When to call a lawyer

Before we get into the details, there’s one thing you should know. There are two legal categories— criminal law and civil law. While criminal law deals with criminal charges (for which you should definitely get a lawyer without a second thought), civil law deals with issues that violate public/personal interests but are not criminally charged. When it comes to civil law, most people lack the idea on when to consult a lawyer.

For issues like a divorce or conflicts over property or such, you should consult with a lawyer. Before starting a business, it is wise to talk to a lawyer about the legal obligations and documentations that you might require later on. Whenever there are financial interests involved, you should avoid listening to advice from random people. Lawyers have studied and practiced and prepared themselves for years and are experts in dealing with such issues. Do not confuse a layman’s advice with a law degree. Make sure your lawyer has a licence.

On an individual level, one should consult a lawyer about the wills and trusts. This saves your family from a lot of legal issues in your absence. It is a good idea to take care of it as soon as you have a child, and also to change it periodically.

You must be wondering how should you handle paying lawyers if you need their counsel regularly? The good news is, unlike other countries in the world, in Bangladesh most lawyers do not charge hourly. Which means you can talk to a lawyer about your issues and requirements without having to pay them immediately. Most lawyers will only charge you after taking care of your legal needs. Their fees will vary depending on which lawyer you choose and their expertise. You should consider the gravity of your legal issue and pick a lawyer accordingly. For wills and similar civil issues, one might be charged based on the documentations.

You can pick a lawyer through recommendations from friends. But remember, always pick a lawyer whom you trust and who meets your requirements. Like your therapist, do not hide anything from your lawyer. Even if the lawyer you are meeting cannot help you, he will recommend you to someone who can. But whoever is your lawyer, once you consult him, you should listen to his advice.

“A lot of cases drag on unnecessarily because the client does not listen to us. Cases that can be closed pretty soon drag on for a long time because they ignore our words,” said Mahfuzur Rahman Khan, Advocate at Dhaka Judge Court.

“The legal system in this country is rather slow and if you add the callousness of the clients on top of that, no wonder the cases go on for years,” he added. 

Remember, you would not treat your broken leg yourself. You will go to a doctor if it is anything more serious than a common cold or fever. Similarly, as soon as you know your legal issue is getting complicated, you should call in the cavalry. Better safe than sorry!

Photo: Amran Hossain

Model: Chaitanya Chandra Halder


Measles-Rubella Campaign 2020

Throughout the ages, humankind has faced the threat of multiple viruses and diseases. Mothers, the primary caregivers of their children, have always been more aware and conscious of their children’s surroundings and about the measures required to shield them from any disease.

To help mothers combat ailments, the Measles-Rubella Campaign 2020, organised all over Bangladesh by the government from 29 February to 21 March, is urging mothers to take some time off their busy schedules to get their children vaccinated with the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine. The vaccines and the protection they offer are worth diverting from hectic daily routines.

This vaccine is beneficial to children’s health as the measles virus is one of the most contagious agents ever known and rubella can cause malnutrition, diarrhoea, pneumonia, fevers and rashes respectively along with a number of other health complications. Both the viruses put stress on the immune system and may have long lasting effects on the health of little ones. As there is no specific treatment for these diseases, it is necessary to get children vaccinated to prevent transmission through immunisation. The campaign is providing mothers and guardians a clear route of communication regarding the process and what to look out for.

The campaign aims to fulfil the national measles elimination target by setting up in different locations all over Bangladesh, in both urban and rural areas, with teams composed of two skilled vaccinators and three trained volunteers. This ensures that the people involved in the procedure are experienced and aware of what they are doing and that the chances of things going south is zero to none.

The campaign will be focusing on vaccinating all children aged between nine months and 10 years of age to prevent transmission of measles and rubella virus. Children within this age limits are prone to these diseases given that an immunity gap exists more prominently. However, it is also the perfect time to most effectively interrupt transmission of the viruses.

What to know about the campaign?

The first week of the campaign, from 29 February to 5 March, will focus on education institutes. The campaign will then expand to upazila health complexes during the second and third week from 7 March to 21, operating for twelve days from 8 AM to 3 PM without a break except on Friday and government holidays. Other additional sessions will also be available for people in marketplaces, plantation areas, ferry ghats, rice fields, orphanages and so on.

