Satkhira, Nov 23 (UNB) – A viral attack has devastated the shrimp enclosures in the district, leaving the sector in limbo as the farmers are counting huge losses due to the widespread death of shrimp and its falling price.
Freshwater prawn (Macrobrachiumrosenbergii), commercially known as 'White Gold' in Bangladesh, is farmed in around 50 lakh acres of land in six upazilas of the district.
Three species --Bagda, Galda and Harina—are farmed here. Among them, Bagda and Galda are exported to various countries while Harina supplied to local markets.
The country now earns nearly Tk 1,500 crore in foreign exchange every year by exporting shrimp from Satkhira alone, official sources said.
Sources at Satkhira District Fisheries Department said Bagda has been cultivated in 49,163 registered enclosures in six upazilas this year with a production target of 27,500 metric tons against last year’s 26,000 mts.
But the shrimp farmers suffered huge losses in the wake of falling prices caused by the viral attack. Shrimp worth Tk 100 crore died this year, said sources at the District Shrimp Farmers Association.
Officials at District Fisheries Department said lack of fresh water and favourable environment are behind the attack by the viral disease.
Rajyeswar Das, a shrimp farmer of Sorappur village in Ashashuni upazila said, “We’re upset as we’re losing money. I’ve been cultivating shrimp for last 30-35 years. I cultivated Bagda on 2,500 bighas of land this year but incurred the worst losses in 10 years – Tk 2 crore. I’m not getting fair the price either.”
Dr Abul Kalam Babla, general secretary of the association, said he farmed Bagda on around 1,500 bighas of land. Most shrimps died due to attack by a viral disease and he incurred a loss of Tk 1 crore, Kalam added.
Md Abdur Rab, president of the association, said the farmers are not getting fair prices due to downtrend in prices on the international market. The shrimps, which were selling at Tk 900-100 per kg barely two months back, are now selling at Tk 550-600 per kg, hitting the farmers and businessmen hard.
Aftabuzzaman, former president of the association, said the commercial shrimp farming in the district started in 1972. The interest of the local farmers in shrimp farming increased following its high demand both on the local and international markets, he said.
He said when shrimp fry used to be collected from natural sources, the prevalence of the viral disease was low, but it started increasing when farmers became dependent on hatcheries for the fry.
Md Shahidul Islam, a district fisheries officer, said the shrimp enclosures have been built in unhygienically as the shrimp fry are hardly released in the enclosures making those free from bacteria.
He said they suggested the farmers to farm shrimp in hygienically to avoid any attack by viral diseases.
Dhaka, Nov 22 (UNB) - When appeals are in plenty to save millions of underprivileged children across the world, the foreign friends of Bangladesh here have come forward with a unique idea to help those children by raising funds through hosting a fashion show to be held in the city on Saturday.
Brazilian Embassy in Dhaka, Spouses of Head of Missions (SHOM) and the Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh joined hands to host the fashion show titled ‘Haute Couture’ at Le Meridien Dhaka where the spouses of heads of missions will be the models to touch the hearts of those children.
Cosmos Group, REVIVE, Bashundhara Group, Mutual Trust Bank Limited, Dhaka Page3, Bay Developments Ltd, Bangladesh Heritage Crafts Foundation and Le Meridien Dhaka are the sponsors of the event while United News of Bangladesh (UNB) is the media partner.
Before the formal beginning of the fashion show, participants will enjoy a live music where an American band will perform.
“Our expectation is to help the disabled, abandoned and disadvantaged children who need us and our help. We want to raise funds and touch their hearts,” Sandra Tabajara, wife of Brazilian Ambassador in Dhaka, told UNB in an interview ahead of the event.
She said they have lots of volunteers working with them to successfully host the event. “We’ve many hands to work together. We can do something.”
Tabajara, who is inspired by Mother Teresa’s works, said this is an idea which begins this year with an expectation that it will continue in the coming years, too. “We want to inspire others to do the same thing.”
Appreciating the people of Bangladesh, she said, “I’ve to tell you, you’ve a very good heart. I know my friends in Bangladesh also do a very important job on the same cause.”
Apart from raising funds for the disadvantaged children in Bangladesh, Tabajara said, they also want to promote the young designers of Bangladesh. “That’s why we joined hands with them (Fashion Design Council).”
Talking about live music at the fashion show, she said, “An American band will perform. I’ve another friend -- the drummer of the band -- from the Embassy of Sweden.”
