Bangladesh has so many problems and it’s hard for any government, corrupt or not, to deal with them. It’s always up to the bureaucracy to solve and take care of all of the 145 million Bangladeshis. But it shouldn’t be up to the government to provide everything to the people; the government should have limited jurisdiction of how much they should get involved in the lives of the common people. The government should act as a regulator instead of a mother to the Bangladeshi people.
Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a great humanitarian and his theory of banking to the poor was out of the question for conventional banks so he took it upon himself to give loans to the poor. His Grameen Bank has helped millions of Bangladeshis get out of poverty. His method is spread to other countries such as India, China, and Brazil and it’s working and helping so many people. Click here to see the video of an episode of The Daily Show with Dr. Yunus as the main guest.
Dr. Yunus said you need to go to the local level and give the poor the first dollar so they can catch the next dollar to build up the local economy. He also mentions that 97% of his customers are women.
Education Can Solve Bangladesh’s Problems
What I believe is providing free education to common people is the key to solving all of Bangladesh’s problems. Just think about it, why do you think probashi Bangladeshis of US, EU, Australia want to go back and help, because a lot of them are shikkitto (educated in Bangla). Educated people have the capacity to govern and positively handle situations independently.
Rioters on the Streets
I never understand why these people go on the streets and fight against their fellow Bangladeshis for political leaders who don’t care about their lives. Most to all of these people don’t have the proper education to realize that rioting on the streets only harms the country as a whole, as it stops businesses from functioning and tightens up security. If these people would be given proper education then they would realize that Hasina and Zia are not the only candidates that can come to power; they will realize that there are leaders better than them.
Women Need the Education More
Women in Bangladesh are the key to the development of future generations of the country. Dr. Muhammad Yunus targeted women to give loans because women, unlike their male counter parts, will used the money for good and they will not spend it on gambling or drinking. Women, with their natural instincts, will use the money to raise the standard of living for their families.
Now, giving free education for women will secure the primary education for future generations. Women are the ones who stays home and takes care of the kids, and as mothers they will do whatever it takes to secure their children’s future; they will teach their children everything they know. My proposal is similar to why Grameen Bank targets women to develop the poor society to higher levels of living, because they are the ones who can fix Bangladesh in the local level.
I remember going to Sunflower Primary School in the Kishorgonj district during General Ershad’s rule when I used to live in Bangladesh and they taught me well. I believe primary education was free for everyone at that time, correct me if I’m wrong. However, today some schools can’t even function and teachers can’t teach due to lack of funding because of the corrupt bureaucrats taking money form the reserves.
In the video, Dr. Yunus said, referring to the poor people, “people have a lot of capacity to do things for themselves, to change their lives”; and it is a concrete fact. If we aggressively distribute free education to majority of the Bangladeshi population, if not completely to everyone, then we would build a foundation for society to develop.
Emerson said “There is no knowledge that is not power” as in there is no power if there is no knowledge. If we distribute education then we distribute power; that’s the whole idea of democracy, power to the people.
What Should We Do
There are a lot of NGOs and other types of organizations who come together and feed the poor; they can do better if they diversify what they use the money for. It’s good to feed the poor but food is consumed and it’s gone; however, if education is given then that investment is kept by the poor for their lifetime. They can use what they learned such as reading, writing, math/economics, and law to build themselves up.
Instead of completely using your fund raising money, or your Zakat money to buy food, use half of it to pay teachers to teach the poor. A lot of NRBs send Zakat money back to feed the poor, don’t do it, only spend half of it to feed the poor, and use the other half to give them free education. If they don’t want education then bargain with them, give them free food (from the Zakat money), in exchange for them to receive free education. Give the the common people the power of knowledge.
Let’s go back and help our Bangladeshis out, “Bangladesh Zindabad!”