In the urban areas, the City Corporation wards will have one fixed site (sadar hospitals, medical college hospitals, City Corporation Hospitals/Clinics, NGO Hospitals/Clinics etc.) operating for 12 days along with outreach sessions, HTR sessions and also having other additional sessions.

Locations for children’s vaccination during the campaign

During the first week of the campaign, children will be vaccinated in educational institutes (schools, kindergartens, madrasas, maktoobs, day care centres, non-formal educational institutes, NGO schools, orphanages, hostels, etc.) and in the fixed vaccination sites. Starting from the second and third week, children will be vaccinated in the community through regular outreach sites, fixed sites, and additional sites.

By having a number of sites, the campaign is trying to make vaccines available to every child in every corner of the country.


Who should not be vaccinated?

Mothers might wonder if it would be a smart idea to get their children vaccinated ahead of time. Despite being rightly worried and aware of the vaccination necessity, children under nine months old and above 10 years old should not be vaccinated in this campaign.

There should be no rush to get the vaccine if the child is already sick or suffering from some other illness. The child should be allowed to heal and fully recover before receiving the shot.

If children under ten months of age are vaccinated, will there be any chances of interference with its immunity?

As long as the child is nine months old, there is no need for extra tension. The vaccine is completely harmless for a child this age and assists in immunisation.

If a child is already protected against measles and rubella with routine vaccinations, why is a second dose necessary?

Sometimes one dose is not enough to ensure full protection and there is no such thing as ‘being too careful’ when it comes to taking care of babies. A second dose could go a long way in guaranteeing protection.

What about side effects?

Every mother worries whether her baby would be able to withstand such a strong vaccine. However, these vaccines come with very little side effects which may not even appear.

Other than being scared of getting the vaccine because of the needles which may cause some anxiety and tension in the child, a minor skin rash and/or a mild fever may arise. Some might even have an allergic reaction. The chances of these reactions are rather slim.

However, in the unlikely case that symptoms get too heavy, no time should be wasted in taking the child to a health facility for treatment.

The Measles-Rubella Campaign 2020 is fighting to combat the rising number of outbreaks in recent times especially among the urban elite community. Through this campaign, mothers and fathers have a suitable and perfect opportunity to vaccinate their child/children without any worries. Added to that, the campaign offers an open mode for communication regarding the vaccine. With proper knowledge and incentive, families can stay shielded from these viruses and also keep the youngsters happy and in full health for years to come.

Photo courtesy: UNICEF Bangladesh


The weekend eve vibes

The weekend has always been a modern day “Sabbath” for many of us. It is certainly a time of rest, of contemplation, and above all, a time of random spontaneity when it comes to course of action.  Nothing seems to be more exciting than the day before the weekend or ‘weekend eve’ as it is called.

Thursday nights are usually a window to some calmness. A break from the strains of work and professional life. A portal to get more in touch with our personal selves. It is when fatigue and stress are subdued for more intricate and intimate times.

Just like Chand Raat or Christmas Eve, weekend eve has a ritualistic essence to it. Usually, the day before Eid or any other major holiday festival, households buzz with preparations ranging from putting the darkest colour henna on the hands and arms of girls to spicing up a gigantic, wholesome meal for the family, to making last moment calls to pick the slots for casual meet ups. In the middle of all these, we try to keep everything untoward at bay to enjoy holidays to the fullest.

Given it is the end of a week of workdays itself, it is when all pending work is tidied up neatly, important work calls are made and office work is done and dusted to leave the entire weekend to oneself. Some might use Thursday nights for partying, meeting people, or use the long night until Saturday to finish up on their own personal inclinations like watching a particular movie, or finishing a book at hand.

After tending to the economy of the country, some would like to bring some balance to the economy of the body and mind gearing them up in unison for the weeks of work ahead.

Jessica Shirly Alam, a recent graduate and current employee at Bkash, says that Thursday nights are perhaps the best time of the week for her. 

It is when she can step outside of her professional zone and give time to her childhood friends, who, like her, have been propelled into different directions by the sheer force of adulthood or simply, adulting, as some might say.

Thursday nights are composed of spontaneous meetups for her and she can stay up late working on her own interests as she can use the next day to get some relaxing sleep without being woken up by the dreadful sound of the alarm clock.

Weekend eves are when we make space for the things that are important but not urgent. Rahim, a small business owner, says that weekends for him are mini-vacations and the Thursday nights for him are long nights where he can finish all the pending work and finally catch up with his old buddies late into the night.

