Dream of a beautiful Bangladesh
While attending an international conference at Vladivostok,Russia five years ago, I along with one of my batch mates was waiting at Vladivostok Railway station to go downtown. As the place was quite new to both us, we were a bit worried how to get the right train and compartment. Just before the arrival of the train, a railway staff approached both of us and asked if he can help us any way. The guy smiled at us and informed, your booked compartment will stop right here and do not hesitate to ask, if needed any further help.The guy left only when we safely onboard the train. Both of us were surprised at the attitudes of the guy as we (Asian) often experience discriminatory behaviours for our color and race.
After a successful conference it was the time to return to the sweet home. We both managed a bus from the university gate. Both of us were a bit surprised as none of the onboard passengers including us bought ticket to travel downtown. When we reached to our destination, we were wondering to whom the fare should be given. We noticed, all passengers ahead of us standing in the que inside the bus to pay the fare to driver before leaving bus, we also followed the same. Felt so proud at the honesty and discipline of Russian people, also at their respects towards the rule.
As new comers to the city of Vladivostok, it was quite tough find the road to railway station and eventually we sought the help from a security official to get the right directions. The guy was so generous that he opened his phone and showed us a map to find the direction, we just said ' pasiba- thank you' the only word we learned in the one week long stay in Russia.
While returning to home Vladivostok International Airport, I saw many others passengers were rapping up their luggage. I was a bit surprised why they were doing so? I realized the fact behind it when I found my luggage broken and shattered at our own airport. Where both of us received our luggage within 10 minutesat Vladivostok International Airport while in Dhakawe had to wait more than hours, of course as broken and shattered! I vowed never to do the same mistake again and also mocked at myself thinking in which type country I am living where none of passengers are safe! In fact, this is the harsh reality, how we treat our own people inside the country and how we are welcomed by people in the foreign soil!
For official purpose, I was travelling to Syedpur from Dhaka Domestic Airport couple of years ago. Despite the prejudice, 'Biman Bangladesh offers very poor service' I had the ticket of Biman as believed we need to contribute making this national carrier a bit profitable and sustainable! The flight was at 12pm and became a bit anxious as only 5 minutes was left for the departure. Other commercial private airliners left in the scheduled time but the national carrier had no announcement. I felt, I am going to miss the flight today as hardly could find anybody to get the departure. However, thanks, after 15-20 minutes of scheduled time, there was an announcement of the departure, as expected without any apology and explanation for the delay. Actually, this is the actual reward of travelling in by the national carrier!
I was waiting at the Airport station to say good bye to my 15 months kids. Being a 1st class passenger, I was looking for a waiting lounge for my kid who was sweating in hit. I noticed, the 1st class waiting lounge was full of dust and people like beggars and other unwanted types of people were roaming inside. I believe, my kids deserved far better service and environment at the railway station as I regularly paid my income tax and vat in each of my purchase and consumption!
It has been more than 40 days my parents applied for their ordinary category passport which is still pending for delivery. Like my parents, thousands of people have been waiting for their passport even after paying due fees and even speed money. Where millions of people were waiting for the passport even well after scheduled time, people were seen getting passport within a day in the recent development fair! My point is, if few types of passport can be delivered in one day, why not other types of passport?
In a recent report by Banglanews24.com which stated the statement of passport officials on delay, he blamed the failure of passport machine. Again, my point is, as a service recipient why I should bother the technical fault when I have paid the due fee to get the timely service. When we apply for the visa and pay the fee, in 100 percent case we get the visa by the scheduled time, not later than that. So, my point is, if we had to pay the fee for timely service, concerned authority also needs to compensate the service recipient for its delay.
We live in weird country! We live in country where you will be fired and harassed, if you take yourself to the street demanding your due salary and other benefits; if you claim your salary on time or argue with the management over other rights. I believe, this has been the common scenario in job market mostly in private sectors. But, outside the country, the scenario is quite different, I believe.
For instance, recently, one of the private firms in New Zealand decided to make the firm 4 working days rather than 5 days, only to reduce the stress of its employee and most importantly without any downsize. In another case, one CEO did not boost his salary only to give his staff enough annual incentives. Surprisingly, his staff came up with a car for their CEO, which he was supposed to get it from his added salary.
Can't we dream of a country where every single woman will travel even in the night without the fear of being sexually harassed? Can't we also dream a country without petty political rivalry, both BNP and AL will sit together to plan for a better Bangladesh? Why not, we dream, one day every single businessman, business organization and all affluent people announces, from now on every single poor and meritorious students' educational expenses will be borne by them.
I am waiting at the Vladivostok International Airport along with some of some of the passengers waiting to fly to Dhaka with me. They were not rapping the luggage and not even me! I along with few passengers also reached safely and got their luggage intact and only within 10 minutes of their arrival. The national carrier Biman announced their on-time departure to Dhaka to Syedpur and welcomes their passenger with a bunch of flowers. Waiting lounge for the 1st class passengers became well equipped with modern amenities and my son with his son is waiting in a que specially for women and children.CEO, RobiAxia just declared that, he will not take increased salary this year and going to distribute his salary this year for his valued staff.
Suddenly, my wife pushed me and I woke up. Oh, it was a dream!
The writer is a former student of Mass of Communication and Journalism at University of Dhaka and now working with Khan Bahadur Group