Spotlight | The Daily Star
  • Primary education in Bangladesh: All exams and no learning

    Most of the time, however, one of her parents takes her to school and they carry her schoolbag for her. On the way to school,

  • Miscarriage in the tea gardens

    “We can read it ourselves inside our homes but we can’t organise a reading circle to share the contents of the manual, without


    A tiny red gate jostles for space among shops, apartments, and the flurry of traffic in Block F of Lalmatia in Dhaka. Like the name

  • Is anyone safe at the hands of a mad mob?

    Md Shajib Mian, an 18-year-old youngster, is one of the many destitute youths of Kamlapur railway station who can be seen peddling water bottles, cigarettes, newspapers and sometimes carrying heavy luggage of the passengers on his short, lean body and dirt-covered hair.

  • MY ZOO and other fatalities

    It doesn’t matter how beautiful the cage is. It’s still a prison.—Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

  • The zoo that is not

    Many of the animals at the Bangladesh National Zoo are passing days with immense suffering. With poor medical care, scarce food and congested cages, the captive animals look so miserable and weak that seeing them is not exactly fun for all the visitors. However, the zoo, located in a sprawling 186 acres of land in Dhaka's Mirpur section, is the 4th largest in the world in terms of area. With two picturesque lakes, a museum, two camping sites, huge gardens and orchards, this zoo has the potential to be one of the best in the world.

  • A golden opportunity!

    It was while shopping for jewellery for my wedding last year that I realised just how much of the gold in the glitzy, gilded shops are possibly smuggled.

  • A River Dies in Kurigram

    “Is there a river called Jinjirum that’s a trans-boundary river? Are you sure about its name? Is it the name of the locality or the river? I haven’t even heard about it,” says a high-ranking official of the northern zone of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), when we asked him about different issues faced by this river and the communities dependent on it.


    When the Accord and Alliance signed on different brands from all over the world after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, they pledged that the factories that these brands will do business with will ensure safe working conditions for the workers.

  • Beyond the pitch

    16-year-old centre back Akhi Khatun's talent caught the attention of scouts when she played in the 2014 edition of the Bangamata Primary School Gold Cup. She was soon enrolled in the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan, or BKSP, and called up for the U-14 team playing at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) women's regional championship in Tajikistan in 2015. The girls won.

  • An epic saga of loss

    Once upon a time, in the winter of 2014, in a land far far away—Sundarbans—a young man in his twenties, seeking adventures...

  • Audacity Of Hope

    During the 1971 Liberation War, Khurshid Jahan, a 21-year-old student of Bagerhat PC College, Khulna, started training as a freedom fighter under the guidance of Lieutenant Zia Uddin.

  • For whom the bell tolled

    Simeen Mahmud was an accomplished researcher working on issues of women's empowerment, women's work and labour force participation, and gender norms in Bangladesh. A statistician and demographer by training, Simeen was educated at the University of Dhaka and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She was also a MacArthur Fellow at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies.

  • Place-ing CHOBI MELA X

    It all starts with contact with light. The process, as we know, requires light to seep into the lens in which the moment captured already exists.

  • The Layoffs

    On January 12, Jubayer walked to his factory with his fellow workers to find his name and face up on the walls of the factory. He has since been unable to enter the factory and terminated from work.

  • Pot of Gold - At the end of the 300 feet road

    On January 28, the High Court ordered 38 housing projects around Purbachal New Town to temporarily stop all land-related activity being conducted. To be more specific, this activity included plugging up water-bodies, filling lowlands with sand, and clearing out vegetation.

  • Rehabs in need of rehabilitation

    On February 6, 2016, 27-year-old Shariful Haque died of pneumonia after being given an ice bath treatment by the doctors of his drug rehabilitation centre in Pabna.

  • The story of a floating people

    14 Bede families have set up their oval-shaped makeshift tents on private land in Natun Torki, a village in Kalkini Upazila of Madaripur district. A branch of the Arialkha river flows on the west of Natun Torki. The area is well-known in Barishal for Torki Bandar, a narrow but flowing river on the west. The Bede huts are just on the outskirts of the crowded Natun Torki market.

  • Post-mortem of a worker's death

    “Look, just look how happy and innocent he was,” says Hashi Begum as she hands me a mobile phone and points to the photo gallery.

  • A Fatal Diagnosis: Cancer treatment in Bangladesh

    It was around 12:30 pm when we reached the office of the director of National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH). After a half hour wait, the director called us in.


    After a whole day of observing the elections, the one common observation made by journalists at The Daily Star and media elsewhere was this—there were no Jatiya Oikko Front polling agents in sight, and barely any of the leftist parties as well.

  • To the polls and beyond

    This is the year when Bangladeshi millennials are eligible to go to polls. Star Weekend talked to young voters, many of whom will be voting for the first time, to understand what they think about the electoral process. The young voters also shared their hopes and aspirations regarding the upcoming polls, what issues they truly care about, and whether they will go to vote at all.

  • Free and Fair Coverage

    During the Dhaka City Mayoral elections of 2015, Samakal's senior reporter, Amitosh Paul, was assigned to cover the polling booth at the Uttara Girls High School Centre. Inside, he noticed a group of men—belonging to the ruling party—misguiding a section of the voters.

  • No Woman's Land

    Hamida Begum's* husband had beat her yet again. But this time was different. He had also uttered talaq three times, essentially divorcing her according to the Islamic customs of the Rohingya community.

  • Dear university, are you listening?

    On November 20, an undergraduate student of BRAC University (BRACU) lost his life in the university's residential campus, referred to by students as TARC, in Savar—according to official accounts, he succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital after jumping from the fifth floor of his dormitory.

  • The Burden of Proof

    While most women who have undergone sexual abuse hide behind anonymity for fear of social reprisal, dance student Priyanka Rani Devnath emailed all the news organisations and called a press conference to talk about the violence she had undergone.

  • Flammable Existence

    For 20-year-old housewife Ripa, it was a usual weekend morning. Her one-year-old daughter Ayesha had woken her up at around 7 am and was repeatedly pointing to the window, wanting to go outside.

  • Chased by death

    On October 27, the Jatiya Sangsad passed the Narcotics Control Bill 2018 to replace the 30-year-old law from 1990. The new law has introduced the death sentence for people found to be in possession of over 200 grams of yaba, or 25 grams of heroin.

  • Inked in blood

    For Manik Chandra Saha, work always came first. It's not as though he never spent any time with his family, but there were few things that got the veteran journalist more excited than the possibility of a scoop. Unfortunately, that pursuit paved the way for his death.

  • Illusion of Inclusion

    Many are quick to state that the number of women in the parliament is actually higher because 50 reserved seats are kept for women for the sake of representation. However, experts argue that the 'reserved seats' are merely a token representation. Why is it that more women don't contest elections, and why aren't reserved seats equal to actual representation?