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By Charles F. Gritzner

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Sample text

In fact, they have a much better knowledge of the survival demands of day-to-day living than do most of us. We, after all, depend upon purchasing most of what we need. In Bangladesh, as is true throughout much of the lessdeveloped world, the old ways of living are giving way to modernization. Cities are beginning to grow rapidly, and with urban living comes cultural changes. It is very difficult, for example, to fare well within a city without a formal education, including language and mathematical literacy.

Throughout much of the world over the past century, the dominant pattern of population flow has been rural to urban. When studying migration, geographers take into consideration what they call “push” and “pull” factors. Push factors are those that influence peoples’ decisions to leave an area. In Bangladesh, these would include rural poverty, a lack of jobs, poor health and sanitation facilities, poor educational opportunities, few amenities, and, in general, a very difficult life. Pull factors are those that draw people toward a destination.

A crushing crackdown campaign of terror started on March 25, 1971. The following day, Bangladesh declared its independence from a radio station seized in Chittagong. The military’s purpose was to force East Pakistan to submit to the power of the central Pakistani government. They had prepared “hit lists” to eliminate leaders who were a threat in Dhaka, a city defenseless against the Pakistani Army. Hundreds died on that first night of bitter fighting. However, local people came to see this as the beginning of the war for liberation.

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