Will we starve to death?
Peoples Time Desk
Low income people or day labourers have been suffering much from the 10-day general holiday or nationwide apparent lockdown announced by the government as they are passing days idle with no works.
The lockdown brought great misery for 55-year-old van puller Zahir Ali and his five members. Resident of Ghaneshgram village in Kaliganj upazila of Lalmonirhat, Zahir Ali spent the last five days with about no earnings for livelihood as he got very little works.
The Bangladesh government has announced 10-day general holiday from March 26 to April 4 to keep people indoors for stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus. People across the country were also seen complying with the government direction.
The country, so far, reported 48 confirmed cases of coronavirus that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and of them, five died.
"I do not fear disease. I came out of home with van for earning money to arrange food for family members. Still now, no assistance received from the government. Will we die from lack of food?"
Thus Zahir Ali shared his trouble with Jago News.
Van pullers Masum Ali, 50, and Atqul Islam, 45, residents of Tushbhandar area in the upaziila, have been experiencing the same woes.
For last several days, they have no works. They don't know what they will eat today as there is no food in their houses, the duo said.
About all shops were closed in five upazilas of the district and people do not go out without any need, causing hardship to the low income ones.
Though some families were given food from the government but it's very little, they added.
Some 10,000 workers who break rock at Burimari Land Port have been suffering immensely with no works as the port authorities stopped operation in.
Shafiqul, one of the workers, said, "Hunger does not understand disease. I am in very trouble for having no works as I am the only income source of my family."
Kaliganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Robiul Hasan said rice, pulse and oil have been distributed to around 300 families in the upazila, and application has been made to district administration seeking more allocation.
Regarding this, deputy commissioner Abu Zafar said about 192 metric tonnes rice and Tk 1.87 lakh have been disbursed among 3000 poor people in five upazila.
Newly about 100 metric tonnes rice and Tk 7 lakh will be provided soon, the DC added.