Talking about the dress code, Tabajara said everything there will be in blue and white. “We’ve to wear either blue or white; or blue and white together. That’s the idea of colour code.”
Tabajara said she so is impressed by the quality of Bangladeshi designers. “I must mention silk and Jamdani sarees. When I go to a party, I see all these wonderful sarees. I feel like I’m not dressed well.”
“It’s so pretty to see someone wearing saree. That’s why I see why you’re growing in RMG industry,” she said flashing a big smile.
Describing Bangladesh and her stay in Dhaka, Tabajara said it makes her extremely happy to represent Brazil in such a lovely country like Bangladesh where she sees everything so warm and friendly.
“You’re so rich on cultural front, so similar to our country. We’re really very happy here. We’ve already got good friends here. This is the most important [thing],” she said.
Responding to a question, Tabajara said Bangladesh and Brazil have many things common in the field of art and culture. “You’ve so many great artists, painters and also weavers. Bangladesh is very rich in culture. We’ve this richness, too.”
She said the weavers and the people behind Jamdani sarees need help. “There’re some issues that we’ve to do together to find a way.”
Tabajara recalled her visit to Mother Teresa's house in Kolkata and also similar works in Dhaka what actually inspired her to do something here to help the underprivileged people who need support.
Tabajara shared her idea with Maheen Khan, a well-known pioneer in the design industry of Bangladesh, and spouses of Ambassadors and High Commissioners who responded positively.
“We’ll be the models. People will really have fun seeing us as models," she said.
Dhaka, Nov 21 (UNB) - In recent times, have not only the prominent movie-tv stars, singers bought nomination papers for different parties to partake in upcoming 11th national election, but a weird bunch of celebrities too have jumped the election wagon; of which, the name Hero Alom catches attention the most.
Ashraful Alam alias Hero Alom is known as an internet sensation in a hilarious way as few of his local music videos and telefilms or ‘natok’ got viral in social media over the last few years.
Ashraful, who hails from Bagura district, has settled in Erulia with his spouse and children.
Recently he bought nomination paper for Jatiya Party for contesting in upcoming national election from Bagura-4 constituency which became talk of the internet again as his decision puzzled many.
Alongside many famed names including actor Ferdous, actress Shami Kaiser, and singer Kanak Chapa even Bangladesh National Cricket Team skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the name Hero Alom looks odd according to commoners of Social Media.
To their surprise, even though how illiterate this man can be or how hilariously he became an internet star, Hero Alom’s concept and cause of action remains clear as he stated in various Television and Press Interviews.
Seen in a TV talk show in a prominent channel recently, he made his point saying, “Men dream bigger. I can give example of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who sold tea as profession, if not dream, how could he go on becoming the Prime Minister...Men can always dream, what’s wrong in it if I do the same?”
Upon asked about his quality to become a Member of Parliament, Ashraful answered cleverly saying, “How many men had the proper qualities for becoming an MP previously? Many of them are accused in several police cases whereas I am clean of any charges at least.”
His answers seemingly sounded like arrogant and the anchors along with many of the viewers even mocked him on social media.
Despite all the negativity and backlash he received, Hero Alom is still holding his head high and his logics are concrete in nature.
Amid all the mockery and jokes, now comes a simple question --- Is politics in Bangladesh not a place for simple, earthly men anymore? Apparently, the answer lies within the people as not too many people are interested in joining politics for ideology rather than money.
No matter how little Hero Alom’s political knowledge is or how he’s being judged upon his appearance do not prohibit him from dreaming for a seat in the Parliament, comes from several active social media users.
A new voice has superficially risen denouncing the ridicule he has been receiving and they are in support of a political trend that involves people regardless of their social status or political connections.
For the past few days this rebellion against social and political ‘norms’ has caught the attention of the mass.
It does not really matter if Hero Alom wins it in the end or not, despite his limitations, he too braved for a dream that is aspired by many, this fact alone sets him apart from other celebrities in the race.
Dhaka, Nov 20 (UNB) – India wants to see the continuation of great momentum that exists in its relations with “stable and peaceful” Bangladesh, renewing its stance that it will never compromise with Jamaat, said a highly-placed source in New Delhi.
There will be no compromise with communal and anti-liberation force -- Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (BJI) -- for the sake of securities on both ends of the border, according to the source.
As it stands today, the source added, India never compromised with “communal force” Jamaat and it wants to see Jamaat changes its party constitution to become a democratic party by seeking apology for the role it had played during the War of Liberation in 1971.
