In Bangladesh--the world's poorest nation--more than five thousand people starve to death every year, and the number of destitute people in the country increases every year.
CU Sign "Boys Home Brahman Baria"
GV Boys doing exercises in playing field (2 shots)
SV INT Deaf and 16 dumb children in classroom during reading lesson (3 shots)
SV Boys paint pictures depicting 1971 war showing atrocities committed by Pakistani soldiers (5 shots)
SV Boys working on radios (2 shots)
SV Boys working on wood lathe and metal lathe (2 shots)
SV Boys sawing timber in carpentry class
SV Women wind wool and spin and weave (3 shots)
SV Boys mark out material and girls sew in tailoring class (4 shots)
SV Young women using knitting machine
GV Boys working in rice fields (3 shots)
The exports of Bangladesh pay for only one-third of its imports, and foreign aid makes up the deficit. Total assistance, including food aid, has been running at about 10,000 million takas (GBP330 m. sterling) a year. But within the first six months of the new military regime coming to power, the country completed its best year for food production since independence, and there seems to be clear signs of an economic revival.
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Background: In Bangladesh--the world's poorest nation--more than five thousand people starve to death every year, and the number of destitute people in the country increases every year. To relieve the situation the Government has started several schemes for retraining and rehabilitation.
SYNOPSIS: The Boys Home at Brahman Baria is just one of the centres in the scheme. The latest census has shown that at least half a million people are living on or below subsistence levels--many of them children, young women, orphans and the deaf and dumb. Children who are deaf and dumb are given reading lessons as well as a general education. Some of the dumb boys have shown an exceptional talent for painting.
The subjects they choose to paint demonstrate the deep emotional scars left by the war of independence in 1971. Many of the boys' paintings depict atrocities they claim to have witnessed, carried out by Pakistani soldiers on the people of Bangladesh. Such memories will take many years to eradicate completely. Help and money to rehabilitate these youngsters have come from several international agencies, and the government hopes that eventually half a million people will pass through the centres to become useful citizens.
The skills that the boys are taught belong essentially to productive industrial techniques, and their work in the centres earns money that helps to support the scheme. The government expect the projects to earn at least three times the amount of money invested in them. This will be done by selling finished products, such as radios, cloth, cotton yarn, and ready-made clothes. The government has invested about 10,000 U.S. dollars on establishing 26 projects, throughout the country.
It is hoped that the vocational training that is being supplies will eventually help Bangladesh make up the tremendous shortage of technicians in the country. A spokesman at the Social Welfare Ministry said recently that the country could make up the entire shortage of technicians in about 10 years from those trained at the rehabilitation centres.
Bangladesh is one of the most densely peopled countries in the world, and its population of 80 millions increases by nearly three million a year. That, and the stagnant economy, are the toughest tasks facing the new military leaders.