Going back to the ’17’s clock
The year 2017 was a year of mixed experience for Bangladesh. Although Bangladesh has progressed a lot in digitalization, youth entrepreneurship and participation in social development, there were a lot of bad stuffs too that happened in 2017 alongside the positivity.
What bad had happened!
The military crackdown on the Rohingya people can be described as a decisive step of Myanmar government to vacate the area so far inhabited by the Rohingyas once and forever. When Bangladesh's borders yielded to the mass of desperate people pouring in from Myanmar in late August, no one predicted the scale of the crisis to come.
More than 830,000 Rohingya refugees have taken shelter in Bangladesh to escape violence and persecution in Myanmar. The momentum and scale of arrivals make this the world's fastest growing refugee crisis over the history.
The incoming refugees are housed or have sought shelter in Cox's Bazar District and its Upazilas, where extensive pressure is being placed on resources. With an increasing lack of cooking fuel, the protected forestlands are on the verge of extinction.
Flash Flood and South Asian Flood
The water levels rose in various rivers in the north, northeast and southern parts of the country due to heavy rainfalls as well as water flow from the upstream Meghalaya hills in India. The flood has taken a heavy toll on the farmers and fishermen of the surrounding areas as they had no necessary precautions for such an untimely disaster.
After the devastating flood during mid April, flood started for the second time on June 27, affecting two northeastern districts Sylhet and Moulvibazar. Flood started from July 2, affecting eight districts including Rangpur, Kurigram, Serajganj, Jamalpur, Bogra, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Nilphamari and the southern district Cox's Bazar.
Full damage information is still not available as assessment is still going on. As far as 113,553 households are affected; 9,973-hectare agricultural land inundated; 7,421 domestic animals died; 353 educational institutions stopped functioning.
Landslides and mudslides
Depression originated at northwest Bay of Bengal and adjacent areas causes extreme rainfall in the coastal regions on June 12, 2017 and triggered massive landslides in three districts of southeast Bangladesh-Rangamati, Bandarban and Chittagong.
These landslides in these three districts have killed about 152 people including several officers and members of the Bangladesh Army. Scores more were hurt and many remained missing.
Violence against women and children
The country is witnessing a growing trend in violence against women because of greed, lack of social resistance and implementation of laws. The incidents of children repression, sexual harassment and rape hit newspaper headlines throughout the year.
According to a report by Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), 493 females were raped in Bangladesh from January to October 2017. In the nine months of the same year, at least 363 children were raped and 15 died as a result of rape, according to Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF). Furthermore, 884 children became victims of acid attack, child marriage and other kinds of violence during the same period.
The numbers exclude the ones who did not lodge cases in police stations or report the same to the media fearing reprisal from the often powerful perpetrators of these rapes. Nonetheless, the above figure on rapes is a clear indication of the rising number of rape cases.
Loss of great personalities
2017 will be remembered for its notable loses as well. From the announcement of former chief justice M M Ruhul Amin's passing at the start of the year to the deaths of Mayor Annisul Huq at the end, 2017 has felt like one long goodbye to some of our greatest literatures, entertainers, politicians and intellectuals.
We lost Bangla Academy award-winning poet and essayist Shantanu Kaiser, Legendary singer-composer Lucky Akhand, Bangla film icon Abdur Razzak, Eminent folk singer and flautist Bari Siddiqui, The Ekushe Padak winning musician and Nazrul researcher Sudhin Das, eminent litterateur, poet and a person with many more sparkling identities Prof Gulshan Ara Zubaida in the same year.
These deaths caught us by complete surprise. We will miss all of the legendary personalities.
What good we are upto!
The Metro Rail Project
The city has been suffering from traffic congestions since long now and finally a ray of hope for better transportation system is now prevailing on the minds of city dwellers as the government has already inaugurated the Metro Rail project.
As public buses were never enough to suffice out travelling population, many other initiatives taken before by the government, such as sitting bus services and women's bus services have failed due to the blooming population growth. However, with metro rail on its way, the passengers will now be relieved of these hazards.
Hours of hanging onto bus poles and jumping in and out of bus doors will no longer be a part of daily life once this train is set to go.
On May 4, three deals were signed with Italian-Thai Development Public Company Ltd and with Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corporation Ltd and on August 2, 2017, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the construction.
Hopefully, by 2020, MRT will be the new mode of transport of Dhakaiyas.
One step ahead towards 'Digitisation'
In the era of digitalization, e-commerce has been incorporated into our corporate world. Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) hosted its first award show to accolade the contributes of e-commerce in, honoring them in13 categories, for their last year's successful digital campaigns after the fourth Digital Marketing Summit, at Le Meridien Hotel, Dhaka, on October 13, 2017.
Awards considering 13 categories were categorised which included app development, use of data and analysis, technological innovation, content marketing, and use of the e-commerce platform.
12 campaigns won the highest award Grand Prix, 22 won Gold and 16 Silver awards. The Grand Prix for 'Best Integrated Digital Campaign' was taken by Melonades, the digital partners for 'Aynabazi' the Movie.
Fatality rates dropped!
In 2016, we had seen a fall in the death rates caused by road accidents compared to its respective previous year's statistics. It was decreased by 35 per cent. This year, the rates have decreased to less road accident mortality rates.
Last year, 6,055 were killed and 15,914 were injured in 4,312 road traffic accidents caused throughout the nation but shockingly, this year, 2,297 people were killed and 5,480 injured in road accidents (according to the BPWA report published in The Daily Prothom Alo).
A notable fall can be noticed in the fatality rates caused due to car crashes or road accidents which is a commendable achievement to be achieved within just one-year time period.
The Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover opened!
Since 2011, the city is waiting for its promised flyover which is said to be constructed over the Mouchak and Malibaag area, ending in Rajarbaag, Rampura and Siddeshwari. After a six-year wait, the bridge was finally opened to all locals on October 26, 2017.
The longest fly over of the country is now on its way to ease traffic jams in this area.
Youths contributing to the society
Thirty organisations were accolade to the prestigious Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017, for their exceptional aid in the development of society as a whole. These organisations have considered social problems like unemployment, violence against women and inadequate education to be their own and are currently working to eliminate this social pathos.
This year has been through many ups and downs, but many noticeable good things also managed to earn its place in our lives. Even though the undesirable happenings will leave a mark but we can look forward to the upcoming year with new hopes and new desires. With new promises and new resolutions, hopefully, our forthcoming year will have good things in store for us!