Life of Street Girls and AIDS
The phenomenon of street children and girls has been a major concern for most areas of Dhaka city. Thousands of street children and girls all over in Bangladesh, primarily in the urban areas, work and live in the streets. Urban poverty, increasing dissatisfaction with the public educational system together with the difficult living conditions and broken families has led to a growing problem of street children and girls.
Different categories of children in especially difficult circumstances can be identified; some of them maintain family links while undertaking apprenticeship or street hawking to help their family survive, while others are completely cut off from their family , making the streets or park their home and community.
Life in the streets is hard and unsafe, especially for a girl who, in the first place, has no business being there - begging, selling flowers, drinking-water, chocolate or toffee, sometimes even their bodies. Street girls are vulnerable to all sorts of risks: the reckless motorist; the abusive police officer; the drug, crime, and prostitution syndicates; even the bigger, older street boys who taunt or intimidate them.
Despite these, or maybe even because of these, most street girls develop both a resistance to destruction and a capacity for positive construction. These are the two components of resilience -- the capacity to do well in spite of difficult circumstances.
There are many teen girls living on the streets, some are living with parents and few (living) alone. Several spots of Dhaka city where we can see easily, such as Kamolapur railway, Shodorgat river port, Polashi bazaar etc. They lived in a very ill position. Sometimes we find Floating Sex Workers (FSWs) also live with them.
Teen girls living on the streets experience most of the same problems as FSWs and, in addition, are frequently subjected to sexual violence.
'Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation' recently reported that 70 percent of street girls have been victims of sexual abuse, while another study by 'LRB Foundation' puts the figure as high as 80 percent. One study by ' Several Education And Polli Development Association-SEPDA' found that girls who turn to the streets are generally younger than street boys.
Street girls are often invisible because they do not travel around in city at night as FSWs do, staying generally on their own or in small family.
As mention Prof. Abdul Quader Palash, "Street girls are seen as a socio-economy phenomenon rather then a social category - a phenomenon created by social systems, gender rules, political and economic".
A 2005 survey by Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation on sexual activity among street girls underscored that street girls are extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
More than half of the boys interviewed and more than three quarters of the girls, including 20 percent of those under fifteen, admitted they were sexually active. Sixty-one percent of the boys said they had forced a girl to have sex with them.
Some times street girls and Floating sex workers are closely associated with the terminal, port and transport industries where they find a large supply of potential clients and customers. Terminal, Train station and port, which provides additional clients for floating sex workers as well as street girls get enough customer for selling something or bagging, This link diverts them for nasty-work and continuous sexual irritation help to take fast step of them.
Being obviously related, Street girls and Floating Sex Workers (FSWs) were not regarded as complex social phenomenon in Bangladesh. There are no monitoring and no logical studies of why street girls gradually become FSWs in Bangladesh.
Mohammad Khairul Alam
Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation
No. 24/3 M. C. Roy Lane
PO. COD- 1211
Editor's Note: A lot is made of the growing connectivity of peoples, cultures in this shrinking world of global economies and the internet. We get letters from all over the globe, but this one we have chosen to run as an eye-opener.
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I know that "fixing" downtown is fast becoming a tired issue, but it's something Tulsa really must conquer if we're going to remain a "respectable" city for the next, say hundred years or so... With that as a cliffhanger, here's my thoughts.
In all the hubbub surrounding revitalizing Tulsa's downtown, no one seems to be voicing the obvious marketing issues. If you take a drive through downtown Tulsa after 6PM on any afternoon, what will you see? Dark, empty streets. Not an attractive place to go.
Compare this to the downtown of other major cities. Driving through downtown Houston, Dallas, or OKC, you will see people heading into the bars, restaurants, coffee shops, theatres, etc. Apart from the Brady district, downtown Tulsa has none of these elements. Sure, we have restaurants, but most close at 2PM. Where's the draw in that?
Yes, Tulsa's downtown needs a facelift, and badly. The problem is not the absence of an expensive stadium, or islands in the river, or a new shopping district on the east side. Tulsa's biggest problems are simple housekeeping issues.
Go downtown one night and drive around. The first thing you will notice, is that the streets are poorly lit. Dark streets promote crime. More streetlights, Tulsa!
Also, where are the police? Driving through downtown, you would be hard pressed to find a cop after 6 PM, except on Denver Street, the major throughway to the jail.
We need more police patrolling the area, if just to establish a visible police presence. Once more, Tulsa will be hard pressed to sell downtown unless we can convince our residents that it is safe.
