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Mobile

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Research Topic:

“Effectiveness of the recent mobile court endeavors”
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Acknowledgement

This research paper is prepared for the course named ENG105. The study was done for
the English department, North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The topic of the
term paper is based on the effectiveness of the mobile court’s endeavors from both
consumers and the restaurant owners’ perspective.

I would like to thank our beloved faculty Deena P. Forkan who empowered me by
approving my research topic. And I think, without her guidance & motivation, it would
be hard to finish this research paper.

I am grateful to the staffs of the North South University library and computer lab for their
cooperation.

My family members deserve special credit & also people of my surroundings for giving
me adequate hope & praise to prepare this research paper with perfection.

Abstract

Food adulteration, despite being a very important health-related issue, did not alarm the
mass people until the beginning of the fairly recent mobile food court’s inspections. The
court, consisting of several loyal government officials, started their inspection on April 3,
2005 which unearthed many shocking truths. It was found that innumerable restaurants in
Dhaka and other parts of the country serve unadulterated, stale food with detrimental
substances which is sure to inflict serious damage to our health. From the makeshift ones
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to the big ones – no restaurant could avoid being inspected and most of them were fined
severely for unsatisfactory standard of hygiene. Last year, however, the mobile court
paused their activities because of temporary crisis of manpower which again encouraged
the corrupt restaurant owners to serve sub-standard foods. My hypothesis was that, even
after starting from a scratch (that is, the pause), the mobile court’s endeavors are
effective. After a few weeks of serious research, I have come to the conclusion that my
hypothesis was correct although it should be mentioned that their effectiveness has
slightly decreased. In order to improve their performance, they need to work consistently
without any further pauses.
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Table of Content

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Area of Research

4. Hypothesis

5. Research method

5.1 Primary Sources

5.2 Secondary Sources

6. Data analysis

7. Limitations

8. Conclusion

9. References

10. Appendix
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Introduction

Saeed, a student who had recently passed the SSC exams, was attending several college
admissions coaching sessions. As a result, he had to stay out for long periods of time, and
regularly ate food from roadside food shops. He had bowel problems everyday, and his
health deteriorated at an alarming rate. After several visits to the doctor’s he was told not
to take food outside his home. However, he had no choice. Therefore he continued eating
the adulterated foods until he developed jaundice and was severely ordered not to take
food outside his home anymore. This was 5 years back. Now, Saeed is a university
student and regularly eats food outside his home, without any fear of food poisoning,
thanks to the efforts of the mobile food court. This is a very common case for the
majority of the people who regularly have to take food outside their homes.
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Background

Even a few years back, if anyone took food from a roadside stall, or so called ‘hotels’ and
‘restaurants’, it could be guaranteed that person would suffer from bowel problems in the
very next day, if not immediately. However, the situation has taken a turn for the better
recently, thanks to the mobile food court which has been roaming around the streets of
Bangladesh since 2005 and ensuring that all food courts serve quality, natural, hygienic
fresh food. The mobile court was found by the government in 2005 to battle the
unhealthy and unethical practices of the corrupt restaurant owners all over the country
who did not hesitate to serve impure food containing harmful substances for their benefit.
A couple of loyal and trustworthy officials, led by Magistrate Rokon Ud-Doula, were
handpicked for the task who would not fall for any bribe by any means. The people of
Bangladesh have long been protesting against under quality and impure unhygienic food.
Despite public protests, some unpleasant incidents, and mass publicity in both print and
electronic media, the situation continued for years. However, in 2005, after the
government formed the mobile court, the majority of the shop owners lived in fear of the
mobile food court. They raided all sorts of food shops, from the elegant and posh ones to
the makeshift ones right beside the street. This also brought out some shocking facts,
especially when it was found out that some restaurants where the cheapest item on the
menu was priced at 100 Tk, made the food in an extremely dirty and unhygienic kitchen.
To top it off, the food was way beyond the expiration date, it was mixed with impurities
and had chemicals mixed in it that were harmful to the human body.

