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Bengladesh and Its Geographical Location

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  • Pages: 8
  • Word count: 1811
  • Category: Life

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Bangladesh, to the east of India on the Bay of Bengal, is a South Asian country marked by lush greenery and many waterways. The population of Bangladesh is 163 million. There are 51.3 million children living in Bangladesh, of which 24.9 million are girls and 26.4 million are boys. Bangladesh is a developing country. The poverty is still hitting in rural as well as urban areas. Malnourishment, curable diseases, natural disasters, poverty, lack of parenting skills, lack of maternal care, poor sanitation, and other challenges are affecting the biological, cognitive, and social development of infant and early childhood development, which later influence the growth of adolescence years and individual development.


About 15 million children live in Bangladesh’s city slums, and 500,000 to 2 million children live as street children in Bangladesh, where about 40% of children have stunted growth by the age of two. A group of medical officers at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, where they have run magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography tests on two-and three-month-old children and identified brain regions that are smaller in children with stunted growth than in others. They concluded that poverty affects the brain development of infants and early childhood years where memory, speech, language, bad school preparations, and other cognitive functions that are also part of the development. In Dhaka slums, children are surrounded by sights, sounds and extended families who often all live together in tight quarters. Apart from that they also deal with inadequate nutrition and sanitation. They live and play around open canals of sewage. Diseases like diarrhea, malaria, fever, cold, flu, is very popular in infants in slums.

The group performed MRIs and EEGs in 12 babies aged 2 to 3 months with stunted growth. MRIs showed that by the age of eight, they had smaller regions of grey and white matter associated with attention and language, could be a proxy for inadequate nutrition they suggested. They also concluded that children growing up in poverty in developing countries, these children have had smaller volumes of grey matter than a group of 20 non-stunted babies. Having less grey matter was associated with worse scores on language and visual-memory tests at six months old. EEG detected stronger electrical activity among children with stunted growth, along with a range of brainwaves that reflect problem solving and communication between brain regions. Surprisingly studies in orphans and poor children have generally found dampened activity. The discrepancy could be related to the different types of adversity that children in Dhaka face, including food insecurity, infections and mothers with high rates of depression. Overall, the importance of improving sanitation and reducing gastrointestinal infections including maternal depression could turn out to be strongly linked to brain development, in which case helping mothers could be just as crucial as making sure their babies have good nutrition.


Poverty includes lack of basic services for children, like education, hunger, social discrimination, health, nutrition, security. The problem with the children in Bangladesh living in slums and streets are mostly involved in child labor. In 2002-03, the estimate of child labor in Bangladesh was put at about 3.2 million. Most of the parents living in slums work outside. They spend less time with children, give more consideration in earning money, sending their kids for child labor, rather than sending them to the school due to large family size and expense of living in the capital city. Bangladesh is a very highly populated country. There are so many developmental resources that are unreachable for many families. Education almost don’t touch the rural areas, and those who migrate from the rural areas to Dhaka, and start to live in the streets or slums, they have such large family size of 4 or more children in one family.

Bangladesh has a literacy rate of 70 percent as of 2016. At this point children leave the education part and starts to work as their parents do due to highly living expenses lead to feed the hunger by their own. Moreover, a mother’s level of education, income, and emotional risk all have short-term impacts on her child’s understanding of emotions, but also have long-term impacts on the quality of the time they spend together. It was also mentioned that mothers with lower household income and lower levels of education were more likely to be more negative in their play interactions with their children which later put impressions on school performances and school-readiness. This ongoing study reveals that children in families with greater demographic and emotional risks are less able to understand emotions in others and themselves. Relatively children in slums are less likely to understand the importance of taking education and the meaning of having better life. The economical position plays a huge role for the children in slums and streets.

Furthermore, children living in streets are living more dangerously than those in slums. From the BTV news in Bangladesh, it sums up that they grow without parents, either their parents abandoned them or their parents died. Social isolation becomes their part of their development. Those children wonder around streets, and commit minor crimes, such as, thief, scamming people, or beggars, work at restaurants, dangerous jobs like mining, construction works, most get kidnapped or sold to child trafficking, prostitution. All starts from lack of education meaning their parents and the child themselves doesn’t know the value of healthier life. Many treatable minor diseases in children, such as waterborne diseases also remain serious. In fact, because drinkable water is rare and sanitation systems are inadequate, Bangladeshi children often suffer from diarrhea.

