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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Please help us rebuild our towers

Please write ‘help’ and send to 1234 and 10 tk. from your account will be sent to the aid of the victims of cyclone Sidr. Please try to understand that we, as telecom operators, are trying to make your contributions easier so your aid reaches the destitute in the coastal belt of Bangladesh who are left reeling after the Sidr chaos. Please also try to understand that many of our base tower stations have been destroyed by the cyclone and we have lost enormous revenue due to lack of electricity and communication infrastructure that followed the cyclone’s destruction. Just imagine the amount of revenue we could have generated from airtime and SMS from those two days. Even now, we have to run many of those stations with alternate power backups, which is costing us money too. And remember we just paid a hefty fine to the Government for our ‘illegal’ flirting with VoIP babes. So although we know that we have deep pockets, as of now, we do feel a small dent in there. So we need your help, please give us your money, we want to tickle your sensitivity, your emotional call to stand by your distressed countrymen and exploit it to compensate for the huge loss we have incurred due to this stupid disaster. Nevertheless we are adept businessmen, we have the insight to spot light of opportunity even in the darkest of shipwrecks. So here we are, come as it may be Sidr or Odor or whatever you name the storm, we will always know how to milk out the money out of your pocket and repair our own hands. Now stop reading this stupid and baseless post and go to the ‘message’ option in your handset, please type ‘help’….(you know the rest).

When the powerful earthquake struck Kashmir in 2005, it created quite a stir and array of relief arranging activities around the world. A few Pakistanis who used to own the off-licence shop on top of which I used to reside in London was among those ‘relief collectors’, who identified the call of the hour and decided to contribute to the rebuilding of their nation through that fund raising. They set up a donation box wrapped around with newspapers clippings in English and Urdu depicting horror tales of the earthquake victims in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmiri territories. Whoever came to the off-licence shop to buy bread, butter or booze, could not miss the box that cried for help. People donated whole-heartedly, sometimes they didn’t take the change in return, they put it inside the box instead. Sometimes they shared their grief and sympathy with the shop-keepers while putting out a ‘fiver’ or a ‘tenner’, a few ‘quids’ for the sake of charity and humanity. I also took my turn and donated in good faith a very insignificant amount only to realize after a week that I only bought a few bottles of beers for those soldiers of humanity and good cause. They stopped collecting the fund when they thought they have had enough, invited their friends from Wembley and Bradford, arranged a good party, cooked Mughlai food, listened to Hindi music, drank like dogs, made me sacrifice my night’s sleep and they went to sleep happy around dawn. Since then, I have a profound sense of suspicion when saviors of mankind pop up overnight to raise funds and help the ‘devastated people’ who get struck after natural calamities like floods, cyclone, earthquakes etc.

Appeal for help through designated bank accounts seem more realistic and trust-worthy, rather than sending SMSs to thin air naively believing that my aid is going to reach to the victims struck so hard by the disaster. I am very cautious so that companies don’t make use of the vulnerability of the situation on ground and make merry on my money. SOS.


Ariana Khan said...

Your post really exemplifies all the scenes behind.

You have just missed to point to the rehabilitation activities of the authorities (I guess Bangladesh Corporate Blog only talks about the corporate).

What’s your thought on the billions of dollars we have got from different nationalities? Do you have any idea about how these precious money will be used? . . . nor do I.

Yet I think there will be similar sort of occurrences that you have cited in your post.

These practices are quite common in our country. The only difference is that the corporate does it in styles while others do it directly.

Anonymous said...

Dude you are too Good!just gave a big bamboo to the Telcos......they deserve it!all these foreign originated Telcos became East India company of 2007 in Bangladesh.

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