The BANGLADESH PORTAL
00:06, Saturday April 19, 2014 (UTC) • 6:06, Saturday April 19, 2014 (BST) • Boishakh 6, 1421
Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on three sides and Myanmar to the southeast; the Bay of Bengal forms the southern coastline. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it comprises the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" and is written in Bengali as বাংলাদেশ and pronounced [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ]. The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown.
The borders of Bangladesh were set by the Partition of India in 1947, when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan (East Pakistan), separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (1,000 miles). Despite their common religion, the ethnic and linguistic gulf between the two wings was compounded by an apathetic government based in West Pakistan. This resulted in the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 after a bloody war, supported by India. The years following independence have been marked by political turmoil, with thirteen different heads of government, and at least four military coups.
The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 km2 is ranked ninety-third. It is the third largest Muslim-majority nation, but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8.
BRAC (Bengali: ব্র্যাক), (formerly known as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), based in Bangladesh, is one of the world's largest development oriented non-governmental organizations. Established by Fazle Hasan Abed in 1972 soon after the liberation of Bangladesh, BRAC is currently present in all 64 districts of Bangladesh, with over 7 million micro-finance group members, 37,500 non-formal primary schools and more than 70,000 health volunteers. BRAC is the largest NGO by number of staff employing over 120,000 people, the majority of whom are women. BRAC operates various programs such as those in microfinance and education in over nine countries across Asia and Africa, reaching more than 110 million people. The organization is 80% self-funded through a number of commercial enterprises that include a dairy and food project and a chain of retail handicraft stores called ‘Aarong.’ BRAC maintains offices in 14 countries throughout the world, including BRAC USA and BRAC UK. BRAC is a few years into their initiative to operate in ten African countries in the next ten years.
BRAC tackles poverty from a holistic viewpoint, transitioning individuals from being aid recipients to becoming empowered citizens in control of their own destinies. Over the years, BRAC has organized the isolated poor and learned to understand their needs by piloting, refining and scaling up practical ways to increase their access to resources, support their entrepreneurship and empower them to become active agents of change. Women and girls have been the central analytical lens of BRAC’s anti-poverty approach; BRAC recognizes both their vulnerabilities and thirst for change. BRAC always strives to find practical and scalable approaches to eradicate poverty wherever it is. (more...)
Where in Bangladesh...
|Wari-Bateshwar is the site of an ancient fort city dating back to 450 BC. This 2,500 years old site is a significant archaeological discovery that challenges the earlier notions about the existence of early urban civilisation in Bangladesh. Do you know where in Bangladesh is Wari-Bateshwar ruins?
|The site is about 75km from Dhaka situated near the Wari and Bateshwar villages in the Belabo Upazila of Narsingdi District under Dhaka Division in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh.
|Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh known for its wide sandy beach, is believed to be the world's longest (120 km) natural sandy sea beach. It is located 152 km south of Chittagong.
|Photo credit: ed g2s
Did you know...
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Bengali: শেখ মুজিবর রহমান; March 17, 1920 – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Bengali: শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান Shekh Mujibur Rôhman; March 17, 1920 – August 15, 1975) was a Bengali political leader in East Pakistan and the founding leader of Bangladesh. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its Prime Minister. He is popularly referred to as Sheikh Mujib, and with the honorary title of Bangabandhu (বঙ্গবন্ধু Bôngobondhu, "Friend of Bengal"). His eldest daughter Sheikh Hasina Wajed is the present leader of the Awami League and a former prime minister of Bangladesh.
A student political leader, Mujib rose in East Pakistani politics and within the ranks of the Awami League as a charismatic and forceful orator. An advocate of socialism, Mujib became popular for his leadership against the ethnic and institutional discrimination of Bengalis. He demanded increased provincial autonomy, and became a fierce opponent of the military rule of Ayub Khan. At the heightening of sectional tensions, Mujib outlined a 6-point autonomy plan, which was seen as separatism in West Pakistan. He was tried in 1968 for allegedly conspiring with the Indian government but was not found guilty. Despite leading his party to a major victory in the 1970 elections, Mujib was not invited to form the government.
After talks broke down with President Yahya Khan and West Pakistani politician Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mujib was arrested and a guerrilla war erupted between government forces and Bengali nationalists aided by India. An all out war between the Pakistan Army and Bangladesh-India Joint Forces led to the establishment of Bangladesh, and after his release Mujib assumed office as a provisional president, and later prime minister. Even as a constitution was adopted, proclaiming socialism and a secular democracy, Mujib struggled to address the challenges of intense poverty and unemployment, coupled with rampant corruption. Amidst rising popular agitation, he banned other political parties and declared himself president for life in 1975. After only seven months, Mujib was assassinated along with his family by a group of army officers. (more...)