What’s more, a large number of parents forget to wash their hands leading to the spread of bacteria. Moreover, so many children are also not vaccinated. Infectious diseases such as HIV/ AIDs in adults are often left looked over. There were about 4.3 million children born in 2007 in Bangladesh, of which about 211,000 have died within the first 12 months after birth because of poverty. Many low-SES children face emotional and social instability. Typically, the weak or anxious attachments formed by infants in poverty become the basis for full-blown insecurity during the early childhood years. Very young children require healthy learning and exploration for optimal brain development. Unfortunately, in impoverished families there tends to be a higher prevalence of such adverse factors depression, and inadequate health care, all of which lead to decreased sensitivity toward the infant and, later, poor school performance and behavior on the child’s part.


Cultural development plays a huge role in child development. Especially gender roles are highly demandable in Asian countries. Parents believe that only man are capable of working outside to support the family financially, therefore, they are given education more often than the girls. It is a common practice in rural households to not sending their daughters to schools as they believe females are born to solely run households. Moreover, early teenage marriage in Bangladesh is quite unimpressive. Girls grow up thinking that their only job is to take care of other’s emotions and getting married, organizing family. It is highly important to bring up young girls in Bangladesh as educated women. If a cost-benefit analysis is done, the benefits will certainly outweigh the costs. The number of child brides in Bangladesh will take a dive. The national average age of conceiving children will rise as a result, and this means the health of both the new born and the mother will not be compromised.

Due to receiving primary education, these individuals will have some set of skills which can act as a base of attaining specialized skills in future. When women finally decide to start a family, they are more likely to recognize the importance of education and ensure education for their children as well. And most importantly, these women will not discriminate between their sons and daughters, if they had grown up being treated the same as their brothers. Overall, the cultural expectations, adult and peer models, and social agents that reward aggression in boys and punish aggression in girls will be seen as less importance. Parents give extra food to the boys but not to the girl. The child neglect and discrimination make both sex children believe boys are greater and much more deserved than girls. This kind of behavior then continues from one generation to other. The mindset of men dominance grows where women suffers from violence. About 65% married women in Bangladesh suffered domestic abuse from their husbands in 2011. Dhaka – In Bangladesh, 80.2% of women are victims of spousal abuse, this according to the Violence Against Women Survey 2015 by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

Early marriage for young girls and superiority mindset of men learned/ encouraged from their family is the main reason for violence. The child in the family is more likely to witness the violence happening with their mom as a point that the child become highly risky of sharing the physical abuse with their mother. The child becomes affected mentally and physically which may later develop poor emotion regulation, attachment problems, problems in peer relations, difficulty in adapting to school, and other psychological problems, such as depression and delinquency. And the fact that most Asian households including Bangladeshi families follows authoritarian parenting, where parents are extremely restrictive, teaches children to be more morally respectful to every decision that parents make for them is making children to not being open minded or doesn’t give the children to think critically.

Socially incompetence, being fearful of their parents, anxious, comparing themselves with others are Baumrind’s Parenting Styles: Diana Baumrind. Apart from these, men in Bangladesh is allowed to Polygamy Marriage. Even though this practice has declined greatly and there is no child development research on this matter, children born with having different mothers to take care of them might be socially active, good at problem solving and dealing with stress, and understand the factors of relationships much earlier than the normal marriage children due to getting exposed in large number of relatives, family members, more siblings, greater communication.


Children in Bangladesh are immensely affected by the poverty. About 50 percent of children under age 5 are malnourished in Bangladesh. Some 110,000 children die of water borne diseases annually in Bangladesh. So many children still haven’t had the chance to go to school, read a book, or any chance of dreaming for better future. All the problems that comes with poverty is mainly because of less educational resources for people from low socioeconomical position. To help those children there are some social workers working tirelessly to reach to those helpless children in rural areas as well as in Dhaka slums. Free schools nearby, encouraging parents to send their little girls to school as with boys, campaigning for stopping early marriages, free health services are also given to those people in need.

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