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Nari Jibon: Bloggers discussing education, emancipation and poverty

The last time we featured Nari Jibon, the women bloggers, among other things, discussed the problems of dowry of Bangladesh. David informed earlier this month about Nari Jibon's video training.

More from the Nari Jibon Blog Bangladesh from our view:

Trainer Shawn of The Uncultured Project trained the students/staff (bloggers) how to take good picture and video. He showed the rules of taking good picture and video. He trained the staff on podcast interview.

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“In the same ceremony four students were selected and awarded as best bloggers (Two from English and two from Bangla blog). They are Zannat Ara Amzad (The street beggar), Sherin Sultana (An anecdote of my friend, Mitu), Sufia Khatun (Protivar Bilupti- Abolished talent) and Nafisa Mobassara (Mayer dadur biye—Marriage of mother’s grand father).”

Nurunnahar Islam Munni writes about the importance of education for women in order to change their lives for the better:

“Educated girls can lead her life with a good planning. She knows how to enjoy life and keep a happy family. If girls become educated they will be conscious about their rights.

An educated mother can maintain her family and teach her children properly & give proper guidance. She can be very conscious about her children’s health and nutrition. An educated girl can do job and can help her family financially, better than an uneducated girl.

Therefore it is told that ‘Give me an educated mother, I will give you an educated nation’.”

Sherin Sultana lives in the capital, Dhaka, for livelihood but she misses her village. She describes a recent holiday she spent in her village home:

I passed my time by gossiping and making fun with my pet dog Tuktuki, my pet cat Monti and Ponti (Monti’s child). The water, winds, trees even every bit of dust, every thing of my native place seem very close to me.

I also passed my time by singing songs, gossiping with my family members & with my friends and in every evening we went for a walk at the riverside.

She faces the reality:

In the busy Dhaka city now I also became a very busy person like city’s people. I lost all of my wants, joys and laughs for being busy and having pressure of real life.

Narijibon staff Golam Rabbany Sujon compiles some of the bloggers experiences about the problems women face in Bangladesh. Some excerpts:

I am Afroza, age 16, when I used to study in the school my mummy used to give me company to go and return from my school everyday. Now I study in a girls’ college but still now my mummy gives me company almost everyday when I go outside of our house. My elder brother is only three years senior than me but he went to the school and college alone. How independent my brother is!

Read the rest here.

Mahfuza Parul describes her day out to her friend's village in Boalkandi.

Helen Sarkar posts [bn] a touching story on the Bangla-language blog Amader Kotha about the thoughts she had when her favorite jacket was stolen by flood refugees:

আমার এত পছন্দের একটা জিনিস চুরি হয়ে গেল—এই দুঃখে আমার পাথর হওয়ার উচিৎ ছিল। কিন্তু আমি একবার চিৎকারও দেইনি তার বদলে যে নিয়েছে তার জন্য সহানভুতি এলো। মনেমনে ভাবলাম যে নিয়েছে সেতো আসোলেই চোর না, ওকে চুরি করতে হয়েছে একমুঠো ভাতের জন্য।

আমার কেন যেন মনে হয়- আসলে না আমরা যারা ভালো আছি তারাই সমাজের এক শ্রেণীর মানুষকে চোর হবার শিক্ষা দেই, ওদেরকে পরোক্ষভাবে বোঝানোর চেষ্টাকরি, সুন্দর ভাবে বেঁচে থাকার কোন অধিকার তোমাদের নেই। তোমরা নষ্টহয়ে যাবে, চুরি করবে, ছন্নছাড়া জীবন তোমাদের জন্য।

I should have been sad as my favorite thing was stolen. But I never screamed. On the contrary I felt sympathy for the person who stole it. I thought who took the jacket is not a real thief. He did it just to survive the difficulties.

It occurs to me sometimes that we who are well off let a class of people be thieves. We try to tell them indirectly that they have no right to live a decent life. You go astray, be thieves and this turbulent life is for yours only.

আমরা নাকি সভ্য জগতের মানুষ- আমরা ছোট সাহায্যের প্যাকেট দিয়ে কিনতে চাই অসহায় ক্ষুধার্ত কোন শিশুর কান্নাকে, বৃদ্ধের আর্তনাদকে সহায়, সম্বলহীন মানুষগুলোকে। কিন্তু প্রতিকার করতে চাই না- আর যেন বন্যা না এসে দুকুল ভাসিয়ে যেন আমাদের সম্পদকে নষ্ট না করে দেয়, না-ভাসিয়ে দেয় আমাদের অশ্রুর সাগরে।

Are we from a civilized society? We try to buy off some helpless crying children, screams of elderly people and the refugees with small packets of reliefs. But we don't want to do anything permanent – like stopping the floods from destroying our belongings, our homes, leaving us in tears.

Farjana Akter shares a story about her first time visit to the Cox's Bazar beach. She says:

The scenery of the sun set in the Bay-of-Bengal is unforgettable.

Shanta Islam shares with us an interesting story of her school final exam. Nina Sultana Mim portrays one Pitha (cake) seller. Nilufa Akter shares [bn] a fairy tale she heard in her child hood.

Nafisa Mubassir tells of [bn] the story of the marriage of her mother's grandfather. About a century ago child marriage was prevalent and the bride was only 5 while the groom was 15. At that age they did not know what marriage was all about and it was more like the marriage of the dolls.

In contrast Salma Siddiqa Mumu writes that the mentality of women of Bangladesh has changed. More and more women are coming out of the home where they were merely housewives and are participating in various activities to be financially independent now.

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More blogger profiles were posted on the Nari Jibon blog. The bloggers portrayed were Asma Akter, Linda Pandey, Sharmin Chowdhury Shikha, Jannatul Fardouse Nargis, Kamrun Nahar, Farjana Huque, Shifat Binte Quaium & Bushrat Binte Quaium [bn], Laili Jahan Meghla, Ayesha Parvin [bn].

We hope to show you some videos and podcasts of the participants in our next roundup on Nari Jibon. If you would like to help support Nari Jibon, you can download a PDF of the 2008 Nari Jibon Calendar and make a donation (suggested $10) via Give2Asia.

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