Poor, landless and destitute families affected by river erosion would be given financial aid based on losses suffered and number of family members.
The authorities decided to provide a lump sum of Tk 75,000 to erosion-affected families who have six dependent members. Families with five members will get Tk 60,000 while four-member families will get Tk 50,000 financial aid to survive adverse situation.
Sources at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief confirmed the information, saying the Rehabilitation Aid Project of the Prime Minister would finance the scheme.
Tk 100 crore was allocated in the recent budget as special grant for erosion-affected people as per directive of the Prime Minister.
The process of implementation of the scheme began after the Finance Ministry’s budget section-1 issued a letter to the Disaster Management and Relief Department secretary on October 24.
The scheme was undertaken to help rehabilitate people whose homesteads were lost or damaged due to river erosion and are struggling to survive economic hardship.
Besides, the project is aimed at ensuring security of women, children and handicapped, extending social security belt for them and creating positive impact on poverty alleviation.
The authorities would provide rehabilitation aid in three categories - poor, landless and destitute families. Families with monthly income of Tk 15,000 or less will be considered as poor while families with 0.05 decimal land or less will be considered as landless and families with no earning member, insolvent, freedom fighter, handicapped, widowed, ethnic minority, eunuch, and bohemians will be considered destitute.
According to the approved précis of the Finance Ministry’s budget section, which has recently been sent to the Prime Minister, the scheme would be implemented under the supervision of the Department of Disaster Management of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.
It was also learned that the aid money will be allocated to Upazila Nirbahi Officers of the most vulnerable upazilas through iBAS++ system as per their requirements. Later, they would distribute it among families affected by erosion.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief will be responsible for the overall inspection, evaluation and monitoring of the Rehabilitation Aid Scheme. Besides, a steering committee at central level, beneficiary selection committees at Upazilas, implementation committees at municipalities and unions would oversee the scheme.
According to Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, Upazilas which are in very risky condition due to Padma River erosion are – Nawabganj and Dohar of Dhaka, Tongibari and Louhajang upazilas of Munsiganj, Shivalaya and Harirampur Upazilas of Manikganj, Charbhadrasan and Sadar upazilas of Faridpur, Shibchar upazila of Madaripur, Goalanda and Sadar Upazilas of Rajbari, Charghat, Bagha and Sadar upazilas of Rajshahi, Sadar and Shibganj upazilas of Chapainawabganj, and Damudya, Naria, Zajira and Gosairhat Upazilas of Shariatpur.
Apart from these, Shibaloy and Daulatpur of Manikganj; Bhuapur and Nagarpur upazilas of Tangail; Chauhali, Belkuchi, Shahjadpur, Kazipur and Sadar upazilas of Sirajganj; Bera and Sujanagar Upazilas of Pabna; Sariakandi upazila of Bogura; Fulchhari upazila of Gaibandha; Dewanganj, Islampur and Madarganj upazilas of Jamalpur are in danger due to Jamuna river erosion.
Bhedarganj upazila of Shariatpur; Haimchar and Sadar upazilas of Chandpur; Subarnachar and Hatiya of Noakhali; Ramgati, Kamalnagar and Sadar upazilas of Laxmipur; Daulatkhan, Tazumuddin, Lalmohan and Manpura upazilas of Bhola; Mehediganj and Hizla upazilas of Barishal; and Astagram of Kishorganj are in danger due to erosion by Meghna River.
Gangachara and Kaunia upazilas of Rangpur; Aditmari, Kaliganj and Sadar upazilas of Lalmonirhat are in danger for Teesta river erosion while Chilmari, Char Rajibpur, Rumari and Phulbari upazilas of Kurigram are facing danger due to erosion by the Teesta.
Every year, approximately 68,000 people, who live on river banks, are being displaced because of erosion, according to the government.
Hundreds of farmers in the district are delighted over bumper yield of vegetables on the char lands of the Gomti River and their good prices.
During a visit to the char area in Sadar, Burichang, Brahmanpara, Debidwar, Muradnagar, Titas, Homna and Daudkandi upazilas of the district, the UNB correspondent vast tracts of land covered with green winter vegetables including radish, cauliflower, cabbage, gourd, tomato, bean, chili, pumpkin and red spinach.
Farmers were seen selling the vegetables grown on the char lands in the markets of district and upazila headquarters.
According to district Agricultural Extension Department, more than 5000 marginal farmers cultivate different types of vegetables on about 2,000 hectares of char lands.
Farmers were found nurturing their vegetables with much enthusiasm as the market prices of vegetables is good this year.
