April 12, 2024, 4:43 pm

Cry for foods

  • Update Time : Thursday, April 22, 2021
  • 258 Time View

Low income people especially workers of long distance buses and hawkers are highly sufferers in lockdown

STAFF CORRESPONDENT:

Low income group of people especially workers of long distance buses and hawkers, who used to run businesses on the footpaths have been facing immense suffering for want of foods due to ongoing lockdown imposed by the government to prevent corona spread.

They can’t run their families for want of income. Many have been leading inhuman lives with their family members, while the prices of necessary commodities including rice, pulses and oil are increasing by leaps. Low-income people are now in dire straits. Meanwhile, wailing has started in these families.

Faridul Islam, Helper of Desh Travel said, “It has now become very difficult to carry my livelihood for want of earning as I am now passing idle time at my home without work due to lockdown. I had some money in my pocket, which have now ended after purchasing some essentials. I don’t know, how I shall survive with my family members, if the lockdown is extended further.”

He further said, “Almost all modes of vehicles except long distance buses ply on the roads everyday despite the restrictions of lockdown. But, the workers of long distance buses are facing trouble as they are not allowed to ply their transports on roads.”

Rajat Ali, who used to sell clothes on footpaths at Progati Sharani area said, “I have no meal at my home as I am now passing workless days due to lockdown. What (money) I had, already have been spent in the last few days. Now, I am empty pocket and my family members are passing days without food during the Ramadan month.”

Anisa Begum, a mother of two kids used to work in a garment factory in Malibagh Hajipara. Her husband Aynal Mia used to pull rickshaw in the capital. The family had been living on their both income. When the epidemic of coronavirus began last year, the pace of life changed. Even if she has a job, her husband’s income goes down. The money saved to run the family has been broken. When the situation started to improve Gradually,, the deadly virus struck again putting them at misery.

Not just Faridul, Rajat and Anisa, it is the current biography of a large section of the capital’s residents. Although, the small city of Dhaka provides income to millions of people, a large portion of it is low-income, a part of which is in slums.

There is no survey on the number of low income people in Dhaka city. However, the Bureau of Statistics conducted a slum census in 2014. According to the census, there are a total of 3,394 slums in the two city corporations of Dhaka. The total number of houses in these slums is about 1.75 lakh. The number of inhabitants is about 8 lakh.

Currently this number is thought to be even higher. Moreover, a large portion of the low-income people lives outside the slums. With the outbreak of coronavirus in early 2020, many have dropped to the lower class from the middle class.

Elaborating on a survey conducted by the Bangladesh Economic Association in June last year, its president Abul Barkat said, around 1.2 crore people have become low class from middle class numbering to 3.40 crore due to the impact of lockdown. Around 1.19 crore people have become poor from 5.10 crore low class, while 2.55 crore poor out of 3.40 crore have become poorest.

The prices of essentials including rice and edible oil have increased abnormally in the last few days. Although, the government has given duty exemption on imports to bring the rice market under control, it is not coming to help at all. On the contrary, the price of rice has gone up further.

According to the information given by the retailers, Miniket and Nazirshal rice are currently being sold at Tk 66 to Tk 80 per Kg. Medium quality Paizam and Lota (creeper) rice are being sold between Tk 58 and Tk 60 per Kg. Coarse rice is being sold between Tk 50 and Tk 52 per Kg at places during the lockdown.

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