Usually, the stress and the constant bargain of time is not a major headache, as he knows the next day is a holiday and he is finally free for some family time, perhaps, he can go watch a film with his young son or simply help his wife in cooking a beguiling culinary classic from the YouTube tutorials.

Thursday nights represent a work in progress coupled with whimsical inventions in all spheres. It renews the bonds of social capital, which are too often depleted or worn away by the workload in our current world.

Thursday nights are a relaxing and soothing way to ease one’s body into weekend mode, ensuring the weekend starts with some soothing vibes. Aside from meeting with close family and friends, Thursday nights are mostly about you, the individual and how you make the best out of what you have.

Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Keeping your family safe from illness

It has not been a pretty picture as the world steps into the second month of 2020 with a worldwide scare of the Coronavirus. There is still too much to learn about this new virus — about how it spreads, how serious it actually is, or even how to treat it correctly. The fact that so much is unknown is a big part of what makes it frightening.

The case as being such, it is necessary to stay informed and listen to the advice and announcements of public health officials. In the meantime, taking some precautions, and being careful is the way to go. Do remember that there’s a lot of misinformation floating around. Check reliable sources, and call your doctor if you have any questions.

Start with the basics of cleanliness. Make sure everyone washes their hands. Using soap and water and washing for 20 seconds does the trick. Hand sanitisers are a great waterless option, just make sure you spread it well, getting it all over the hands including between the fingers. Wash before meals and snacks, after being in public places, and after being around anyone who is or might be sick.

Encourage healthy habits like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep. This helps keep the immune system strong.

Teach children not to touch their mouths, eyes, or noses with their hands unless they have just washed them. Carry tissues for wiping mouths and noses, and throw out used tissues promptly.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to stay away from anyone who has any germs that might be spread; as is true of many viruses, it may be that people with coronavirus are contagious before they realise that they are sick. Just be aware of symptoms of people around you, such as coughing or sneezing. If you are hosting people at your house, you have the right to ask people not to come if they are feeling ill.

If anyone in your family gets a fever and cough, they should stay home. Chances are it’s not coronavirus, but whatever it is, it’s likely contagious.

Note that we are assuming that you and your family have not recently travelled to an area where there are known cases of coronavirus, or had some other possible exposure. If that is the case, you should call your doctor immediately for advice.

This set of tips has been adapted from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/coronavirus-what-parents-should-know…


Sadakalo: An odyssey in monochrome

A renowned fashion house that holds to a twist in terms of contrast, Sadakalo had entered the market on 4 October, 2002 at their outlet in Shimanto Square (formerly known as Rifles Square). Within a span of 17 years, Sadakalo now has various outlets in Bangladesh, and also outside of the country.

The combination of black and white resonates powerful emotions, which is the core essence of Sadakalo. They are an inclusive fashion house, meaning they cater to the needs of both men, women and children. Not only do they create fashionable apparels for both sexes, but also create mugs, accessories and trinkets that you can gift your loved ones on special occasions, making Sadakalo not just a fashion house, but also a lifestyle.

The boutique works in conjunction with several designers that offer their creative insight. With fresh faces and some renowned ones like Bibi Russell, Sadakalo brings out a different flavour with their new collection.

Sadakalo has been a patriotic fashion house, showing their immense respect for national holidays in Bangladesh. In their new collection for Ekushey February, one can appreciate the concept that is evident through the designs featuring Bangla calligraphy.

Apart from saris, they are also presenting single kameezs for adults and children. With intricate designs in various forms, Sadakalo truly is a pioneer when it comes to mastering the art of using negative spacing. There are also simpler designs, a more minimalistic approach that are very aesthetically pleasing. Their Ekushey Collection for 2020, captures the essence of the day in bold colours, implemented in negative spacing to cater to the preference of many of their patrons.

A feature that is prominent in the new collection is the variety of clothing designed for children, various combination of kameez sets that come in a plethora of styles. The collection start from Tk 1150, and can go up to Tk 1450 for the more intricate pieces.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Model: Maruf

Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha

Wardrobe: Sadakalo


The modern-day language barriers

With thousands of children exposed to an unhealthy amount of screen time, most are suffering from unwarranted cases of depression, language distortion, aggressive behaviour, and even developing harmful personalities — those that lack empathy and social intelligence.

