Many are feared to have died in the rains. Some reports say that over a thousand fishermen are missing. However if you were in Dhaka yesterday, you wouldn’t have noticed much hue and cry about it. It seems to me like the country has become blase about these calamities. Yesterday, Prothom Alo did not see fit to lead with this story preferring instead the Bush-Musharraf double-act. The Daily Star also gave chief prominence to another story - about the training of police or the lack of it rather….In the UK, where i live, such a disaster, if local, would fill the whole front page. There are very few pictures of what is going on - press photographers and television cameramen, I guess, prefer the safety of towns. There is almost nothing about what shelter, relief and food is being organised.

What I find strange is that there is no great sense of urgency to do anything. No ministerial appearances, no appeals, no phone-in numbers for concerned people, no major headlines in the papers, no CNN-like over the top coverage of what is going on. I remember Grameen Trust being proactive after the Tsunami crisis. I believe they even launched an sms service where you could send in some money from your phone. I guess Grameen favours big high profile projects….

However I can’t help thinking that if those missing or dead were from the metropolis - Dhaka - we would have heard a lot more and seen a lot more activity on the rescue and other fronts. There is a real and palpable difference between how rural and urban issues get noticed.