Saturday, 9 March 2013

Rickshaw and Bangladesh from economic perspective : one for another – why and how

Rickshaws in a small road in Bangladesh
The most common public transport in Bangladesh is Rickshaw. Rickshaws are seen all over the country - in the capital city, big major cities, towns and rural areas and even in the hilly areas. In Bangladesh people hardly need to walk. Once you are outside of your home to a nearby road or a lane, one or more rickshaws will appear within a few minutes, with the little silver bell tinkling to get your attention.
Despite of all critics the communication infrastructure has been developed last 25 years more or less all over Bangladesh. At every corner of Bangladesh, even in a remote area have roads that are paved with bituminous materials, concrete, cement or at least with bricks. Although the conditions of the roads are poor but communication is now much easier to drive a rickshaw on these roads. Not only this but there have also some other reasons that is why rickshaws are popular as a public mode of transport.
In Bangladesh roads are small and narrow in small towns, villages and even in the cities at residential areas. So rickshaws are comfortable transport to go through these roads.
A rickshaw in a village road in Bangladesh
Increasing income level of lower middle class and middle class people has raised the number of rickshaw passengers. Not only this but also people in Bangladesh don’t like to take a long walk carrying with some luggage to go somewhere. Climate of Bangladesh is not extreme. All around the year people can go out with more or less normal clothes. So it is not so difficult for the rickshaw drivers to drive a rickshaw (think about the European winter with snow) or not even for the passengers.
Rickshaw traffic in a narrow road in old Dhaka, Bangladesh
After marketing, easy journey to home by a rickshaw
‘’Rickshaw sector has a great contribution to Bangladesh economy. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, in the year 1985-86 rickshaws contributed 34% of the total value-added by the transport sector in Bangladesh or roughly 984 crore taka or 9840 million BDT. This was more than double the contribution of all motorized road transport, 12 times the contribution of Bangladesh railways and 12,5 times the contribution of Bangladesh Biman, the national air line. Rickshaw accounts for more than half of Dhaka’s vehicles, 70 percent of its passengers and 43 percent of the total passenger mileage. Everyday about 70 lacks or 7 million passenger trips are made in Dhaka by rickshaws over a distance of one crore ten lacks or 11 million passenger miles. This is nearly double the output of London’s underground. Rickshaw provides one of the largest sources of employment in Bangladesh. In Dhaka over 700,000 people make rickshaw related work which is the largest single form of employment. We can count about 23 percent of the city’s workforce. At present more than two million or twenty lacks people all over the country find job in them. The great majority are rickshaw drivers, but there are also mysteries(repairers), owners, makers, shopkeepers(selling rickshaw parts, spear-parts and other materials), tea-stall owners and many others who survive on the basis of the rickshaw. The crud size of the rickshaw sector has important implications for the national economy. If we consider that for every male employed there are at least three dependents, then nationally around six million or sixty lack people depend directly on the rickshaws or 4,5 percent of the total population’’.(Rickshaw and Prejudice by Robert Gallagher,August 1998)
Rickshaws as a means of communication
In fact rickshaws are preferred travel mode or transport by women, children and the older people due to their safety, security and comfort perspective. In this context we can get our answer that why the numbers of rickshaws are increasing day by day. In Bangladesh especially in transport sector government takes no responsibility to build up a communication network. In every city and even in rural areas private sector takes the initiative to operate a somehow communication system. The whole country is overcrowded and traffic system is inadequate. Busses are over loaded although bus fare is cheaper than rickshaw fare but impossible for women, children, old and any physically weak or disabled person to travel by bus. Big or small cities don’t have any underground railway system or tram lines. So rickshaw is the only public mode to go somewhere. Rickshaw, taxi (difficult to go through a narrow road) or CNG baby taxi can offer a door to door service but the fare is much cheaper to hire a rickshaw. The Dhaka Integrated Transport Study report found that the rickshaw fare is more than double in comparison to bus fare for the same distance. But some 19,2 percent passengers use rickshaws while only 9,5 percent travel by bus. In a study the traffic dominance of rickshaw in Dhaka, Sylhet, Comilla and Rangpur cities are 49%, 78%, 80% and 55% respectively. (Source - Banglapedia )
A young guy finds his job as a rickshaw driver
A road side tea shop earns their living from rickshaw drivers
Every year a huge number of working force coming to join in the labour market of Bangladesh. As Bangladesh is a least developed country and government don’t affort to create sufficient jobs for the working force. The number of literate working force have a chance to find a job in industry sector like garments factory or any type of official job or even in service sector like  a seller or canvasser, in health sector or in manufacturing sector. But the illiterate working force coming from the rural areas to the labour market don’t have any jobs for them. They don’t have year around job and as a result of rural poverty this group of people migrate from rural to urban areas. They try to find jobs in the informal sector like rickshaw driving or in construction. These occupations don’t demand any previous experience or know how. It’s a question that why do rural migrants accept rickshaw driving as an occupation, despite its arduous nature. In a study done by Sharifa Begum and Binayak Sen in 2005 (Pulling rickshaws in the city of Dhaka: a way out of poverty?) shows the reasons that driving rickshaw is easy entry, especially for men who are illiterate, unskilled and lacking capital. Other reasons include the regular flow of income and earning more money. At the same time they can decide their working hours and own desire for choosing routes. Last few years a trend has developed that many people migrate to the big cities especially in Dhaka and drive rickshaw just for a month or little more. Now they try to avoid borrow money from others with a high interest rate for their children educational expense or other type of household needs they need a handful amount. Within a short period they can earn a handsome amount of money and return to their home. In my own investigation in Dhaka and Savar a rickshaw driver can earn on an average 500 taka per day. To hire a rickshaw for whole day 70 taka and for a half day 50 taka need to pay to the rickshaw owner.
A rickshaw garage and repairing center
By paying rickshaw fare to a rickshaw driver has a great socio – economic impact in our national economy. We can see that it’s a way to transfer wealth from middle class to the poorest. Especially Dhaka and other major cities rickshaw drivers send a significant portion of their earnings back to their villages, and may work seasonally as rickshaw drivers in order to raise money for farming. Rickshaw drivers of the urban areas actually supporting their families in the countryside and agriculture as well. So harming rickshaw drivers means harming poor villagers throughout the country and potentially our agricultural system as well. (Rickshaw bans in Dhaka city – Mahabubul Bari, Debra Efroymson; August 2005)
A seller of rickshaw accessories
We can make our own calculation to see that how much money flows in rickshaw sector. We count around 20 lacks or 2 million rickshaws are operating in the roads of Bangladesh. Very few rickshaw driver owns their rickshaw. We make a flat calculation. In an average rickshaw drivers pay 50 taka per day to the rickshaw owners. So the amount is per day earnings of rickshaw owners is 10 crore taka or 100 million BDT and per month 300 crore taka or 3 billion BDT. If we count that rickshaw drivers earn daily on an average 200 taka, so the amount will be 40 crore taka or 400 million BDT and per month 1200 crore taka or 12 billion BDT. From the lower middle class and middle class people 1200 crore taka  go over to the poorest group people of the country and circulate in our economic system.
A rickshaw rally for green environment
Now a days people all over the world is talking about ‘’global warming’’ and to keep and save a more green environment. Like Bangladesh, a most over crowed country in the world that don’t have almost any spear land to keep the country green can contribute in a way to a green environment by helping and develop rickshaw sector in a better way. We should think that rickshaws don’t make any harmful carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide in the air. Policy makers and mass people should consider the consequence of a well functioned rickshaw sector in Bangladeshi economy before taking any drastic steps and decisions. 