“If you’re peaceful and stable, it’s good for us. If not it’s not good for either of us,” the source told UNB adding that any instability in Bangladesh will naturally trigger instability in India which is in no way good for any of the two friendly countries.
Though India does not have any specific message for Bangladesh on election issue it, however, made it clear that India does not maintain contact with the party which opposed the creation of Bangladesh and collaborated with Pakistanis, another source in New Delhi said.
BNP forged alliance with Jamaat and came into state power in 2001 though the Election Commission has recently cancelled the registration of Jamaat as a political party.
Asked about India’s views on Jamaat, a diplomatic source in New Delhi said India cannot associate with the parties that are communal. “They (Jamaat) are anti-India and it’s a communal party.”
Sources in the Indian government said India, being the best neighbouring friend of Bangladesh, cannot rapport with a party that dedicated to the causes of Pakistan in Bangladesh.
Jamaat had stood shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistan army during the Liberation War of 1971 when India fought for Bangladeshis against Pakistanis.
India thinks the anti-liberation force in Bangladesh – Jamaat - has yet to change their political ideology that goes against democracy and is still fighting for the Pakistani cause in the sub-continent.
Explaining the objective of Jamaat, the Indian source said they do not believe in democracy but want to establish ‘caliphate’ in Bangladesh and elsewhere around the world.
Ahead of the next national election, there are many speculations about the movement of diplomats stationed in Dhaka though they see it as regular interactions and term Bangladesh election as an internal matter.
“As a democracy, we should meet and interact with all the parties,” said a diplomat mentioning that Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla has also met all the top leaders of Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Jukto Front in recent weeks.
Asked about India’s message for Bangladesh on election issue, a diplomat told UNB that they have no message as election is a very internal issue of Bangladesh and the citizens of Bangladesh are capable enough to determine their democratic system.
He laid emphasis on strengthening people-to-people contact between the two countries and mentioned that 92 deals have been signed mainly on the areas of high technology, cyber security and nuclear energy between the two countries in the last three years demonstrating futuristic cause.
India wants to see the required conducive climate and situation with political will in place to carry forward the momentum the two countries saw in the last few years.
The bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India have already reached “beyond the strategic partnership” and the ties between the two friendly neighbours deepened on all fronts, including economic, political, trade and investment and cooperation, both Bangladesh and India think.
This could happen as India considers Bangladesh first among its neighbours as part of neighborhood first policy, according to the diplomatic sources.
Chuadanga, Nov 20 (UNB) – The government has introduced the country’s first ‘Smart School’ in sadar upazila here, aiming to stop school dropouts and make learning easier and more enjoyable.
The smart school is a technology-based teaching institution for preparing children for the Information Age.
Organisers of the school said the purpose of this initiative is to ensure a vibrant and effective teaching and learning environment for students to cope with future challenges as global citizens.
In smart schools, they said, technology is used in taking attendance and teaching in the classroom, making learning more interesting and enjoyable one.
This first smart school of the country has been set up at Pirpur village under Alukdia Union Parishad in Sadar upazila, spending Tk 5 lakh. The activities of the school started on November 15 after it was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner of the district Gopal Das.
While talking to this UNB correspondent, Afsar Uddin, a guardian, said once this school was in very bad shape. “Its teachers were not that much careful …the presence of student was also very poor. Now, things have changed as the school has been renovated and the compound decorated with vibrant colours. Now, the students are going to the school spontaneously, cheerfully,” he added.
Abdur Jabbar, president of Smart School Governing Body, said, “Not only the students, but also their guardians are very happy for being part of the country’s first smart school.
The students are these days more attentive to their studies and their guardians have been more caring about them.”
Two students of the school --Sumaiya and Robin— said they are very proud to be students of the country’s first smart school, and they are joying their classes too much.
Jannatul Ferdous, the headteacher of the school, said the number of attendance in the school has increased remarkably following its digital transformation.
She said their target is to help the students get exposed to digital learning and build them as worthy human resources.
Local Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Washimul Bari, one of the organisers of this smart school, said four ‘Rongin’ (colourful) schools were established in the upazila earlier.
“The plan of launching a smart school came from the concept of colourful schools by bringing both the students and teachers under the digital attendance system. Alongside bringing it under electricity network, the school has also been brought under the surveillance of close circuit cameras.”
Besides, the multimedia system and internet have been put in place in the school classrooms, the UNO added.