FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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  • Harvesting RiceHow is Bangladesh doing economically?

Today’s government has high hopes of raising the economic level and improving the lot of the people. Under a series of five-year plans, problems such as drought and flooding, population control, eradication of adult illiteracy, and women’s rights are being tackled. Described as a “peaceful revolution,” these programs hope to change the quality of life for the millions in Bangladesh. In a recent Newsweek, picturing Bangladeshi children on its cover, an article reports good news: Though the global economy is gripped by fear, Bangladesh’s future looks bright. (12/07)

  • On what principles does the Bangladesh government operate?

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is governed under the provisions of a written constitution that is based on four stated principles:
1. absolute trust and faith in Almighty Allah. Islam is the state religion.
2. nationalism
3. democracy
4. socialism, meaning economic and social justice

  • SchoolWhat rights do Bangladeshis have?

The constitution guarantees fundamental rights to its citizens including equality before the law; equality of sexes; prohibition of forced labor; freedom of assembly and association; freedom of religion; rights to religious education; freedom of thought, conscience, and speech; and the rights to property.

  • Why does Bangladesh experience so much flooding?

Bangladesh could be said to float. It is a delta region of 143,998 square kilometers (55,598 square miles) formed by the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra. The land is flat and fertile, serviced by five river systems and 8.000 kilometers (5,000 miles) of waterways.

  • What is the population of Bangladesh?

One impression overwhelms the newcomer to Bangladesh- people: masses of humanity, a sea of faces always surrounding you wherever you are. Over 162 million people live here (with a continuing growth rate of 2%). Nine hundred ninety-nine people per square kilometer (That’s 2,639 people per square mile) make Bangladesh the most densely populated rural nation in the world. Compare this figure with the USA’s thirty-one people per square kilometer. This population density is even more staggering as we realize that 90% of the country consists of cultivated fields, and1/3 of the land is covered with water for six months of the year in annual floods.

  • BoysHow many children does an average family have?

Families raise an average of four children.

  • What percentage of Bangladeshis live in cities?

Although many Bangladeshis (20%) have migrated to cities in search of work, 80% of Bangladeshis still live in rural areas.

  • How is Bangladesh doing agriculturally?

Despite severe land constraints (97.9 % of the land is in use), Bangladesh has changed from a 1970s’ “basket case” to a hopeful agricultural nation. While the burgeoning population steadily grows, so does the growth in rice production. Due largely to green revolution technology, enough rice is harvested to eliminate need for rice imports. In Bangladesh, rice is life. Where irrigation is feasible, fields produce two rice crops annually. Between seasons, farmers plant other crops. Bangladesh produces more than 90 varieties of vegetables, 60 fruits, and 25 spices.

  • What is Bangladesh’s literacy rate?

Forty-three percent of Bangladeshis are now literate. This is a vast improvement over 1990’s statistics of 20% literacy. Eighty-five percent of elementary school aged children attend school (up from 32% in1990), though secondary schools enroll less than 20%. Bangladesh attempts to conform to the international “Education for All” objectives. All children between the ages of 6-10 are provided basic education free of charge. Girls may receive free education up through grade 10.

  • Crowd of KidsWhat is a Bangladeshi’s life expectancy?

The life expectancy of Bangladeshis is up to 61 years from the 1990’s figure of 49-54 years. There are now 32,500 doctors serving the people of Bangladesh (though even with the increase, this is only 23 doctors per 100,000 people). This factor affects the infant mortality rate: 59 deaths per 1000 live births. Though this is a noticeable improvement over the 1990 figure of135 deaths per 1000, Bangladesh still has one of the highest mortality rates in the world.

With the government’s program stressing immunization of infants under one year of age, there has been a noticeable decrease in such illnesses as diphtheria, whooping cough, and newborn tetanus.

  • The average caloric intake per person is 2050 calories per day.

 

  • How often do cyclones occur?

Throughout the past century, from 1901-2001, 106 tropical cyclones have battered the coast of Bangladesh, averaging more than one cyclone per year. The government has prioritized preparedness measures; they have procedures for disseminating cyclone warnings; and increased numbers of cyclone shelters have saved countless lives. Even so, with each cyclone, property and harvests are irreparably destroyed.

  • Flooded RoadHow often does flooding occur?

Bangladesh is in the combined delta of mighty rivers with hundreds of arteries. The rivers cannot be controlled, nor can the weather be predicted. Every year, about one-third of the cultivated areas experience floods during a six-month period, May to October. Every four or five years, flooding is severe.

  • SummerWhat seasonal changes occur in Bangladesh?

Bangladesh is a sub-tropical country with distinct changes in seasons. Each of the six seasons has individual beauty and refreshing changes in weather.