Musammat Sharmila Khan, a working lady and a mother of three, already has a lot on her plate. She finds it even more taxing to find individual time for all her children on a daily basis and also go through the household chores at the same time. “I sometimes think gadgets are the ultimate saviour. If it weren’t for these miraculous smart gadgets, I wouldn’t be able to keep my sanity intact,” Khan confessed.

However, a deeper probe reveals problems within Khan’s home — her youngest is too dependent on the internet and has to listen to nursery rhymes during every meal; the middle child is no different, a 10-year-old boy who prefers to play online games rather than socialise with neighbourhood children over a game of football; and the eldest, a teenager who wakes up late in the morning because he loves listening to music on his phone all night. The teenager also gets upset at the slightest trigger that attempts to break his unhealthy cycle of everyday life.

Tarana Anis, Child Psychologist, Child Development Centre, Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, referred to all these symptoms as being typical, and caused by excessive use of smart devices.

“Gadgets provide us with a one-sided communication with very little stimulation, often resulting into speech delays and creating obstacles to standard intellectual growth. Children always require a two-way communication to thrive, they learn from the reactions of people around them. It’s not always about letters and numbers, sometimes we need to learn about emotions and that cannot be grasped from a handheld device. 

“As for older children, too much involvement with the virtual world derails their thought process and in turn, they begin to have pipe dreams; they start living in a make-believe world of games and get frustrated at minimal discomfort, as in the world of gaming, the reward levels are consistent and with every positive move, one gets some reward points which may be dissimilar to what we experience in reality — there’s not always a reward for every sensible move,” the psychologist said.

Sania Aiman, a middle school teacher at a renowned school in Dhaka further elaborated on the problems faced by the current generation, “The senior students are writing in distorted new-age text formats instead of using proper English or Bangla sentences. This sometimes make no sense at all in exams.”

“Their language skills are no better. Many students tend to avoid writing or speaking in long sentences. The problems with smart gadgets are not just within the realms of language, many children are more prone to online bullying, which is harder to monitor compared to physical bullying, and that takes a serious mental toll,” she said.

Aiman added a few other important points, “There’s unsupervised watching of age-inappropriate content which definitely has a negative impact on mental and physical health of the young kids, often causing depression and other physical ailments such as headaches. The tendency to show off has also increased, where they are in a constant competition to stay one-step ahead of each other in respect of owning the latest tech gadgets.”

Associate Professor, Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed, Department of Child Adolescent & Family Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health, Dhaka, choed the words of psychologist Tarana Anis on the effects of obsession over smart gadgets. According to the psychiatrist, every child suffering from an overdose in smart phone usage also suffers in numerous other ways, namely biological — where fine motor skills remained underdeveloped, vision became impaired, headaches and migraines increased and childhood obesity became common place; psychological — where the children suffered from agitation, depression, anxiety and restlessness; and social — where they had a hard time fraternising with other people in society.

“In most cases, the content of the Internet may not be age-appropriate, in turn causing the children to become aggressive and act in untoward ways — with an increase in bullying, fighting, cursing, etc. These children have a hard time disassociating between the real and virtual world,” he said.

Dr. Ahmed also pointed out few other facts that an overdose of gadget use may cause children to become unsocial, so much so that they no longer want to associate with anyone new or even want to socialise with old friends; their language becomes distorted, including their writing structure, limited problem solving skills, and they become dangerously self-obsessed.

Much has been spoken about the difficulties, and solutions are necessary to tackle the complicated psychological issue, and Dr. Ahmed had few pointers in this regard.

“Not everything is lost! Most of the time, just with a slight change in the environment, it is possible to reverse the negative effects of smart gadget obsession and it certainly begins with removing the device completely from the household or limiting the usage” said the doctor.

Other practical solutions provided by Dr. Ahmed, were a simple game of Ludo or Carrom, which helped significantly in increasing fine motor skills, and practicing high intensity physical games like football, running, cycling, and basketball to help build the body and nurture the mind, also serving in burning calories as an additional benefit.

To reverse the social menace, Dr. Ahmed advised parents to be involved in their children’ lives and spend more time with them. Allowing their children to make new friends of their own age, because real friends help kids become socially intelligent and solve real life problems in a calm and mature way.

Reversing the detrimental effects of using gadgets, as suggested by Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed, is a necessity.

Ananta Ahmed, a father of a three-year old now attending school, was faced with the problem of his son having difficulty in holding the pencil; instead of being able to grip on the lead body, he was swiping it and fidgeting with it. Sometimes, if forced, he would get upset and throw away the pencil at people around him.

