What can we do to keep Bangladesh beautiful?
Patriotism is such a vague word these days.
In Bangladesh, the word only refers to those martyrs who have lost their lives for independence. It’s humorous to see how we rarely look at what we are leaving behind for our country.
But, what is patriotism? Bangladesh takes pride in its contributions in United Nations Peacekeeping missions and the 1971 war, but, politically speaking, patriotism brings revenue to the country, and gives a better image in front of the world’s community.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to work with people from abroad and I came to realize that their idea of Bangladesh was very different. They were asked to not roam around the city at night, nor alone in daylight.
They were warned about how terrible Bangladesh was, and as much as I am aware of the problems of my country, the information got under my skin.
I couldn’t believe that officials out of the country had such exaggerated ideas about Bangladesh.
One even mentioned a detail of how Bangladesh can be one of the most unfriendly tourist spots in the world. But it is true, and we are at fault here -- as citizens we are letting our country down.
The government has not taken enough steps to maintain culture and heritage, and even when they did, we destroy it anyways.
The bureaucracy was difficult, but what was more difficult was us as a nation.
If you look around, there’s trash everywhere, and you do not have to blame anyone else, it’s you.
It’s us. We do it to ourselves. We might trash talk about our own country a lot but when someone else does it, you wouldn’t like it. No one does.
So, what should we do now? Good question. Take action. Talk to organizations home and abroad who might be able to help with all this trash, help to keep our environment clean.
If we do not do it ourselves, 50 years down the line, we wouldn’t have anything to work with. Tourism could be a big source of revenue for the country, and we need proper planning for this.
It all starts from here, from us. Complaining won’t change anything, it never does.
While we wait for the government to do something, we can always take matters in our own hands.
This may be one of the simplest issues of the country, but in order to maintain our beautiful country and our image with others, we need to work for it.
Raisa Rahman is a freelance contributor.