Farzana Banu Shirin (Syedpur, Bangladesh)

My journey

After passing her college exams, Farzana got a job as a school teacher. In her school, there are 250 children and eight teachers. Farzana says that in Syedpur it's easier for people of Bihari origin to get jobs. She says that here her colleagues have never made fun of her, like they might do elsewhere in Bangladesh.

It's the only place in Bangladesh where there is this tolerance of Urdu-speakers. Of the 250 kids in the school, 75% are Urdu-speakers but I am the only non-Bengali amongst my colleagues. This is because of discrimination and because Biharis are less well educated than most Bengalis.

She says she got her job only because her father knew people.

It is very difficult to get a government job anyway, but when you're not Bengali, the chances of you landing one is practically zero. Connections are very important, it is not enough to just be intelligent.

Pie chart 25% Bihari, 75% Urdu


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