The main reason this endeavor was successful is because of the level of harshness and
sever ness it implied. They not only heavily fined the condemned shops, but they also
arrested the owners of these shops and put them in prison. Furthermore, the government
introduced a bill in the national parliament proposing a fine of Tk. 75,000 and one year’s
labor imprisonment for convicted if they are caught for the first time. For the second
time, the fine will be augmented by 1 lakh more and the duration of imprisonment will be
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three years. (Law and our rights, 207).This caused a major upheaval among the food
court owners and the majority of them took head and improved their shops as much as
they could. Those that were foolish enough to ignore the ominous threat paid both by
cash and prison sentence. A fine example of that would be the Tk. 60,000 fine of
“KHUSBU” on Elephant Road at the end of last year. The reason behind this was selling
stale food and storing raw ingredients in an unhygienic way in the city. The mobile court
also closed down several food factories because they were using expired raw materials
and unhygienic production environment, and distributing sub-standard foods throughout
the nation.

In response to this, the faulty food court owners protested violently and went on a strike.
However in the face of massive public support for the mobile court and the firmness with
which the mobile food court stood their ground the shop owners finally succumbed. XYZ

Another major issue related to food concerns was the sub-standard foods sold massively
during the month of Ramadan in the streets. These were mainly cheap, fried foods, fried
in oils that have been used for more than 20 times, resulting in a thick, black grease like
substance. As a matter of fact, some shops actually used mobil and grease since they were
cheaper than edible oil. Stale foods were fried over and over again to make them look
fresh. And since working people seldom had time to go and prepare iftar, they had to
resort to buying these foods. But the mobile court took action right from the very first day
of Ramadan, raiding various hotels and confectioneries at Demra and Jatrabari. Within a
short time, the courts realized over 8 lakh takas as fine and also filed 200 cases regarding
food adulteration and breaking several related laws. (The Independent, 2005, pp 2B).

Apart from foods, another more major concern loomed ominously on the people of
Bangladesh- fake, sub-standard and adulterated medicines. Various makeshift ‘medicine’
producing factories were scattered throughout the country, producing millions of
medicines that actually killed people rather than curing them. These medicines ranged
from simple paracetamols or painkillers to injections and creams used for heart
conditions treatment or even cancer. Therefore, patients who took these faulty medicines
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in hopes of living and to get cured soon met their maker and were cured forever. Since
these fake medicines were cheap and readily available, the majority of the Bangladeshi
population that lived below the poverty line had no other choice but to take them and
suffer more. This situation continued till the mobile court cracked down on this matter.
Recently, on March 15th 2007, Ayurvedic co, two Zarda factories, oral saline
manufacturer were fined and shut down permanently by the mobile court. Their owners
are now facing trials and may receive lifetime in jail. (The Daily Star, 2007).

Another recent major issue has been the epidemic of bird flu in Bangladesh. As we know,
this epidemic has already spread in mass numbers in the neighboring asian countries in
the last few months and already caused thousands of death. Bangladesh was also on the
verge of disaster when bird flu was discovered in a lot of poultry farms in Bangladesh.
However, thanks to the quick action of the mobile court, these farms were immediately
quarantined and the infected birds were burnt and buried. Furthermore, the court
inspected several fast food restaurants to find out whether the chickens they serve contain
the virus. Although the threat still remains, thanks to their quick response, so far there
have not been any casualties caused by bird flu yet.
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Area of Research

While interviewing different restaurant personals I got mixed opinions regarding the
mobile food court. Mr. Robert Rodriguez, manager of Boomers Music Café, welcomed
the activities of the mobile court because according to him Boomers maintains all
hygienic instructions and limits set by BSTI, therefore has nothing to hide or fear. Also,
some ‘posing’ posh restaurants have been reveled to have poor hygienic conditions,
therefore the crowd of those restaurants are now coming to Boomers now. Mr. Hossain
Syed Uddin, manager of New Yorkers Café, however, disagreed. According to him, the
court has been too harsh and just bloated the minor issues. He also said that it is pretty
hard for all restaurants to follow the stringent and expensive guidelines all the time
properly, so the court should take that into consideration.