Based on suggestions from experts, Ananta removed all smart phones from the house and emphasised more on communication between parents and the child, and Tahiyan has been able to overcome all his previous difficulties.

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages parents to use smart-gadgets below the age of two — and only limit it to an hour of co-watching for kindergarteners, where the parents take part in explaining to them the occurrences on screen. After that, a monitored and limited screen-time is suggested till the kids become adults.

Multitudes of research have proved that cognitive, social, psychological, and biological functions improve once human connections increase. Creative play is thus, a major necessity in every child’s life. This helps them understand life around them and build on social norms and rules. On the other hand, with too much reliance on smart gadgets, a generation of golems is produced, lacking the ability to make genuine real-life connections.

Thus, we end by saying, it is only for robots to lack empathy, what we need are increased human connections to continue living as healthy and happy human beings.  

Photo: Syed Abdullah Johi

Model: Shehran


The Quest sets for Bangladesh’s first winter expedition

Although the concept of mountaineering is nothing new to Bangladesh, the ambit of it is relatively low. As counter intuitive as it may sound, despite being in close proximity to the Himalayan Mountain Range, there has not been any attempt to climb its summit during winter.

However, the good news is, a group of mountaineers from The Quest have gone for the maiden winter expedition in the Himalayan range this February. A team of four fearless adventurers including Salehin Arshady, Tahmid Hossain Rafid, Abdullah Al Mahmud Intiaz, and Samiur Rahman are taking the responsibility to hoist the national flag on top of the Himalayan peak in the winter of 2020.

The Quest is an adventure club which was inaugurated in 2014 to promote outdoor activities such as mountaineering among the youth of Bangladesh. They are providing a platform to the sport enthusiasts of Bangladesh to network, socialise, and facilitate such activities so that Bangladeshi outdoor activities are recognised internationally.

“In our time, we did not have any guidance or platform that could arrange or facilitate such activities for us. Being passionate mountaineers, we want to provide that platform to people and encourage the youth to engage in such endeavours,” said Salehin Arshady.

Among the myriad of services and campaigns they host, the Campus Quest is a notable one. Through this program, The Quest reaches out to various universities in Bangladesh. The goal is to cultivate team work, physical activities, and motivation among the youth. 

Other programmes include Quest Talk, which focuses on organising seminars, photo exhibitions, and presentations to educate the public regarding mountaineering sports and other outdoor activities. Another facet of The Quest is known as the Centre of Gravity that provides formal training to participants regarding outdoor activities and mountain sports.

The mountain peak chosen for this expedition is the Chulu Far-East peak that has an altitude of 6059 meters. The purpose of choosing this peak is the availability of data. They possess good knowledge about the crevasses, ridges, snow deposit, and temperature on this route. Although nobody from Bangladesh has ever made it to its zenith, plethora of information can be gained from previous global expeditions.  

While mountain climbing is already a highly challenging task as it is, winter expeditions are more difficult. The first challenge comes in the form of greater snow deposition. Whereas the level of snow in normal season is knee-deep, in winter this reaches to be thigh-high. Moreover, the increased deposition of snow creates avalanches on the mountain pass, making it difficult to maintain a straight route. Thus, mountaineers have to resort to climbing in a zigzag manner, which takes more time and effort.

Another hindrance is the wind-chill factor which multiplies in intensity during winter that makes climbers more susceptible to hypothermia. As the Northern Wind and Siberian High flow in this direction during this time of the year, there exists the threat of falling prey to a blizzard. This makes winter expeditions riskier, and precarious. Additionally, as the ascend progresses, the atmospheric pressure drops, providing lower levels of oxygen and making it difficult to breathe.

 The total duration of the expedition is forecast to last a month. Starting from the city of Kathmandu, they will be travelling to Besishahar, which is the doorway to their destination and then to a small village named Humde. They will stay there for a couple of days for acclimatisation, before starting the expedition. 

Up until here, the mountaineers will have assistance and guidance. But being strong devotees of the mountaineering philosophy ‘alpinism’ from this point onwards, the quartet will be on their own.

 Alpinism is the purest form of mountain climbing that centres around the belief that this sport should be done being totally dependent on your own capabilities, without any guide, or support. Mountaineers sustain with what they are able to carry themselves.  

