In this week’s roundup we will highlight some of the discussions happening in the Bangladeshi Blogosphere on the issues of Poverty, LGBT and Travel.
Bangladesh is a developing country and the main problem of this country is overpopulation. It has one of the highest population density among the worlds big countries. Although the reduction in the growth of population to 1.7 percent (3% in the ’70s) is a miracle its vast rural population with their simple style of living are dropping its per capita income average to make it a poor country. It is almost self-sufficient in food for its population of 140 million (over 90%) if no natural calamity strikes in a year. We look at the Blogosphere to see how the country is fighting to get out of the cycle of poverty.
Shawn Ahmed of The Uncultured Project posts an investigative video report on the young hardworking Poor of Rural Bangladesh. He comments:
If poverty could be eliminated solely by the hard work and determination of the poor, then third world poverty would have ended a long time ago. The poor in the developing world are some of the hardest working people on the planet….I once again point out something I learned long ago: the poor aren’t lazy.
Here is the video produced by Shawn (used under creative commons license):
Bangladesh’s fight back to reduce poverty is largely contributed by its clothing industries which flourished from the late eighties. Lower income class women used to have no options other than working as housemaids for food, lodging and a small amount of money, now work in thousand of garments and other factories. And the proliferation of micro-credit introduced by the Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus targeted women to help them get out of poverty. And this had impacted a great deal in empowering women in a predominantly Muslim society.
Dr. Kathryn Ward of Bideshi Blue is a co-founder of Nari Jibon project, a provider of alternative skills for women, which has done commendable job in providing low cost classes in Bangla, tailoring, English, and computers. Kathy informs:
Many of our students have gone on to develop their own businesses, improve their salaries from literacy in Bangla and skills, jobs in offices and NGOs, and pursue their higher education with computer and improved skills in English and Bangla speaking, writing, and reading.
Although there are many such organization working in Bangladesh Nari Jibon has done a bit more. With a Rising Voices grant it has brought working class women of Dhaka towards blogging who are telling the world the stories their lives, struggles and joys. Listen to Kathy discussing the benefits of blogging for Bangladeshi Women in a radio interview.
Gay Community in Bangladesh:
From Drishtipat blog we are pointed to an article published in Himal South Asian magazine which sheds a light into the Bangladeshi gay community. As homosexuality is still a taboo in the society people are using the Internet to form a virtual community and meeting place of the gay-identified men in Bangladesh.
It was in late 2002 that the first online gay group for Bangladeshis – a Yahoo group called BOB, for Boys Only Bangladesh – was started by a handful of educated men. Tired of looking for other gay men in public places such as the Ramna Park hangout, they were hoping to build friendship ties online so as to begin talking about their sexuality comfortably. Since BOB is the biggest congregation of gay-identified men in Bangladesh, it has since come to be seen as something of a barometer of the gay community in the country. As such, BOB helps to gauge the political aspirations of this group – and, more recently, has provided a window into how the past year of emergency rule has affected the gay community of Bangladesh.
Joybangla.info, a travel blog from Bangladesh informs:
After many delays, interruptions, disagreements and a fence, the train ride between Kolkata and Dhaka will begin running again on 14 April.
Bodda in Scattered Words Blog had taken a new year’s resolution that he will visit places in Bangladesh and blog about it. The blogger visits Kushtia, which is famous for Lalon, the singing mystic of Bengal and Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali Nobel Laureate. Raza Rumi has more on Lalon Fakir.
Ahmed Sharif writes a photo essay in his PhotoBlog “Desher Chobi” after his visit to Lawachara Rain Forest & Sreemangal.