The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 38
Oct-Dec '07





Bangladesh, one of the over populated countries of the world, was recently hit by a deadly cyclone, Sidr, that killed almost 10 thousand and left about 4.5 million people homeless. This was a great disaster in the history of the country. Though initially, the government was trying to overcome the situation with generous help of the world community, we understood that it was not easy to rehabilitate so many people. Most of the people in the costal area lost everything. We saw in the TV that an elderly person survived while all 14 members of his extended family were dead. From another source, we learned that a five-year old boy was first managed to hold on to the side of the boat that swept away by the wave taking his parents and siblings to the belly of the ocean; then he grabbed the branch of a tree by which the boat was floating. The boy survived spending the whole night on the tree, losing everything in his little known world. Stories go on. Thousands of heartbreaking news like these making headlines everyday.

We are thankful to the world community for responding immediately to lessen human suffering. The government announced that it would provide food to the affected people for the next three months. Also, the World Bank said that it would provide $250 million dollars aid package to get people back on their feet. Well, if this is done properly, it would be a great help for the unfortunate people of the area. But, as we look at the other side of the news, we find a lot of frustrations. Many individuals are anxious to know whether the money they donated will ever reach the targeted people. We know, in this kind of situation in the past, a group of corrupted people in the government managed to reroute the money in their personal accounts. This time, though it is not happening in a large scale, we are hearing that people are still starving. Money, food and clothing are not reaching out to the people as they are supposed to, though the situation has been improved a lot.

Not only we need to feed the people, we have to layout a plan that solve the problem permanently. Building brick houses for every family, making a green forest around the costal area and building more cyclone shelters might solve the problem one way. But, this poor nation would not be able to come up with a suitable solution for the climate change, that is the root cause of this problem. So, the mighty nations of the world may have to rethink about their nuclear power plants, uses of ammunition in the war and dispensing the industrial and automobile waste. If we cannot solve these problems, the world will be hit by stronger hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. And mostly the poor and populated areas will be affected in a greater scale. People will die not in thousands, but in millions; and eventually one day, we will be extinct as dinosaurs and thousands of other species before us. It is the right time to act. So, I urge the educated people of the world to come forward and make a firm demand to their governments so that they take cautionary measures to eliminate the far greater disasters in future.

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    Shabdaguchha, A Journal of Poetry, Published in New York, Edited by Hassanal Abdullah.