NB: All the images in this post are collected from different web sites. If anyone have any objection of using these images, that should be removed.

Read also : Rickshaws of Bangladesh and its history

                        Rikshaw in Bangladesh (Video clip)


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful is a common garden flower in Bangladesh

Marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful in orange and yellow color

Tagetes erecta or African-American marigold or Boro Gada/Genda ful

Yellow color African marigold flower or Boro Gada/Genda ful

French marigold flower (Tagetes patula) or Kashmiri Gada/Genda ful

Bicolor French marigold flower or Kashmiri Gada/Genda ful

Red-yellow color sheds of a French marigold or Kashmiri Gada/Genda ful

Bud of a marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful

   Leaves of a marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful plant                                                     

Leaves of a marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful plant  

Tagetes erecta or African-American marigold or Boro Gada/Genda ful

Marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful garlands

For celebrating spring season or Bosonto Utshob in Bangladesh; girls with marigold/Gada ful garlands

Month long celebration starts on the 1st Falgun or pohela Falgun with colorful dress in Bangladesh

In Gaye Holud or wedding shower yellow sharee and marigold or Gada ful garlands is a must

In Gaye Holud or wedding shower ceremony yellow color dress and marigold or Gada ful garlands is a must

Heap of marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful garlands in a flower market 

