Stories written by Rubana Huq

From Cambodia, with love

Education indeed. Getting to Phnom Penh took me to yet another learning curve. Not being able to fly out of Dhaka for almost close to 18 hours is a story to share, but getting de-planed and watching passengers reacting to the situation is another narrative altogether. Re-fuelling had failed as the pump wasn't working and more than three flights were stuck and couldn't take off and passengers had to be transported to hotels after midnight.

Perhaps Platform S?

When Accord and Alliance came to town, the brands and retailers had offered assurance of business continuity and were paying for the audits and assessments. Taking financial responsibility for factory remediation was, of course, the manufacturer's end of the bargain. In five years, out of Accord's initially inspected 1,620 factories, 420 had shut shop; for Alliance, out of the initial 829 factories, 173 closed business; National Action Plan, out of its first 1,549 factories, terminated 566. In total 1,159 factories have gone out of business. In response to growing demands of remediation, Bangladeshi manufacturers have either chosen to grow or quit. Those who have managed to stay afloat, in reality, have been able to afford expansion or consolidation.

What is mine is not thine

A South Asian woman is often subjected to innumerable rituals. In Bangladesh, for the majority of the population, if a baby girl is born, the Azaan (call for prayer) is quietly whispered into her ears. In the case of a baby boy, the Azaan is loud as it is meant to announce his arrival with pride. During a girl's Aqiqah (christening), a goat is sacrificed, but when it comes to a boy, the number of goats becomes two. In case of inheritance, while the wife inherits only an eighth of her husband's property after death and the daughter gets only a fifth (as the daughter is assumed to inherit from her husband's as well), no one really mentions that upon a wife's demise, her husband too inherits one-fourth of her property. These are only a few instances of unjust inheritance laws that are prevalent in South Asian societies.

The List of Shame

He stood there at the reception, with a sling bag filled with documents. He worked for a courier company. He was 10 years old. He was handsome. And he had the brightest eyes I had ever seen before.