Like the previous year, this year too we are seeing the suffering and misery of the poorer section of our population due to lockdown. Last year we have seen how people were leaving Dhaka as they have either lost their jobs or due to lockdown it was getting very hard for them to bear the daily expenses in Dhaka. They thought their village homes might slow down their suffering. The “To-lets” were seen hanging on almost each and every house.
This year too we are seeing the same scene of suffering on varying scale. We have seen how an Uber driver aged between 50-55 was crying and telling his suffering due to the restrictions on ride sharing, heard the words of sorrow of a rickshaw puller who has been fined 1200 taka whereas his daily income is 250 or 300 taka and of how he could ever possibly pay that fine.
These are just two separate examples. There are so many other unheard of and unreported cases of suffering and wretchedness. We have seen how the middle class has suffered and is still suffering due to lockdown. We all know Government is well meaning and good intended about the imposition of countrywide lockdown. We also want the virus to be contained, infection and death rate to be reduced. There is no doubt about it. But the suffering of these people cannot be ignored.
We know the government has announced stimulus package for the poor. But like many I am also doubtful whether this support, in whatever form it might be, will reach the target beneficiaries. We have seen the news of rice dumped in the pond and oil hidden under bed by some immoral individuals, which were supposed to reach the poor people. These are just two examples of irregularities and immoralities. There are many others. We earnestly want the government would be stricter this time so that this help and support reach the poor people who needs it the most.
We know about the recent study by Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) that has found that nearly 2.45 crore new poor has been created due to Covid 19 pandemic. Each and every one of these newly poor demographic section should be reached to provide economic and income generating support. Not a single one should be left behind.
For some this could be a number but for some they are the means of life and livelihood. We should not let avarice or corruption take over our good intended efforts to help this poor people. I was feeling very bad as I have nothing in my capacity to support these people. So I thought I will write whatever comes in my mind about it. This writing might give me some sort of mental peace for a while but I know only the real works can lessen the suffering of these people and also the suffering of who feel for them.