Inside Article

What are the main concerns about the new Omicron variant?

Publish: 03:44 PM, 30 Nov, 2021


The B.1.1.529 variant also known as Omicron was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern.

There is not much we know about the virus yet. Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share the findings of these studies as they become available.

What we know so far:

According to WHO it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more contagious compared to other variants, including Delta. The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant.

Primary Pieces of evidence suggest that there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron. people who have previously had COVID-19 could become re-infected more easily with Omicron, as compared to other variants of concern.

Main concerns:

Transmissibility: It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta.  The data we have yet so far data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of a specific infection with Omicron. There is still no strong evidence that suggests that the symptoms related to Omicron are deadlier or different from other variants.

Effectiveness of vaccines: There are already so many vaccines that are effective against all the existing variants. WHO is working with technical partners to understand the potential impact of this variant on our existing countermeasures, including vaccines. If the already existing vaccines do not work then that will be a big concern as most of the countries have vaccinated their countries and it will take time to develop a new vaccine that will be effective against this variant too.

Economy: The world has already taken a big blow in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic. Most of the countries were in lockdown and traveling was absolutely banned. Ports and airports were closed. The new variant was first reported to the World Health Organization in South Africa less than a week ago, the new strain has rapidly spread everywhere from Africa to the Pacific, and from Europe to Canada, causing dozens of countries to announce travel restrictions. If this continues and the variant actually becomes as deadly as the WHO is saying, then this will again hit the world economy. 


Inside Article

Samson H. Chowdhury: A Shining Star

Publish: 11:07 AM, 25 Sep, 2023


Mr. Samson H Chowdhury was one of the pioneer who worked for human welfare in Pabna region. He has created a legendary history through his work. He was born on 25th September 1925 in Orakandi village of Gopalganj. He started his studies in a mission school in Chandpur in 1930. His father was Dr. Yakub Hossain Chowdhury and mother's name was Latika Chowdhury. He was the first child of his parents. Yakub Hossain Chowdhury named his son Shimshon. May be he thought his son would be as strong as Samson in the Bible. He possessed that power in practical knowledge and intelligence. His father had a transferrable job. After Chandpur, Yakub Hossain Chowdhury came to Ataikula in Pabna in 1932. Then Samson H Chowdhury got admission in the village school here. In 1933, his father sent him to Mymensingh, where he enrolled in the fourth standard at the Victoria Mission School. Then in 1935, his father sent him to West Bengal and there he got admission in Bording Shinksha Sangh High School, Bishnupur.


He returned to Pabna in 1942 during World War II. In 1943, he passed matriculation from Ataikula School. It is known that he studied at Scottish Church College Kolkata. He then received a Diploma in Management from Harvard University School. He then joined the Indian Navy without the informing of his parents. In 1946 he took part in the naval mutiny against the British rulers and was finally arrested. After 5 days in jail, he was sent to a concentration camp for a month. He was then released. At the time of release he was given a clean certificate so that he would have no difficulty in getting a job in any government administration department.


In 1947 he joined the postal department as a government servant. At this time, a 15-year-old girl, Anita Biswas, came into his life. On August 6, 1947 Samson H. Chowdhury got married with Anita Biswas. In 1952, he resigned his job in the postal department and returned to Ataikula and started working in his father's drug store Hossain Pharmacy. In 1956, he started a small pharmaceutical company by borrowing money from his father. And named it "E sons". Later he changed the name to “Yaqub & Sons”.


In 1958, he and his three friends started a pharmaceutical company called "Square".

His three friends were Dr. Kazi Harun-ur Rashid, Dr. PK Saha and Radha Vinod Roy. Their initial capital was Rs.17,000. Square's journey began with 12 workers, a factory in an unpaved building, a few machines and a modest but sky-high dream and enthusiasm. He observed that malaria patients had to buy India-made Quinine at high prices. But the raw material for making Quinine is available in Darshana's Keru & Company sugar mills. In 1962 they opened a branch in Hatkhola, Dhaka. Later Square became a private limited company and this time their capital was Rs. 40,000. All of Square's products were excellent in terms of quality. So Square hiking the peak without looking back. In 1985 Square got the top position among all the companies in Bangladesh and till today it is at the number one position. Square is the first domestic company got approval to export pharmaceuticals products abroad.


In 1988 another separate division started its journey called Square Toiletries. Square Group is now successfully foraying into Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Readymade Garments, Toiletries, Informatics, Food Industry, Media (Mashranga Television), Square Hospital etc.