Mosharraf Hossain of Jaluapara village in Gomti river embankment area, said he has already sold out radish worth Tk 150,000 which was cultivated on only one acre of char land.
He has earned profit of Tk 50,000 and then cultivated cabbage on the same land.
Mizan Mia of the same village said he is happy with radish and cauliflower yield on his field. After harvesting these two vegetables, he will cultivate bitter gourd, snake-gourd and ribbed gourd on the same land, he added.
Mantu Mia of Majhigachha village said vegetables grow well with less cost in the char area for availability of irrigation facility from the Gomti River.
Some local farmers make seedbeds on the char land for growing seedlings for their own fields.
“I spend the profit money earned from growing seedlings in the paddy cultivation,” said Imon Mia of Rontabati village.
Suranjit Chandra, deputy director of DAE district office, said fertile char land is very suitable for vegetables cultivation and irrigation can be managed here from the river.
Farmers grow crops three times a year on the char land, he said adding that DAE has been providing all necessary suggestions to the farmers to produce toxic-free vegetables.
The shortage of capital, coupled with the rising prices of various materials, have put the vegetable seedling producers of the district in a big trouble.
According to farmers, excessive rain from the very beginning of the current season disrupted production on one hand and delayed their sale on the other, leaving no option for them but to throw away the previously-planted seedlings that had grown old.
They said they had to prepare the seedbeds anew and plant seeds again, causing huge financial losses to them.
The farmers said most of them have to take land on lease for producing seedlings as they do not have land of their own. Preparing the field, ploughing, buying insecticides, bamboo, seeds, fertiliser, and polythene, among others, cost the quite a bit.
Unable to arrange the capital, most farmers take loan on high interest and the amount of loan goes up when the sale of seedlings is disrupted.
Seedlings are produced in Dhulipara, Newra, and various villages of Chowar union of Sadar Upazila, Bharella, Moynamoti and Mokam of Burichang upazila.
Many farmers said they had to pay twice the amount for seeds this year compared to 2018. At the same time, the prices of other materials, including pesticides, also jumped.
They said they are going ahead with seedling production braving all the odds and obstacles.
They mainly grow seedlings of tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, chili, brinjal, bitter gourd, onion, snake gourd, pumpkin, ridge gourd, and luffa gourd.
The nurseries are situated on both sides of Moynamoti to Kongshonagar road of Cumilla-Sylhet Highway and Korpai to Moynamoti area of Burichang upazila in Dhaka-Chattogram Highway.
Thanks to an excellent road communication system, farmers from adjacent districts, including Sylhet, Noakhali, and Chattogram, buy seedlings from these nurseries.
Cumilla Department of Agricultural Extension’s Training Officer Md Shahidul Haque said the seedlings are sold at the end of Bangla month of Badhra and beginning of Ashwin. But the producers incurred losses as they could not prepare the seedbed because of untimely rain.
“They had to spend more money on producing seedlings,” he said adding, “The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) is considering providing easy loan to the seedling producers.”
Fast emerging as a counterpart to February’s Amar Ekushey Book Fair, the Dhaka Literature Festival draws book lovers in the later part of the year , with its notably more international participation.
As such, it is carving a place for itself in the social calendar as an event that attempts to connect the written words, poetic rhythms and human emotions that find expression in the country's literature to a wider swathe of humanity.
The ninth edition of the Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF) was inaugurated at Bangla Academy's Abdul Karim Shahitya Bisharad Auditorium Thursday.
Cultural Affairs Minister KM Khalid opened the festival around 11:30am. Internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi-born British novelist Monica Ali was also present at the inauguration, along with Bangla Academy director Habibullah Sirajee and the event directors.
“When the fest first started as the Hay Festival back in 2011, its principle was to promote global literature to the Bangladeshi audience. Now, as the Dhaka Lit Fest, it is simultaneously and successfully presenting Bengali Literature to the global audience with the presence of enthusiasts from five continents and 18 countries who are attending the fest in the upcoming three days. This is undoubtedly a glorious event for us,” Khalid said.
Praising the initiative and efforts of the hosts, he said the government is always ready to extend support to events like this.
The minister promised to provide special support to DLF-10 next year, which is going to be themed and dedicated to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
DLF 2019's Director and Producer Sadaf Saaz said the festival is covering all genres in both Bengali and English language from poetry to fiction and philosophy to science in order to fulfil its commitment to the society and also to secure a better literary future for the generation.
