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Sunday, August 08, 2004

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Hiroshima Day Observed
Poster exhibition voices against use of nuclear weapons

The Children's Peace Monument depicting the statue of Sadako holding out a crane.

The atom bomb attack by United States on the two Japanese cities--Hiroshima and Nagasaki--might have brought the World War II to its end, but the impact of the bombing created havoc in the two cities. Within minutes most parts of the cities were demolished. Hundreds of thousands of people died instantly; many more survived only to suffer from diseases caused by the radiation of the Atom bombs. Indeed, the horror of Atom bomb blast is still looming in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; even 59 years after Little Boy and Fat Man hit the two peaceful cities of Japan.

August 06 was the day Hiroshima was hit by a Uranium atom bomb in 1945. Nagasaki was attacked on August 09. In memory of those who died and suffered these attacks, Hunger Free World and Drik Picture Library jointly have organised a poster exhibition at the Drik Gallery. 29 posters brought from Japan project the horror of atom bomb attacks and pose a strong protest against use of nuclear weapons.

A number of posters show the instant damages of the two cities. Four square miles of area in Hiroshima and three square miles of area in Nagasaki were instantly destroyed. People died in their thousands--140000 in Hiroshima and 74000 in Nagasaki--having been exposed to such super high temperature as 3000-4000 C. Hundreds of parishioners at the Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki died; the Aioi Bridge was mostly buckled by the blast.

One poster upholds the sad, touching story of a young girl Sadako, who was diagnosed with leukaemia after ten years of being exposed to nuclear radiation. Sadako believed that if she could make 1000 paper cranes, she would be cured of her disease. The poor girl was finally able to make 644 paper cranes before she died after fighting for eight months. After her death, Sadako's friends in her school and children from all over Japan came up with a campaign to raise funds for building a monument in Sadako's memory. The Children's Peace Monument was erected in 1958 in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with the inscriptions: 'This is our cry. This is our prayer. For peace in this world.'

Another such story of a first year student at the Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School, Shigeru Orimen, composes another poster. Shigeru left house for school in a hurry, hours before the blast of the atom bomb. Throughout the following three days his mother searched for him all over the city. The poor mother finally recognised her son's dead body by the lunch box he was clutching in hands. The lunch Shigeru never ate was burnt black.

One poster upholds a petition to the then US President Harry Truman from scientists who opposed the use of nuclear bomb. Ironically, another poster shows scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer examining the remains of a 30-metre steel tower after the first test of atom bomb on July 16, 1945.

The exhibition surely voices for the people of Bangladesh, a nation of Nuclear Bomb Free Zones, against any use of nuclear weapons.

The exhibition ends today.

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