To suffice their accommodation needs, camps will be set at intervals in campsites. The first camp will be made at 4800 meters and a shelter will be formed in 5500 meters. A couple more intermediate camps may be required depending on the situation. 

As for preparation, the four mountaineers have attained the required physique. As the activity entails burning about 2000 calories a day, putting a halt to workout sessions and starting fat deposition is necessary. Mountaineers also have to take sufficient preparation to survive in sub-zero temperatures, which can range from -25⁰C to -35⁰C.

Being trained adequately in terms of physical and psychological adaptability is vital. Other than that, as mountain climbing has become part of their lifestyle, and being enthusiastic risk takers, this intrepid group of four is well-prepared to tackle this adventure. 

What they hope to achieve after this expedition is to create a seismic impact among the mountaineers of Bangladesh, and be exemplary among the orophiles. As Samiur Rahman said, “We want to show people that it doesn’t take being Bruce Wayne to climb a mountain, you can do it if you only try.” 

Mountain climbing and mountaineering sports are gaining momentum among the population, especially the youth of Bangladesh. While there are orophiles in abundance, dedicated platforms for facilitation and recognition are meagre. The Quest is nurturing a gateway for aspiring athletes so they can take this sport to new heights of sporting glory.

We wish them best of luck for their quest!

Photo courtesy: The Quest Bangladesh


Unhindered creativity

In today’s world of strictness and discipline, children face the pressure to meet various expectations and are often limited to their devices for any sort of recreation. However, to motivate children into exercising their creativity, interacting with the outdoors and giving them a break from their hectic routines, weekend group activities can be organised such that children are able to socialise, be artistic and also have fun.

Finger painting

For the longest time, finger painting has been the messiest and yet the most fun creative activity for children. It allows the children to get hands-on with their work and promotes sensory integration. The activity might require a lot of precautions to minimise the cleaning and washing afterwards, however, this is a small price to pay as for the benefits — improvement of fine motor developmental, strengthening of finger and hand muscles, development of social skills, communication skills, and language skills (sharing paint pots, taking turns, working together etc. especially, in groups) and expression as therapeutic act without using words.

The children can let loose and break out of the monotony of school life by dipping their fingers into the paints and creating their own masterpieces, maybe even painting their own faces and clothes too.

Oil pastel painting

Oil pastels have always been a familiar object for children and are perfect for them. Oil pastels are easy to use, such that there is no difficulty getting the colours on paper. Indeed, such an easy application of colours does encourage white walls and clothes being smothered with colours, but the opportunity for children to explore their artistic potential is essential for mental growth and acts as a form of therapy. Giving them a big canvas to colour on allows them to artistically express themselves without any boundaries.

The back and forth drawing game

The game involves the next person to build off of the previous person’s drawing. It encourages socialisation and interaction between children. Not only does it stimulate their creative thinking, adaptability and spontaneity but also promotes creative instantaneity. It is a fun and creative way to connect!

Nature suncatchers

A suncatcher or light catcher is a small, reflective glass hung indoors at windows to ‘catch the light’ from any close by source. Making flower or leaf suncatchers is a great craft to get children to engage with their own individuality. The game allows them to personalise an object and later decorate their own space with their creation. Furthermore, today being the day of technology and video games, this activity encourages children to go on nature walks, interact with their surroundings and even be exposed to outdoor playing.

Today’s little ones lead a rather tough and stressful life. Using the creative arts and crafts as a form of therapy, expression and play allows these youngsters to socialise, learn and have a good, fruitful and recreational break which is worth every bit of the after-party cleaning and necessary for their mental wellbeing.

Photo: Syed Abdullah Johi

Model: Shehran


Know your basics of dentistry

There are certain things in life that we take for granted. So much so that we do not realise how important they are till we have to live without them — like healthy teeth and oral cavity.

Oral health is just as important as every other part in your body, and in order to keep you informed about all the important things about oral health, we reached out to Dr Mirza Md Arifur Rahman, Assistant Professor at Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College, Dental Unit and asked him about important concepts and issues that encompass the idea of oral health.

What exactly is conservative dentistry?

Just like the word says, conservative dentistry is a part of dental treatment where we focus on preserving the tooth as much as possible. ‘Conserve’ is the key word here.

The visible part of a tooth has an outer layer that we call enamel. Sometimes there is damage in this layer, which we call dental caries. Conservative Dentistry aims to preserve the natural tissue of the tooth. Preventing damage is the focus. However, when there is damage, reversing the damage if possible and in worst case scenario, preserving the tooth through repair, reconstruction, whatever can be done, to save the tooth.