The two other co-directors of the event, K Anis Ahmed and Ahsan Akbar, also spoke on the occasion. The directors also mentioned that the event is going to have special focus on indigenous languages, as UNESCO has marked 2019 as the year of Indigenous Language Protection.
Monica Ali, the special guest, thanked the organisers for hosting such an extraordinary event on literature.
Shortly after the inauguration five prolific female writers including Monica Ali graced the AKSB auditorium to engage in a thought-provoking discussion on contemporary literature and reflection of women in fiction.
Titled ‘Fiction: Resistance or Refuge’ the session had Sumana Roy, Monica Ali, Maria Filomena Bouissou Lepecki, Yara Rodrigues Fowler, and Minna Lindgren on stage.
Brazilian novelist Maria Filomena Bouissou Lepecki said that writing fiction is similar to diving deep in human experience. “Through fictions we can produce and reflect reality,” she said.
About the issue of categorising fictions based on gender, she said such practice should not be done in literature. “Personally, I think there shouldn’t be any category named women writer,” Maria said at the event.
British-Brazilian author Yara Rodrigues Fowler expressed her view on writing for an audience. “You can always write for the people who don’t read you especially the marginalised community,” according to Yara.
Sumana Roy, author of How I Became a Tree, highlighted how female writers are seemingly secluded not for their skill or writing topics but because of their gender.
Award-winning Finish author Minna Lindgren spoke about using humour as a tool to engage the readers. She said- “My books are humorous…I want to seduce them (readers) with humour and then hit them with serious issues.”
Monica Ali, whose debut novel Brick Lane was highlighted for the Man Booker Prize, paid regard to the power wielded by writers. “There is a power to story-telling, the writer should use it responsibly,” Monica expressed her view. She further mentioned that her writing is a way to address social issues and also expressed that she wants to write for television after finishing her current project.
On the sprawling lawn of Bangla Academy another important discussion on translation in literature titled ‘Bhashar Bondhon Bhenge Bhashyer Shondhane’ took place where Arunava Sinha, Anjum Katyal, Khaedmul Islam, Rafique-Um-Munir Chowdhury and Mashrur Arefin expressed views on contemporary works and the ethics of translation literature with the excellent Alam Khorshed as moderator.
Arunava Sinha, about his style of translation, said “I’m led by the text while translating.” He also remarked that there is little freedom for the translator to express his own take on the original literature but that should be done masterfully nevertheless. “It’s similar to walking on a tightrope,” he said.
Anjum Katyal mentioned that there should be a strong connection with the literature and the one who is translating. “You’ve to submit…you’ve to surrender yourself to the text,” she said. She also spoke about being faithful to the original verses from ethical ground.
Rafique-Um-Munir Chowdhury said there is no ‘final word’ in translation literature. He also highlighted the importance of this sector of writing saying, “There is no alternative of translation to know others and express ourselves.”
Mashrur Arefin noted that the translator in any language must remain leaned to literal translation in order to do justice to the original author. He furthered, “It is expected that one should try to translate literally to express what the author originally meant.”
In the AKSB auditorium afternoon, one of the most prestigious awards for young writers of the country, the Gemcon Young Literature Award was announced. Kolkata-based writer Avishek Sarker and Bangladeshi poet Rafiquzzaman Rony won the Gemcon Young Literature Award 2019 and Gemcon Young Poetry Award 2019 respectively at Dhaka Lit Fest. Each received crest and Tk 100,000.
Rafiquzzaman Rony said, "I'm overwhelmed and speechless. I thank the hosts and the jury for choosing me."Avishek Sarker said, “I am honoured to receive such a prestigious prize.”
They won the awards for their manuscripts, “Nishiddha” and “Dhoashar Tamate Rong”.
The jury board included poet Sajjad Sharif, poet Mridul Dasgupta, poet Kumar Chakraborty, Professor Mostak Ahmed and writer Papri Rahman.
Franz Kafka was a great German novelist who is and always will be remembered for his novella 'The Metamorphosis'- a widely read and admired piece of literature that opened the window to many, regarding the possibility of virtual or alternative reality. DLF and Goethe-Institut Bangladesh tried to address the possibilities in the session titled 'Metamorphosis' with plenary speaker Jan Tompkins and moderator Minhaz-Us-Salakeen Fahme.
The afternoon and sunset was celebrated in a jovial way at the AKSB auditorium through acknowledging the achievement of renowned Bangladeshi lyricist and journalist Zulfiqer Russell. His lyrical poem collection "Joler Daame"s first volume was unveiled with the presence of celebrated Bangladeshi music artists including Mohammad Rafiquzzaman, Bappa Mazumder, Fahmida Nabi, Monir Zaman, Nakib Khan and Samina Chowdhury. The session was moderated by renowned journalist Munni Saha.