Samson H Chowdhury was very friendly in his personal life. He built a skilled workforce and world-class professional system at Square. He had a fatherly demeanor with all the coworkers. He and his wife Anita Chowdhury used to introduce all their workers as their children. Samson H Chowdhury has three sons and one daughter in his personal life. They are: Mr. Samuel Swapan Chowdhury, Mr. Tapan Chowdhury, Mr. Anjan Chowdhury and daughter Mrs. Ratna Chowdhury.


Samson H Chowdhury never compromised with quality. With great transparency, integrity and skill, he built a great society. He has received many awards and recognitions in his life. In 2010, he received a special award from the Bangladesh government for his special contribution to the economy. Business Man of the Year by The Daily Star and DHL in 2000, Business Executive of the Year by American Chamber of Commerce in 1998 and Ekushey Padak in 2013. Square Group was adjudged the best taxpayer by the National Board of Revenue in the financial year 2009-10. Samson H. Chowdhury was the Chairman of Square Group, Chairman of Mutual Trust Bank, Chairman of Transparency International, President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, founder president of Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies and held many other prestigious positions within the country and abroad.


Not only he has successfully contributed to his career but also his contribution in religious and social life was also immense. He was actively involved in church work. He led the BBCF (Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship) for 42 years. He served as BBCF general secretary (1956 - 1969) and president (1983 - 1985) and (1990 - 1993) for 13 years.


He was also vice president (1985 – 1990) of the Baptist World Alliance. He and his family are involved in many social activities in various ways. The financial contribution to Pabna Boys Hostel and Ataikula Boys Hostel comes from this Chowdhury family. He has established Square High School & College, There are thousands of other examples which are difficult to mention. I had the opportunity to be adorable in contract with him at workplace & personally.

Some Inspirational Quotes of Samson H Chowdhury:

·         No prayer no breakfast

·         God owes nothing to anybody

·         First million is always very hard

·         There is no short cut to success

·         A happy worker is good worker

·         If you love people, God will love you

·         If you don’t waste time, you will be successful

·         Never stand still, never slow down, never stop thinking

·         I am proud to be father of my 35 thousand children

·         If you stop innovating, you will be run over by your competitors

·         Truth, morality and ethics are the core elements of success of an organization.


He introduced a rule in his family - “No Bible, No Breakfast" So we can realize how much importance he gave to the Bible and prayer in his life. He died on 5th January 2012 at the age of 87 in a hospital in Singapore and was buried at Astras Firm House in Kashipur, Pabna. We are thankful to God for the life of this great man.

Writer: Ripon Dhiman Biswas


Inside Article

"Fitting into a Box"


Is it mandatory to follow what everyone else does? Would one lose respect if he or she does not follow the crowd?

The answer is yes, unfortunately! There are people in our society who try to impose their lifestyle on others that is called peer pressure. Peer pressure is a type of social pressure that forces one to do the things he or she does not wish to do, but for the sake of our so-called society they do. The main causes of peer pressures are low self-esteem and fear of rejection. Peer pressure is mostly seen among young generation. For example, youngsters are likely to experiment with things in order to compete with mates and to look cool in front of them. Peer pressure has some positive effects too like- encouraging friends to participate in sports, which help them gain both emotional and social skills. However, People are usually attracted to negative things more so which is why they are prone to adapting bad things first.

Let’s talk about negative side effects of peer pressure. Many people are losing their own happiness and identities out of peer pressure such as- some people attempt to do things just to impress others. This common scenario is viewed in high society of Bangladesh. Some people from elite class buy expensive things just to brag about their wealth and maintain with society. According to them if they do not use expensive products they will not be able to fit in the society. Another incident is familiar among youth. Youngsters often intend to try drugs and alcohol to tell their friends how dope they are! Some people also think they will be ashamed to live happily because others will condemn them if they do not have high grades and money. As a result, peer pressure causes mental distress; it brings turmoil in life.

Peer pressure in the workplace is another circumstance that frequently occurs. We can't go out of the box for peer pressure; resulting that the norm is going by society and the customary law to fall in the group for professions too. It is easily accessible to everyone who is a doctor or an engineer or a lawyer rather than an artist or a musician because the bar is set that the artists end up with less income rather than a hyped profession like a doctor or an engineer.                    

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are- Everyday power.

We should always surround ourselves with people who uplift our soul rather than belittling us for the way we lead our lives. It’s never right to take decisions based on people’s preferences that do not have to deal with the consequences. We should start listening to our heart in order to have a peaceful mind.