Marigold flower is known as Gada or Genda ful in Bangladesh. Though marigold flower is native to Mexico but for centuries this flower has been cultivated in Bangladesh and has become naturalized here. The flowers are yellow, orange, red , light yellow or have bi color sheds and have pungent aroma. 
Marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful belongs to Asteraceae family and its genus is Tagetes.
Gada/Genda ful or marigold flower is also known as tagetes and is a genus that includes about 56 different species. Since the 1920s marigold breeding has developed hundreds of new varieties. In Bangladesh marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful are seen in different colors, yellow and orange being the most common. White, red and multi colored tones of red yellow or orange are seen all over Bangladesh.
There are many varieties of marigold or Gada/Genda ful and some of them are common and available in Bangladesh. African-American marigold or Gada/Genda ful (Tagetes erecta) is known as Boro Gada/Genda in Bangladesh. The flowers are globe-shaped and large. These flowers are yellow, orange or light yellow in color. Plants can be 91-101 cm (36-40 inches) long in height. Another type of marigold or Gada/Genda ful – French marigold (Tagetes patula) is known as ‘’Kashmiri Gada/Genda’’ in Bangladesh. Plants can grow 12,5-20,5 cm(5 to 8 inches) high. Flowers colors are red, orange and yellow. Red and orange bi color patterns are also found. Flowers are smaller in size.
Now a days marigold or Gada/Genda ful plants grow all most all over the world. Today they are naturalized in the tropical and sub tropical countries. They are easy to grow and have a very long flowering season. They bloom from early summer until winter. In the garden, you will need to water only if the weather has been dry for two weeks. In fact, they need very little care.
Back to history, marigold or Gada/Genda ful is native to the Aztecs, now a day’s Mexico in North America. It is told that in the 1500’s native marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful seeds were taken from the Aztecs by early Spanish invader to Spain. After the Spanish invasion, the Aztecs considered the marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful as a living symbol of the Spanish massacre of their people, the red and the yellow blossoms representing the blood of Indians spilled on gold that the Spaniards had seized. The marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful were cultivated in Spain and grown in monastery garden. From Spain marigold or Gada/genda seeds were transported to France and Northern Africa. But in Bangladesh and other areas of this region how marigold or Gada/Genda ful came and started to cultivate has different explanation. Some sources say that the Portuguese brought marigold or Gada/Genda ful from Brazil and exported it around the world, along with Bangladesh and the South Asian region in the 16th century. Thus marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful were introduced here. Marigold or Gada/Genda ful has become important in our everyday life. They are used in ceremonies, as offerings and for decoration all over this region.
In Bangladesh, marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful have a vital roll in the folk – culture, like the marriage-ceremony, Bosonto Utshob(spring celebration). In the part of marriage ceremony in ‘’Gaye Holud’’ or ‘’wedding – shower’’ ceremony people can’t think without marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful. Yellow or orange colored sharee and marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful garlands are the best combination for the girls and is a must. Even in the Bosonto Utshob or celebrating Spring season (according to bangla calendar spring season consists of bangla calendar month Falgun and Choitra) marigold flower or Gada/Genda ful is essential. From the 1st Falgun people start to celebrate the month long festival by wearing yellow color dress and especially girls decorate themselves by  marigold flowers or Gada/Genda ful garlands.
Marigold or Gada/Genda ful plants have many uses as medicinal purposes.  Marigold or Gada/Genda ful plant is used to treat a number of skin diseases including eczema, juvenile acne and skin ulcerations. In Bangladesh  marigold or Gada/Genda ful plant’s leaves  sap is used to stop bleeding. Most of the households in Bangladesh have marigold or Gada/Genda ful plants in their garden or in flower pot.

    All the images are collected from different web sites

Sunday, 25 November 2012

National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho – a architectural symbol of Bangladesh

National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho of Bangladesh

A reflecting pool infront of the National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

Foundation stone laid by father of nation Sheikh Mujibur Rhaman

Information board in side the Sriti Shoudho Complex

A aerial view of National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho under construction

National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho under construction

National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho under construction

National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho under construction

Just after complition of construction work of National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho 

Now a days National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho of Bangladesh

Piramidial view of  National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho  

Another view of National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

Another view of National martyrs' monument or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

A distinctive pattern of the Sriti Shoudho just after construction 

A unique distinctive pattern of the Sriti Shoudho

From the entrence gate view of the National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho 

Lake in side of the National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho complex

Administrative buildning and main entrance gate view from inside the complex   

Mosque inside the National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

For the memory of the martyrs'
 nation has built a national martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

Towers base of the national martyrs' monument or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

Towers of the National martyrs' or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho made of concrete

A aerial view of National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

People pay their homage to the martyrs' at Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

Architectural symbol of Bangladesh-National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho 

A long distance axil view of national martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho

A unique view of the National martyrs' memorial or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho at night