Continuing the celebratory discussion of glorious careers, DLF-2019’s first day wrapped up with the session “Memorable moments: My life in Theatre” where celebrated actor and beloved politician Asaduzzaman Noor shared glimpses of his majestic journey with the audiences. Along with the session’s moderator Samina Luthfa, Noor addressed and discussed every road of his lifelong journey as a theatre activist, a popular actor, a people’s own in the parliament from the common ground- or simply just as a senior scholar with loving advices and wishful thoughts for the generation’s prosperous and happy, healthy future. He also tantalized the audiences with two of his amazing recitations in the end.
The eventful premier day of this year’s Dhaka Lit Fest also observed some other noteworthy events including interactive speech sessions such as ‘Babu Bangladeshi’, Rachel Dwyer’s session ‘How Bollywood is a lens to modern India’, ‘Abdullah the Cossack’ by HM Naqvi and Khademul Islam, ‘The Storyteller’ with Jan Blake and Teresa Albor, “It’s Personal” by Shahnaz Huda and UM Habibun Nessa with Faustina Pereira, “Golper Nosshworota” by Altaf Shahnewaz, Mahbub Aziz, Alim Azij, Masud Hasan and Obayed Akash with Firoz Ahmed, “Nirob Itihash, Shorob Shahittyo” by Jahar Sen Majumder, Bishwajit Ghose and Mostak Ahamed with Muhammad Muhsin and Ruma Modhok, Sukumar Barua’s “Nijer Kotha O Documentary”, ‘History and philosophy of science’ by Piers Bursill-Hall with Salahdin Imam, Children’s events ‘Wereworld & Max Helsing: The teenager’s guide to horror and fantasy!’ and ‘Play with Words’ (for 10-12 years)
Along with all these events, several recitations were also held at the event throughout the day including Australian Poetry Slam champion poet and educator-motivational speaker Zohab Zee Khan’s Poetry Recitation, Fawaz Rob’s presentation ‘Dhaka, I Love You’, Two different recitations on Bangabandhu, “Kabita Adda: Epar Opar” by Mridul Dasgupta, Ruby Rahman, Jahar Sen Majumder, Kamal Chowdhury, Goutam Guha Roy and Mohammad Sadik with Habibullah Sirajee, and two performances from inside and outside of Bangladesh- ‘Broadside Ballads’ by Jennifer Reid in the afternoon and ‘Maizbhandari’ from Bangladesh, in the evening.
With an action-packed Friday ahead, the first day of DLF seemed promising to offer more exciting sessions on its Day 2. The detailed schedule is available on the official website of Dhaka Lit Fest - 2019.
Government primary schools in the district have been provided with laptops and projectors, and teachers have been trained to use them. But many among the teachers are not interested in using them lest the equipment get damaged.
There are 1,159 government primary schools in Khulna district. Information and communication technology has recently been added to their curricula to help the students get familiar with the subject. The schools were provided with laptops and projectors to facilitate hands-on teaching.
The training on ICT for teachers began in the 2011-12 financial year and was provided until June of 2018-19.
Since the beginning, 1,510 teachers have been trained in 65 batches on the use of information and technology by Primary Teachers Training Institute (PTI) in Khulna.
Two teachers from each school will receive the ICT training. So far, training of 65 percent teachers in Khulna has been completed.
But the training is not coming to any use at most schools. Many headmasters do not let anyone use the laptops and projectors fearing that they will be damaged. Many trained teachers are also reluctant to teach students, it has emerged.
Students said classes on information and communication technology are not held regularly. They said they have to see whatever the teachers say or show in class and that there is no opportunity to use anything.
BM Shafiur Rahman, an assistant teacher at Mehman-e-Alia Government Primary School, said they have to regularly take two ICT classes. “There’s no option to skip classes because we’ve to mention it in report, too,” he explained.
Superintendent of Khulna’s PTI, Swapan Kumar Biswas, said the teachers are trained on ICT but their expertise is not properly put into use.
“On one hand, the headmasters are reluctant to let anyone use the laptops or projectors fearing they may be damaged, many trained teachers are reluctant to take classes,” he said.
Biswas said all the teachers will gradually be trained and the schools will be instructed to use the machines.
Khulna Primary Education Officer ASM Sirajuddoha said the schools were instructed to use laptops and projectors during class.
“The machines will be repaired if they’re damaged,” he assured.