sprectrum is sufficient to wipe away any remaining interest a sane human may have left on Bangladesh politics.

Similarly if we could spend a fraction of the energy that was spent blocking the filming of the movie, Brick lane, this ‘Sylheti Forest’ would have been in much better shape today.

While we need to save the holook gibons, it’s about the time we come forward, face and deal with these holook humans, the socio-political Ulluks .

A very different transition zone. The story of the journey of a heart from a donor to a recipient. Also the tumultuous emotional journey of the carier who wrote the story.
Read it here.

It’s like getting the opportunity to win a medal in the olympics or play in a winning team in the world cup soccer.

It is about publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine. Everybody, somehow involved in medical science have the same dream, the dream of publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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The New England Journal of Medicine is worlds oldest ( established in 1812), largest and arguably, the best known medical journal. Every issue of NEJM, immediately after publication, gets intensely scanned by major news outlets like CNN, NY Times, Public radio, BBC, Reuter etc for the health news of the months.
While less than 1% all the academic physicians, scientist in USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Israel and other developed countries could fulfil the dream of publishing in NEJM, a bunch of Bangladeshi scientists, who live and work in Dhaka, did it last week. A landmark research was performed in ICDDR,B, Dhaka and the results were published in NEJM.

Single-Dose Azithromycin for the Treatment of Cholera in Adults

Debasish Saha, M.B., B.S., Mohammad M. Karim, M.B., B.S., Wasif A. Khan, M.B., B.S., Sabeena Ahmed, M.Sc., Mohammed A. Salam, M.B., B.S., and Michael L. Bennish, M.D.
From the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh (D.S., M.M.K., W.A.K., S.A., M.A.S.); the School of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (M.L.B.); and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom (M.L.B.).

If you are in search of some Bangladeshi heros, here are some. May be our Bangladeshi media don’t even know what is NEJM, and what a real landmark research mean, these people are the one who Bangladesh people should celebrate, not the Brazilian or Argentine soccer players.

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