Four years ago, Farzana Aktar Ruma, now 18, was almost married off without her consent.
A continuous influx of sea water is threatening agriculture and food security in vast coastal areas of Bangladesh, but farmers are finding ways to adapt, like cultivating fish and crops at the same time.
Frozen tiger shrimp exports from Bangladesh, mainly to the United States and the European Union, have grown substantially over the years and the demand keeps increasing.
Abdul Aziz, 35, arrived in the capital Dhaka in 2006 after losing all his belongings to the mighty Meghna River. Once, he and his family had lived happily in the village of Dokkhin Rajapur in Bhola, a coastal district of Bangladesh. Aziz had a beautiful house and large amount of arable land.
After the sea swallowed up her home and family in the Bangladeshi coastal district of Bhola along the Bay of Bengal, farmer Sanjeela Sheikh was heartbroken. Stripped of all her belongings, her fields swamped and her loved ones dead, she contemplated suicide.
Facing the bleak prospect of millions of its citizens being displaced in coming years due to storms and sea level rise caused by climate change, Bangladesh is building up existing coastal embankments in a bid to protect coastal lands and people.
Women constitute nearly half of the country's 1.25 billion people and gender equality -- whether in politics, economics, education or health -- is still a distant dream for most. This fact was driven home again sharply by the recently released United National Development Programme’s Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 which ranks India at a lowly 130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII). India trails behind most Asian countries, including lesser developed Bangladesh and Pakistan which rank 111 and 121 respectively, and fares not much ahead of war-ravaged Afghanistan at 152.
Of the 69 journalists who died on the job in 2015, 40 per cent were killed by Islamic militant groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. Startlingly more than two-thirds were targeted for murder, according to a special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Expected climate change makes improving agricultural practices even more important than many already suggest, according to a new study of Bangladesh, considered one of the most at-risk nations from rising temperatures.
Times are a-changing for Bihar, a state popularly described as a state of mind. The recent elections have brought back Nitish Kumar as the chief minister for the fifth time. Since his first innings as a developmental CM from 2005, he has transformed Bihar from being an archetype of India’s backwardness to one of its fastest growing states. Besides improving governance, he has also politically empowered women in that benighted state. Not surprisingly, the women’s vote was decisive for his electoral success. He now has the historic opportunity to shift gears towards sustainable gender-based development.
Twice a week, 20-year-old Kulsum Begam, a young mother of two, spends over three hours gossiping with the neighbours.
Though he is only 16 years old, Mohammad Yasin has been through hell and back. He recently survived a hazardous journey by sea, crammed into the cargo-hold of a rudimentary boat along with 115 others.
Some say they were beaten with iron bars. Others confess their families have been threatened with death. One pregnant woman was assaulted with metal curtain rods.
Two years after a massive garments factory collapsed in a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, killing over 1,100 people and leaving more than 2,500 injured, a major international fund has met its target of raising 30 million dollars to be paid out in compensation to the victims and their families.
“Work is dignity,” says Simone Cipriani. “People want employment, not charity.”