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Bangladesh: natural disaster and responsibilities of the bloggers

Last Monday rain-triggered mudslides buried dozens of hillside shanty homes in Chittagong killing at least 134 people. This is just another piece of tragic news that we read everyday. As a blogger how do you respond to it?

Arild Klokkerhaug is an entrepreneur, blogger and the man behind the largest Bangla blogging platform “Bandh Bhanger Awaaj”. Once again he led from the front to show how the blog community could mobilize in a tragic situation like this. He asks in his blog:

how many bloggers do we have in chittagong? can we have local bloggers reporting and sharing information with us? can bloggers of chittagong unite and start a campaign? mobilize people to share food and clothes with the victims? take your blog posts to the press, suggest direct action, be there and participate for help and report back from the disaster area what is going on. i think we can.

He calls for action:

this is the potential power of our blog community, and this is a cause to unite for! come on bloggers, lets unite for a campaign and participate with coverage and help.

Supporting Arild's call Arif Jebtik slammed the bloggers for being not responsive:

আমরা সেই দুর্গত অসহায় বৃষ্টি ভেজা মানুষদের কথা বলতে ভুলে যাই।কারন তারা আমার সুরুচি আর সুক্ষ তর্ক জ্ঞানের বিষয় নয়।আমার কাছে দেশে মানেই একটি বিশাল বিষয়,দেশের মানুষ আমার কাছে গুরুত্ব পায় না।

We forget to talk about those helpless rain-drenched people. Because they are not the subject matter of our rhetoric, our artistic debates. Our homeland is a big issue to us, however the people of the land are not.

These statements did made a great impact. Bloggers like Bokolom started talking about ways to save the water-clogged people in Chittagong, stop cutting hills which caused the mudslide, and how to help the affected families.

arild.jpg

Arild and some other bloggers went to Chittagong and reported about the situation. Bangladeshi Bloggers, students from all over the world started raising funds for the victims. Trivuz suggested how a person could save money from the victims, from cigarette, tea consumptions or curtailing telephone call durations. He also reports about the activities of the second team of bloggers in action including photographs here.

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Arild points towards some more potential:

the blog community can stand united and mobilise both your online and offline networks, to help some of the affected people. they will need help for a long time. we will see humayun tomorrow, but who will see him next week, next month and next year. can he take the place of his mother for his younger brothers? will he be able to build them to be the men their mother wanted them to become? that is what the blog community can do here through giving time, advice and small help to the many humayuns which are out there among the land slide victims and the victims of disasters to come.

As a blogger are you aware of your social responsibilities?

3 comments

  • i grew up in small places and towns of norway, and throughout my life i saw how well local communities organised themselves for sports, culture, development and disaster management. when the local community is united, they can face difficulties by mobilizing talents and resources and apply wherever there is an imbalance. a disaster like this obviously causes a great imbalance of have and have-nots, therefore in my eyes it is the duty of the local community to respond and support.

    a blog community like somewhere in… blog hosts great people with a big heart, strong resources and the energy to act. there are no specific campaign tools on the blog, these will be developed, but the blog community cannot remain silent. through sticky posts and listings of blog posts, supporting bloggers and local bloggers in chittagong, we have maintained a focus on the tragedy.

    helping the victims of the chittagong tragedy is our first priority, but the ultimate target is to equip the blog community with proper campaign tools and to prove that we can and will mobilize quickly for any future disaster/problems in our local community.

  • That’s a great post. I’m translating it to portuguese right now. It will be very useful to our lusophone blogosphere too, in Brasil and elsewhere.

    What about editing the wikipedia entry about the Chittagong landslides, adding at least a sidenote about the blogger action in the incident. These facts have a lot of historical and socio-political significance.

    Congratulations.

  • Anwarul Islam Mukul

    victims of this recent chittagong tragedy is our first priority,, let us not forget help them
    When disaster strikes, it is important to let its victims know that they are not alone.
    Pray for victims and their families, that they will find their fears calmed, that they will be given hope in their loss, and that they will be given the strength to begin anew.

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