The next issue is one of basic appearance. In a book called "The Tipping Point," the author describes a neighborhood in NYC which rose from being a rough, crime ridden area, to being one of the more desirable places to live. One of the key decisions was to repair all the broken windows, paint over graffiti and repair broken sidewalks. When this sort of destruction is visible, it creates a perception of "anything goes." This in turn has the effect of both promoting further crime, and creating a perception that the area is not safe.
After taking care of the housekeeping issues, you need to draw people into the "new" downtown, starting with the young. Young people network in many ways that older, more settled adults do not. Between school, friends, and the internet, there is already an established network for spreading information, such as what clubs are hot right now, or what concerts are coming, etc.
Attract the 18 to 26 demographic, and the rest of the city will follow, once downtown has established a more palatable reputation.
The question remains: How to bring people in? Looking at the popularity of areas like Cherry Street, Brookside, and the Boston area, the demand for nightspots is obvious. This could be downtown Tulsa as easily as any of these other areas, except that downtown has, historically, done a great job of scaring away these sorts of businesses.
I would suggest that Tulsa consider a series of grants for small businesses that would draw people downtown. Possible candidates would include bars, coffee shops, bookstores, restaurants, and other types of businesses where people traditionally gather.
Further, I would suggest that instead of encouraging these businesses to develop north of the railroad tracks (i.e. The Brady District) Tulsa might consider arranging leases on the ground floor of some of the more central downtown buildings, encouraging business which do not close at 5PM to develop in the area.
Although this might seem counter to the way that Tulsa has traditionally developed, realize that the way that downtown Tulsa has developed is not working, and big cities across the country develop a mixture of businesses downtown to encourage growth.
Yes, the maintenance would cost money. Yes, the grants would cost money. Yes, the police patrols would cost money. But all these expenses pale in the face of the programs instituted in the last 20 years in hopes of revitalizing a declining downtown area.
Tulsa, let's fix downtown, but let's start with the basics: Proper maintenance, more police, and incentives to the right kinds of businesses. The long term payout will easily repay the investment, and once the right businesses get a strong start, the area will easily recover.
P.S. Thanks for writing the most useful paper in Tulsa...
A Mosque of Peace? (UTW "Letters" columns, 14-20 Dec. and 28 Dec.--3 Jan.) Show me. How many tolerant Muslims are out there willing to commingle into America rather than take it over? We are waiting to see some Patrick Henry type of "give me liberty or give me death" action. In the meantime a mold grows.
The mold grows while two parties played on in 2006. The illegal immigrants and the Muslims.
A problem always starts in small ways like a mold, and unless it is immediately identified and 'nipped in the bud' it continues to grow and grow until it becomes unmanageable.
Those who lack insight by allowing it to grow to maturity, ignoring it, and refusing to acknowledge that it exists, suddenly awake when it is too late and the house must be renovated or destroyed. But then make the error in judgment more acceptable, by explaining away the lack of identification and immediate removal, they instead welcome the destruction of the house as new enlightenment in this progressive age, determining that the house was no good to begin with and we will be better off with this new house, updated codes, advanced construction methods, new materials, and better trained workers. The progressives end up actually condemning previous life without the problem.
Such it has been in the situation with the invasion from the south. The illegal invasion from the south is an invasion of our lands by uninvited intruders (not guests).
It could have been identified and stopped years ago. But now it is at that unmanageable stage. It is not immigration into the country that is the problem, as we welcome the ones who patiently immigrate legally and wish to assimilate into American society. America has been built on this principle.
No, this is the overwhelming illegal HYPERLINK "http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12573992/"; unmanageable numbers of Spanish people streaming in from the south. And now it is an invasion, and this invasion has a life of it's own, a mold inside the wall of the house. The winner here is definitely the Spanish invasion of American lands. And now the leaders are friends with it as they wish to legalize the illegal and call them guests.
They win, the rule of law looses. This situation has been growing for many years and is nearing maturity, unlike the second party to win in 2006.
This second party to play on in 2006 is an invasion from the east. This moldy problem is in its beginning stages of growth where it becomes identifiable as a fungus, but the speed of development here resembles the growth of mold on bread, quickly seen as something to trash right now.
Their intent is to eventually instill Islamic laws ( HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia"; sharia), slowly at first, as part and parcel of our laws, separate but equal, and then when their numbers increase, demand that Muslims have the right to be judged by their own religious laws, and not by American laws. Dual courts. It is a religious HYPERLINK "http://www.al-islam.org/short/jihad/"; holy war jihad attempt to infiltrate, terrorize, intimidate and coerce until sharia is the rule of law.
