Some of the boats here in Khulna will be heading up the Bhirab River to Jessore, about 50 miles to the northwest. Jessore can also be reached by train or by bus. The hour and a half bus ride will usually take one to the central bus station located on the southeastern edge of the city. Several choices of types of busses and destinations are available here. Competition is stiff for both passengers and for bus seats. This occasionally results in a fight that is over about as quickly as it began.
Jessore, with a population of slightly less than one million, is the sixth largest city in Bangladesh. The close proximity to the Indian-Bangladesh border makes it an important distribution and trade center with the neighboring country. Here one can purchase a variety of agricultural equipment, some of which were made in India while others are imported from China.
The proximity to the Indian border allows for an influx of damaged and worn out vehicles. This, along with the low wages and an over abundance of eager workers, has made the auto and truck repair business popular.
Other industries in and near Jessore employ a large labor force. One of these industries is the Vermicelli factory. The spaghetti like food is hung out to dry on roofs of buildings and in parking lots. Drying it in this manner is illegal because of the contamination caused by polluted city air. Another important source of income is raising chickens for both meat and eggs. This is done in large operations such as these multi-storied concrete buildings and in smaller wood frame structures. One of the largest industries in the area is making bricks. Factories located near the citys edge take advantage of the high clay content river silt located nearby.
Jobs are difficult to find and many day laborers line up at a major downtown intersection in the hope that someone will hire them to do almost any kind of manual labor. While most seem eager to work, with basket and tools ready, there are others who sit around and visit.
The memorial marker near the center of the city commemorates the 1971 liberation war for Bangladesh independence from Pakistan. It was this city that Pakistan was using as its most important stronghold for retaining control of Bangladesh. Fortunately, Pakistan conceded defeat and abandoned the city without a major battle.
The citys court building, which dates from the British Raj, is still in use today and is the most impressive building in town. A few nice looking apartment buildings are located in some neighborhoods. Buildings, however, are not the attraction in Jessore. It is the people, their method of transportation, their food, their work, and their lifestyle that makes Jessore a must see place when visiting Bangladesh.
Please come for a visit and, while here, enjoy a refreshing glass of fresh squeezed sugar cane juice.
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