Inside Article

International Women’s Day today

Publish: 11:11 AM, 08 Mar, 2022


International Women's Day is being observed on Tuesday across the country as elsewhere in the world with a call for building a sustainable world giving priority to gender equality. 

This year, theme of the day is “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. 

Different women, social and political organizations have taken separate programmes to observe the International Women's Day. 

On the eve of the day, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages, greeting all women across the world. 

In their messages, they termed the day's theme ‘Teksai Agameer Jonnya, Gender Samotai Aj Agraganna’ as time befitting in the current perspective and wished success of all programmes of the day. 

President Md Abdul Hamid in his message said the achievement in empowering women over the last 50 years has introduced Bangladesh as a role model in the world. 

He said the present government has been implementing massive programmes to prevent all kinds of violence on women, along with establishing women rights, spreading education for them and empowering women to establish gender parity. 

The womenfolk are keeping their footprints in all sectors, including politics, trade and business and job, without any restriction now, he added. 

The US-based NGO Global Summit of Women honored Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the Global Women's Leadership Award in 2018 for her outstanding leadership in advancing women education and women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, Asia and Asia-pacific region, he said, adding that the premier also received a special memento titled "Tree of Peace" from UNESCO in recognition to her outstanding contribution to the promotion of girls' and women's education.

"I hope that women-men would work together to make development sustainable in all sector for building a happy-prosperous Bangladesh," he said. 

In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League government has been working to ensure equal participation of women and men in all its programmes with a view to building a ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu. 

She said one of the major achievements of Bangladesh in the last 50 years is to making significant progress in empowering women by reducing the gender inequality. To maintain this trend, the government has attached priority to ensuring food, health and education for women from grassroots level to make the development sustainable, she added. 

The women are now playing a vital role in different areas, including politics, judiciary, administration, education, health, armed forces and law enforcing agencies due to the time befitting and pragmatic measures of the government, she said. 

The premier said that the greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formed the Women's Rehabilitation Board in 1972 with the aim of rehabilitating and empowering women who had suffered in the great war of independence.
Bangabandhu ensured the equality of women in all spheres of national life in the constitution, she added.

She hoped that with the joint efforts of women and men Bangladesh achieved independence of the country, implementation of Vision-2041 would help build a hungry-poverty free prosperous Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu. 

In observance of the day, Samajik Protirodh Committee, a platform of 66 women, human rights and development organizations, will bring out a procession and hold discussion and cultural programmes at the Central Shaheed Minar at 3pm tomorrow. Bangladesh Mahila Parishad President Dr Fawjia Moslem will chair the programme. 

‘Amee Pari,’ an alliance for resisting family violence, will carry out a campaign at 12,01 minute today. Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) will organize a colourful rally on its premises at 10:00 am today. 

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights. 

After the Socialist Party of America organised a Women's Day on February 28, 1909 in New York, the 1910 International Socialist Women's Conference suggested a Women's Day be held annually. 

After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. 

The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations. 

International Women’s Day   Women’s Right  


Inside Article

Historic March 7 today

Publish: 09:55 AM, 07 Mar, 2022


The nation is observing the historic March 7 on Monday, commemorating the landmark speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which was touted as an indirect declaration of the country's independence in 1971. 

This year the observance of the day is more significant as the nation is going to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country's independence on March 26, while 'Mujib Year', the yearlong celebration of Bangabandhu's birth centenary, is going on.

On October 30 in 2017, UNESCO recognised the historic speech as part of the world's documentary heritage as the landmark fiery speech of Bangabandhu inspired the Bengalees to prepare for the War of Liberation in 1971.

It has been included in the Memory of the World International Register, a list of the world's important documentary heritage maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

On March 7, Bangabandhu in his historic speech at a mammoth rally in the then 'Race Course Maidan', now Suhrawardy Udyan, in the city directed the freedom-loving Bangalees for waging a decisive struggle against the Pakistani occupation forces.

In the 19-minute extempore speech from 4:23 pm before millions of people of former East Pakistan, Bangabandhu in unequivocal term said, "We spilled our blood...we are ready to shed more blood, the people of the country shall be freed, Inshallah!" 

"Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram (The struggle this time is for our emancipation, the struggle this time is for our independence)" the great leader and the greatest Bangalee of all times went on to add. 

During his deliberations amid thunderous slogans and applause, he also made a fervent appeal to the roaring people from all walks of life to make preparations for armed struggle against the tyranny, exploitation, subjugation and deprivation by Pakistani military junta with whatever they possessed and transformed every house into a fortress.