HYPERLINK "http://www.ntpi.org/html/statement.html"; These attempts must be stopped now. We have already seen the attempt to overthrow an American tradition by HYPERLINK "http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/014575.php"; Keith Ellison, the first ever Muslim Senator, HYPERLINK "http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2006/11/28/america,_not_keith_ellison,_decides_what_book_a_congressman_takes_his_oath_on"; demanding that he be allowed to swear his oath of office on the Koran. It's a moldy beginning. We witnessed the HYPERLINK "http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/014296.php"; six imams evacuated from an airliner, claiming profiling 'while Muslim', then demanding payment, (to finance a trip to Mecca) and a special prayer room in the airport. Part of the tactic. Not a violent use of terrorism, but terrorism just the same.
There was a story of HYPERLINK "http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/20/national/main612805.shtml"; the mosque in Michigan allowed to sound the call to prayer five times a day over their loud speakers, while Christian HYPERLINK "http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20060727/ai_n16637714"; church bells are being silenced across the land. Mosques are growing in America. How many more Muslim names are now being seen throughout the land? Yet, our leaders are not identifying this mold as a problem.
The concentration has been on the war against terror in Iraq and neglecting the holy war against western values here at home. It's a double front and Islam must be stopped at both ends. Right here in Tulsa, a moderate Muslim cleric spoke up and HYPERLINK "http://www.batesline.com/archives/002906.html"; criticized Islam, was threatened and banned from the Mosque. According to sharia law, it is apostasy and blasphemy to speak ill of Mohammed.
To be fair, he was reinstated by the mosque under pressure of various groups. No freedom of speech allowed by these fellows. No toleration for diverse opinions for these. No, it is submit or be considered an infidel, an apostate. That's the law according to Mohammed.
In 2006, America has lost a years battle of the war. How will the country fare in 2007? Unless our leaders wake up and recognize this mold and spray some good old bleach in and around, the moldy stuff will grow and grow until the house is destroyed.
The Muslim will to fight the jihad is greater than our will to resist. And the progressives are saying we are all better off with a more diverse and tolerant population, but they refuse to acknowledge that asking a Muslim to be tolerant is like asking a mold to quit growing.
How many tolerant Muslims are out there willing to commingle into America rather than take it over? We are waiting to see some Patrick Henry type of "give me liberty or give me death" action. In the meantime the mold grows.
Americans have been willing to risk life to live free with liberty. How many Muslims are willing to risk life for freedom to live free in the greatest country ever. More freedom. More opportunity. More tolerance here by Americans for anyone right here in the land between the seas.
And the mold keeps growing.
Lawmaker Makes Case
As a businessman, I know it takes money to make money and I remember that as Co-Chairman of the Oklahoma Senate Finance Committee. I know that for Oklahomans to flourish, we legislators must ensure that Oklahoma has adequate resources to meet our commitments and invest in our future.
When I'm in my district, I need to be able to tell my fellow Chamber of Commerce members that they'll have a skilled workforce. I must be able to assure our retired teachers that their pensions are secure and our working families that their children will have a good education so they're prepared for a strong global economy.
In order to meet those commitments, we legislators need to plan ahead, beyond today and the next election, to ensure that Oklahoma's annual revenues can pay for our annual expenses.
During the current period of economic growth, fueled by booming natural gas prices, the legislature was able to increase spending in areas needed to build a strong economy. We invested in road and bridge maintenance, teacher salaries, and high-tech research and development.
At the same time, we passed deep and permanent tax cuts - lowering the top marginal income tax rate from 6.65% to 5.25%, increasing the standard deduction, and exempting income earned by retirees and veterans from taxation.
State revenue growth is slowing, yet the spending pressures on our state are growing due to commitments made by prior legislatures and because of the rising costs of such expenses as health care, employee retirement and energy bills. Therefore, the legislature must grapple with an immediate squeeze on our state budget this session.
Some people believe the best way to deal with this situation is accelerating the pace of tax cuts. Even when they cannot point to any credible evidence or research that supports their claim that lowering taxes offers an effective economic development strategy.
We must be cautious, though. The substantial income tax cuts approved over the past two years were structured so that their fiscal impact will grow exponentially over the coming years. The Oklahoma Tax Commission estimates that the lost state revenue from these cuts will be under $100 million this fiscal year to over $600 million by 2011.
We'll face even greater financial challenges in the future. We have a moral and legal obligation to support a teachers' retirement system with nearly $7 billion in unfunded liabilities. We face the looming retirement of the baby boom generation and the aging of the state's population, which will increase the state's health care costs as it reduces our tax revenues. We also face decreasing support from the federal government, which means state and local governments must now take greater responsibility for funding health care, preserving national security and controlling illegal immigration.
Instead of rushing into more tax cuts without attention to the consequences, we need to carefully analyze our long-term fiscal situation. We need to create an equitable, modern tax system that will foster a strong economy and still meet critical state services.
Senator Jim Wilson
Senate District 3
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