However, the general public disagrees. The public welcomes these steps with open arms.
Sayeda Karim, accountant of Oronno, who regularly has to take food outside, is relieved
that finally she can eat without the fear of food poisoning and unhygienically prepared
food. According to her, “Mobile Court has saved me.”
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Hypothesis

My Hypothesis for this research is “The effectiveness of the mobile court is not up to the
mark.” I hope I will be able to prove this hypothesis through my research.
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Methodology

I have worked on both primary and secondary data in order to do my research. Here I
tried to explain my methodology of gathering data in details.

Secondary Data

To collect my secondary data, I took the help of several online newspapers. As expected,
I did not get any relevant information from JSTOR, since my topic was more of a
regional issue rather than an international one. However, I was surprised when the library
could not help me out with books on this topic. From another source, I got a book on food
hygiene that helped me understand the required standards in such fields. Basically, I had
to rely greatly on internet and newspapers for secondary data.

Primary Data

As an essential part of my research, primary data got the most importance in my research.
In order to gather this data, I not only relied on surveys (questionnaire), but also
interviews.

Interviews

I have consulted with Mr. Bobby Rodriguez (Manager, Helvetia), Mr. Hossain Syed
Uddin (Manager, New Yorkers Café) and Mr. Md. Aminur Rahman (Manager, Candy
Floss) in order to find out the perspectives of the restaurant owners regarding the mobile
court inspections.
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Questionnaire Survey

Through the questionnaire survey, I basically tried to find out how the people perceive
the current hygiene standards of the restaurants and how do they rate the mobile court’s
performances. Moreover, I also asked different other relevant questions that were asked
in an easily comprehensible manner.

Sample Size and Design

To do the questionnaire survey, I chose 20 people. Most of them were undergrad students
from NSU with an average age of 20. I also included few other participants from different
age groups (within the range of 20 to 40). Due to time constraints, I could no go with
simple-random sampling and hence, opted for quota sampling. One might say quota
sampling and biasness go hand in hand. However, I carefully monitored every respondent
while they filled out the survey forms so that it’s accurate to an acceptable extent.

Data Gathering

In order to make the research reliable, I have gathered the data personally.

Data Processing and Analysis

To process and analyze the data, I took the aid of Microsoft Excel.
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Data Analysis

1. Are you satisfied with the food hygiene quality of restaurants (Most of
them) in Bangladesh?

Out of the 20 people, no one strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the food
hygiene of the restaurants. This shows that everyone still thinks and believes that the
hygiene standard should be improved, and no restaurant has achieved the top quality yet.
About 35% of the people were satisfied with current standards, as they thought it met the
bare necessities. 30% of the participants took a neutral stance since they thought that the
standard was so-so. Some health conscious people, making up the 30% of the sum total,
said that they were not satisfied with the current standards. And the rest of the majority,
05%, stated that they were not at all happy with the current standards and they believed
immediate actions should be taken to improve the standards.
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2. Do you support the activities of Mobile Food court in Bangladesh?

20% of the participants strongly supported the activities of the mobile food court. Also, a
staggering 60% supported the mobile food court. This clearly shows just how popular the
mobile food court is among the general public. It also demonstrates the public support
behind them. Another 20% preferred a neutral ground on this matter as they thought that
the court should be more strict and active. However, not a single of the participants said
that they were against the activities of the mobile food court. This once again clearly
proves that the general population strongly supports the food court and that no one who
doesn’t have to fear it is against it.
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3. Do you support the action of Mobile Food court for fining a restaurant
because of their unhygienic food?

All of the participants, more or less, supported the mobile court’s fining of the
restaurants. 70% of them showed strong support, 20% of them showed moderate support
and 10% remained neutral. There were none opposing the severe fining.
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4. After the initial inspection of Mobile Food Court the standards of Fast
Food Restaurants have improved – do you agree?

When asked about their opinion of the fast food standards after the initial inspections of
the mobile court, no one said it was very good. 10% of them said the standard was
satisfactory. 20% were neutral. 60% opined that it was unsatisfactory, and needed to be
improved. Finally, 10% said the food standard was simply terrible.
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5. Do you think that the restaurants owners support the activities of Food
Court?

According to the survey, the participants think none of the restaurant owners strongly
support the activities of the court, and only 10% think owners support it. 40% of the
participants think the owners are neutral about it, and an astronomical 50% think the
owners are against it.
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6. Inspection of Mobile Food Court has influenced people to eat out more
than before – do you agree?