The people were overwhelmed and imbued with the spirit of Bangabandhu's unparalleled speech of independence regarded only as comparable with the Gettysburg Speech of slain US President Abraham Lincoln. 

The whole nation responded spontaneously to Bangabandhu's call with the thunderous slogan - "Bir Bangalee Astra Dharo, Bangladesh Swadhin Karo" -Brave Bangalees take up arms and free Bangladesh from occupation. 

The vigorous speech inspired people of all walks of life to prepare for the war, which eventually began after the Pakistani regime on the black night of March 25 launched attacks on the unarmed Bangalees, the worst genocides in history for the next nine months. 

Bangabandhu's March 7 speech has been selected as one of the most rousing and inspirational wartime speeches in the last 2,500 years. The dynamic speech had changed the course of the country's history. 

The tantalizing speech literally had a mesmerizing and sparkling effect on the entire population of this soil and they became united under his capable and farsighted leadership to bravely fight for liberating the motherland from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces. 

Although people from all walks of life irrespective of political and religious beliefs were united for the cause and began to take all-out preparations for a bloody war, they waited till the crackdown of the Pakistani occupation forces on the sleeping Bangalees on the night of March 25, defamed as the "Operation Searchlight". 

As soon as the Pakistani occupation forces started genocide, Bangabandhu declared the independence of the motherland instructing the people to put up strong resistance and fight against them till liberation is achieved. 

At the instruction of Bangabandhu, the brave nation fought successfully the nine-month-old war of liberation and ultimately liberated Bangladesh from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces on December 16, 1971, with the assistance of the allied Indian forces. 

Marking the day, different socio-cultural and political organisations, student and professional bodies have drawn up elaborate programmes, including laying wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu and holding discussions with maintaining health guidelines amid the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The government has made national flag hoisting at all public and private buildings in the country and its diplomatic missions abroad compulsory on the historic 7 March from this year. 

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Awami League (AL) has taken elaborate programmes to observe the historic March 7 in a befitting manner. 

Marking the day, the ruling AL hoisted national and party flags atop Bangabandhu Bhaban and party offices, placed wreaths at Bangabandhu's portrait on the premises of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi. 

A discussion will be arranged at the central office of Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue at 11:00 am. 

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion at virtual platform.

Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations are broadcasting and telecasting special programmes while national dailies brought out special supplements marking the auspicious occasion. 

In addition to this, the Forest and Environment Sub-Committee of Awami League will hold a discussion on March 7 speech of Bangabandhu at 11:00 am at Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib auditorium of the National Museum in Dhaka. 

Awami League Joint General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud will attend the discussion as the chief guest. 

Awami League Advisory Council Member and Chairman of Forest and Environment sub-committee Dr. Khandokar Bazlul Haque will chair the meeting while AL's Forest and Environment Affair secretary Delwar Hossain will conduct the event. 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Dr. Muhammad Samad, poet Nirmalendu Goon, Daily Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutta and AL central committee member Marufa Akter Popy will be special guests at the event.

7 March   Bangabandhu   Bangladesh  


Inside Article

Shaheed Asad Day today

Publish: 10:11 AM, 20 Jan, 2022


The nation is all set to recall the great sacrifice of student leader Asaduzzaman Asad on the occasion of his 52nd martyrdom anniversary today.

On January 20, 1969, Asad, the hero of the 1969 mass upsurge, was shot dead by the police in a protest rally near Dhaka Medical College Hospital against the oppression of the people of East Pakistan.

The death of Asad, then a Master’s student of Dhaka University, took the mass upsurge to the highest peak which hastened the fall of the then military dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan after over a decade of his iron rule.

On the occasion, president Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages paying tributes to the memory of Shaheed Asad.

Recalling his contribution to the gearing up the mass movement in 1969 with due respect, both the head of the state and the head of the government prayed for his eternal peace.

In his message, president Abdul Hamid said the sacrifice of Asad in the 1969 mass upsurge had added a new dimension to the aspiration of Bengalis’ emancipation.

In her message, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said the January 20 was a significant day in the history of the War of Independence of Bangladesh as student leader Mohammad Asaduzzaman was killed in police firing in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital on this day in 1969.

Shaheed Asad was the president of Shahidullah Hall Unit of Dhaka University and general secretary of Dhaka unit of then East Pakistan Students Union.

To mark the day, different socio-cultural, political and student organisations, including Shaheed Asad Parishad, have chalked out various programmes that include placing wreaths at the memorial plaque of Asad in front of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital and his grave at Shibpur in Narsingdi.