Could you explain what is Endodontics?

Endo means inside. Endodontics deals with the inner layer of the tooth, often referred to as the root. We call it dental pulp. This is mostly the invisible part that we cannot see from the outside. This root is linked to nerves and when the damage is deep, you might notice sharp pain in tooth or hypersensitivity in your tooth when exposed to cold temperature.

Endodontics aims to repair any damage done to this central layer of tooth. If the damage is reversible then the aim is to repair and keep it functioning and maintain the vitality. We always use biocompatible elements to make sure that it has no negative effect on the body.

But these are the concepts that come into consideration when there’s already damage in the teeth. Isn’t there a way to avoid all these?

Prevention is always better than cure. And the best way to maintain good oral health is to brush your teeth regularly. Twice a day is highly recommended, but if you are too busy for that, brush your teeth before sleep.

We always hear that, but why is it different than brushing in the morning?

Because, when you are awake, you are eating, talking, and these activities keep the muscles in your mouth active. As a result, saliva can flow and that keeps the mouth somewhat clean itself. During sleep, however, the muscles are at complete rest and that makes the mouth dry. As a result, bacteria start to grow. Brushing at night ensures that these bacteria are cleaned before they start their invasion.

There’s a common culture in our people of avoiding doctors and trying to treat themselves or wait till things get worse. What do you think about that?

People in Bangladesh are apprehensive of doctors, and the last person they want to visit is the dentist. This should not be the case. One should not wait to consult a doctor until the health issue gets too serious. The earlier you consult your doctor, the easier it is for them to treat you, thus saving you from suffering.

What’s your take on the campaign: BDS na to daater doctor na?

I think it’s a good campaign and makes a valid point. I will tell you why.

A lot of the work that the dentists do, involves technical equipment. If you watch closely, anyone can learn to do them in a few months. But that does not make them a doctor, neither does it give them the licence to practice on people. If they don’t have the proper knowledge, it’s very easy for them to spread diseases like hepatitis B through the wrong use of these equipments.

A BDS doctor would know how to prevent that, others would not. You do not want to go to the dentist and come back with a bigger health issue just because you did not go to a real dentist. It should be kept in mind that BDS doctors have studied and practiced before they became dentists. They know what they are doing. So, I will have to agree with the slogan of that campaign: BDS na to dater doctor na!”

Photo courtesy: Dr Mirza Md Arifur Rahman


Ekushe February: An ode to an unforgettable event

The book is titled: Ekushe February. The title gives away the theme of the book undoubtedly. What’s so special about it? What’s special is the fact that this is the first ever compilation in Bangla literature on the events of the language movement of 1952.

Famous poet, journalist and critic Hasan Hafizur Rahman first edited the book in 1953. As a compilation, the book is divided into several parts such as Ekusher Kobita (poems), Ekusher Golpo (story), Ekusher Gaan (song) etc. In total, there are 21 literary pieces in the book, symbolic of the momentous date. Each piece is glorious and touching in their own right.

Prominent writers such as Showkat Osman, Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Shamsur Rahman and even Hasan Hafizur Rahman himself have contributed with their powerful strokes of pen in this book.

In addition to the 21 literary pieces, the book starts with a very robust discussion by Ali Ashraf, titled, “Equal recognition for all languages” where he reminded us that the language movement was not only for the Bangla language but also for every other language in the world that are oppressed and all of them deserve equal recognition and respect.

The book ends with a factual writeup by Kabiruddin Ahmed called “Ekusher Etihash” (History of the 21st) which is a very thorough and detailed discussion about the events that transpired from 26th January to 25th February (1952), encompassing the events of the language movement.

One can find day to day discussions of these events in the last pages, rich with facts and history. History that every Bangladeshi citizen should learn in order to realise how much this nation has sacrificed for our beloved Bangla language, how this language movement later inspired us to fight for our freedom and how lucky we are to be a free nation.

The book goes highly recommended for anyone who wishes to look through the literature focusing on the language movement as well as those who wish to know the history and backgrounds of this movement that our national heroes undertook, risking and sacrificing their lives in the process.

Hasan Hafizur Rahman does an amazing job as an editor, putting these emotionally relatable and rich pieces of writings together in one book that is Ekushe February.