I asked the participants how the discoveries from the mobile court’s inspections have
influenced them in eating out afterwards. Interestingly, none of them said the inspections
have had a very positive influence. 20% said they were positively influenced. 30% had a
neutral stance and the rest opined that they were negatively influenced.
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Findings

1. It revealed many hidden unhygienic story.
2. Improvement is very poor
3. People are still unsatisfied
4. There is no other option
5. This action rather demotivate the shop owners.
6. Still lack of awareness.
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Recommendations

1. At the very first place we have build the awareness among mass people
2. Young people like us should come in front to make the changes
3. Another key point will be mobile court should pay visit to those restaurant in a
regular basis
4. Every time when mobile court find something wrong then they should act in such
a way so that in forward no one dares to do things like this.
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Limitations

There were several limitations to my project. The first one was, unequivocally,
insufficient secondary data for which I had to depend almost entirely on newspapers and
magazines. I couldn’t get any journals or book about the mobile court itself, I had to
settle with journal/books about food hygiene standards. Secondly, time constraint did not
let me survey more than twenty people, I wish I could get more opinions. There were a
few restaurants (eg: Abacus, Bashori) which didn’t co-operate and refused to give the
interview. If I had more time to work on this project, I would have interviewed more
people and could have produced a flawless research paper.
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Conclusion

The mobile court had liberated the citizens of Dhaka from adulterated food. However,
due to the recent pause in their activities, unhealthy practices regarding food are on the
rise again. Although it is commonly thought that all food stall owners are against it, I
have been able to prove that is not the cause. Only those that practice unhealthy ways
protest. All others welcome their activities with open arms, not to mention the
astronomical support of the major population. Therefore I think that they have done a
brilliant job in the past and should continue to carry it on till they succeed in their mission
totally.
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Work Cited

1. Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha. (2007). Mobile courts realize Taka 5.50 lakh as
fine today. Retrieved March 27, 2007, from
http://www.bssnews.net/index.php?genID=BSS-
20-2005-11-01&id=7

2. Miji, T. (2005, November 25). Mobile court drives suspended:Will resume at a
convenient time. New Age Metro, pp. 2B

3. Xinhua News Agency (2005, August 2). Bangladesh gears up crackdown on food
adulteration. Retrieved April 03, from
http://english.people.com.cn/200508/02/eng20050802_199827.html

4. 2005, December 12. Date expired items found at Bombay Sweets. The Daily Star.
Retrieved April 3, 2007 from http://www.thedailystar.net/law/2005/09/03/week.htm,

5. 2007, March 28.Bird Flu in Bangladesh Fast Food??? ?. Retrieved April 3, 2007
from http://birdflunewsflash.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/bird-flu-in-bangladesh-
fast-food/
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6. Iftar blues, Bangladesh Human rights network, Retrieved April 3, 2007 from
http://www.banglarights.net/news_and_issues.php?story_id=226&offset=0

7. 2007, April 3. No fresh bird flu detected in Gazipur. The New Age. Retrieved April
3, 2007 from http://www.newagebd.com/met.html

8. 2007, March 15. Ayurvedic co, two Zarda factories, oral saline manufacturer fined.
The Daily Star. Retrieved April 3, 2007 from
http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/03/15/d703151001103.htm

9. Mathias, K.A. (1994). Food Hygiene. British Food Journal, 96, 16-21.

10. Griffith, C.J. & Price, P.E. (1994). The Mass Media and Food Hygiene Education.
UK:MCB UP Ltd

11. 2005, October 7. 30 mobile courts start drive against adulterated Iftar items. The
Independent, pp. 2B.
12. Bobby Rodriguez, personal communication, April 08, 2007).
13. Hossain Syed Uddin, personal communication, April 01, 2007).
14. Md. Aminur Rahman, personal communication, April 12, 2007).
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Appendix

Final Research Proposal

To: Dr. Deena P Forkan
Date: August 25, 2008

From: Afnan Naser Chowhury

RE: Proposal to do a research paper on : “Effectiveness of the
mobile court endeavors on restaurant”

Introduction:

Saeed, a student who had recently passed the SSC exams, was
attending several college admissions coaching sessions. As a result, he
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had to stay out for long periods of time, and regularly ate food from
roadside food shops. He had bowel problems everyday, and his health
deteriorated at an alarming rate. After several visits to the doctor’s he
was told not to take food outside his home. However, he had no choice.
Therefore he continued eating the adulterated foods until he developed
jaundice and was severely ordered not to take food outside his home
anymore. This was 5 years back. Now, Saeed is a university student
and regularly eats food outside his home, without any fear of food
poisoning, thanks to the efforts of the mobile food court. This is a very
common case for the majority of the people who regularly have to take
food outside their homes.
If I able to complete this research many unknown answers will come
out regarding the topic & this problem can be reduced easily if
everyone come forward.

Research questions:
In my research I plan to investigate the effectiveness of mobile court
activities in our society, to that end I will be addressing the following
research questions:

1. Are you satisfied with the food hygiene quality of restaurants
(Most of them) in Bangladesh?

2. Food hygiene quality should be improved for health related
issues –

3. Do you support the activities of Mobile Food court in Bangladesh?
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4. Effectiveness of Mobile Food Court is up to the mark – do you
agree?

5. Do you support the action of Mobile Food court for fining a
restaurant because of their unhygienic food?

6. After the initial inspection of Mobile Food Court the standards of
Fast Food Restaurants have improved – do you agree?

Hypothesis:

I think I will find a couple of things after carrying out the research. I
hope to find out the positive & negative changes in the market after
the court’s inspection. Also, I will find out if the consumers think that
the mobile court’s endeavors have benefited them or not. Last but not
least, how the restaurants think about these activities will also be
something to discover.

Methodology:

For my primary research, I shall conduct a survey and
interview on those who basically eat from outside and the restaurant
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owners. To that I design a questionnaire with different types of
questions to get required data to get the answer of my research
questions.
For my secondary research I shall gather some important
information from different articles and journals relevant to the topic
and also will collect expert’s opinion about this topic.

Time-Table:

To make this research I may need around 2 months or more.

Request for approval:

The formal proposal of my research topic has been mentioned
to you. So therefore, I hope that you would be kind enough to approve
my proposal.
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Survey Questionnaire
This research is being conducted only for an Academic Purpose. The intention of this
research is to have an idea about the people’s perception on the effectiveness of Mobile
Food Court in Bangladesh. All the information that you are going to provide us will be
kept confidential.

1. Are you satisfied with the food hygiene quality of restaurants (Most of
them) in Bangladesh?

a. Highly Satisfied b. Satisfied c. Neutral d. unsatisfied e.
Strongly unsatisfied

2. Food hygiene quality should be improved for health related issues –

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

3. Do you support the activities of Mobile Food court in Bangladesh?

a. Strongly Support b. Support c. Neutral d. Moderately
against it

e. Strongly Against it

4. Effectiveness of Mobile Food Court is up to the mark – do you agree?

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

5. Do you support the action of Mobile Food court for fining a restaurant
because of their unhygienic food?
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a. Strongly Support b. Support c. Neutral d. Moderately
against it

e. Strongly Against it

6. After the initial inspection of Mobile Food Court the standards of Fast
Food Restaurants have improved – do you agree?

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

7. Do you think that the restaurants owners support the activities of Food
Court?

a. Strongly Support b. Support c. Neutral d. Moderately
against it

e. Strongly Against it

8. Mobile Food Court should be stricter in executing penalties to
unhygienic food restaurants –

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

9. Penalties or Fines to be issued for unhygienic food restaurants should
be increased –

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

10.There are adequate numbers of Mobile Food Courts in Bangladesh to
run proper inspection –
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a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

11.The frequency of the Mobile Food Court Activities Should be increased

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

12.Inspection of Mobile Food Court has influenced people to eat out more
than before – do you agree?

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

13.Mobile Food Court can be the best measure to ensure hygienic foods in
restaurants if it’s service and strictness is improved –

a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Agree

14.In a week, how many times you eat out?

a. 1-7 times b. 8-14 times c. More d.
Never

15.Please provide any suggestion which might be helpful to improve
Mobile Food Court –
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_____________________________________________________________________

Thank You For Your Patience