For the memory of the living freedom fighters and of the martyrs' those who have sacrificed their lives to liberate their homeland Bangladesh, in memory of them nation has built a national martyrs' memorial or in Bangla we say Jatiya Sriti Shoudho. The war of liberation began on 26 March, 1971 and ended in the victory on 16 December, 1971 by defeating West Pakistan, now a days Pakistan's military forces and their local collaborators. Three million undoubting patriots laid down their lives in this struggle for freedom. The memorial is dedicated to the memory of the heroic struggle of the people and as a mark of respect of an indebted nation of the martyrs.
The Jatiya Sriti Shoudho or the national martyrs’ memorial is situated at Nobinagar, Savar; about 35 km northwest of Dhaka city. By bus or by car you can come here. Communication is much easier and comfortable.
Few months after the independence, the then government decided to make a unique national monument for the memory of the unforgettable unsung heroes of the country. The foundation stone of the monument was laid at Savar on16 December, 1972 by the father of nation Sheik Mujibur Rhaman.
To build a unique and special monument the project committee arranged a nation-wide design competition in June, 1978.  Among the submissions of 57 designs, architect Syed Moinul Hossain’s design proposal was selected. In his design there were seven towers to compose the whole structure. The shape of the towers are isosceles triangular. The area of the monument and its compound is 34 hectares (84 acres) with a surrounding buffer zone of additional 10 hectares (24 acres) green belt of planted bushes and trees. The monument with its pointed spires stands to speak of the victory and triumph and link the patriotic people, the shaheed and the living freedom fighters in an eternal bond. The tower tapers upwards on seven isosceles triangles signifying the seven stages of the national movement that led to the independence of the country. The seeds of the movement sprouted through the struggle for the honour of the national language, Bangla in 1952 and thereafter grew in phases through the mass upheavals of 1954, 58, 62, 66, 69 and eventually the liberation movement in 1971.
The project of the national martyrs’ memorial’s construction was completed in three phases at a total cost of 130 million taka. Work started in July, 1972 and ended in June, 1988.  Project committee and government selected the project site at Savar, out of the Dhaka city. The first phase started with acquiring lands from the farmers and at the same time project committee paid to the land owners as per market price. Then they started to develop the area and road construction for the project. Tk.26 lacs or 2,6 million BD Tk were spent for the first phase. It’s a good question that why the project committee choose the site at Savar. I think this location is beside the Dhaka- Aricha road, not so far from Dhaka city and Savar was the entry point for the freedom fighters to enter in Dhaka, leading the freedom fighters towards Dhaka by Tiger Kader Siddique and allied force army officer Major General Nagra.
Between the years 1974 to 1982 is regarded as the second phase. During this time Tk 3 crore and 77 lacks or 37, 7 million BD Tk were spent. Within this period mass-graves, helipad, parking space, pavements were built.
Third phase started August in the year 1982 and ended in June 1988. The main structure that of the monument that is the seven isosceles towers were built in this period. The towers were completed in record time of 3 months by M/S Concord Ltd. Using local technology of bamboo scaffolds. In this phase Tk 8 crore 48 lacks and 65 thousand or approx. 84,9 million BD Tk were spent.
The National Martyrs Memorial or Jatiya Sriti Soudho consists of seven isosceles towers. Considering to base wideness the towers are different in shape. The smallest tower has a broadest base and the largest tower has the tiniest base. The base of this structure is 39 meter (130 feet) while the longest tower of the monument is 45 meter (150 feet) high. You can see the axial view of this monument when you enter in the compound of this monument. The towers are arranged unequally so that you will see its distinctive patterns when you look it from different angles. The arrangement of the seven towers is unique. These unequaled combinations of the towers make it different from other monuments. Usually all kinds of monuments are finished of crimson bricks. However, this monument is different and the history of Bangladesh is presented by this monument. Therefore it’s making must be extraordinary. Concrete is used to make the towers. Red colors bricks have used throughout the complex area of the monument. This color represents blood for achievement of independence. Green field and green belt around the monument complex symbolizes green Bangladesh.   An artificial lake, a twin bridge, a reflecting pool and a picturesque garden surround the monument. The twin bridge crossing a natural canal leads to the most sacred part of the monument where ten graves of martyrs are preserved as marks of respect to the countless unknown freedom fighters who laid down their lives for their motherland. The complex also contains an open –air stage, reception room, mosque, green house, twin helipads and a cafeteria. There was also a plan of making a museum and a library in the design. The arms and relics used in the liberation war were decided to keep in the museum. The library will keep the books consist of the history of the liberation war which will create consciousness about how the freedom fighters sacrificed their lives to keep free the Bangladeshi people from tyranny and torture and that has given us independence. But that have not done in the monument complex area.  Master plan of the monument and all other architectural drawings of the complex excepting main tower have been designed by the Architects of the Department of Architecture, Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. Renowned architect Syed Moinul Hossain has designed the main tower of the monument. Entire construction work has been done by the Public Works Department of the Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.
The national martyrs' monument or Jatiya Sriti Shoudho is the national architectural symbol of Bangladesh. To keep this monument stands upright with honour, prestige and dignity we need to be ready always to sacrifice our lives also.

S:;;;  information board inside the Sriti Shoudho complex
All the images are collected from different web sites and special courtesy to Rainer Ebert's photostream  in
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