A silent famine amid lockdown

25 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Coronavirus and lockdown, these two words complement each other. Coronavirus, also the name of terror, infected many all over the world. It became somewhat controlled but recently the infection rose again. The number of victims were increasing and the government announced a semi lockdown to prevent more infections. But it wasn’t very effective, so the government announced a severe lockdown from April 14, the first of Baishakh, which is still on. There are questions about how effective a lockdown can be in preventing infection in this country. There are some socioeconomic realities behind a lockdown method to be impossible to be fully implemented here. Everything except emergency services will be closed in lockdown. In this context the people who earn daily will live a miserable life.

Most of the people in this country belong to lower middle class. The families earn livelihood from day to day. In addition, many people have lost their jobs during the pandemic. In case of lockdown, almost all of them have to be deprived of earning a living. So they are forced to resort to other means to support their families. That is why it is impossible to keep them in the house by lockdown.

People earn in different ways to support their families. There are people who drive buses, rickshaws, CNG and motorcycle for pathao ride sharing to support their families. But because of lockdown, they are being deprived of income. As a result, they are struggling to support their families. Many of them have elderly people and children to support. Such a situation is really very difficult for them.

Educational institutions have been closed for a long time due to corona. There is uncertainty that educational institution will open even after Eid. There is a silent famine in the families of those who have lost their jobs due to this pandemic and also of those who work in private educational institutions. Basically, the students' salary is used to support the teachers’ families. Teachers of educational institutions used to earn from coaching centers or private tuitions. But that too is closed. As a result, they are in extreme distress. On the one hand, such people cannot say anything to anyone for shame, on the other hand they are going through a sort of famine. No one comes forward to help teachers or their families.

Ordinary people are not the only victims of such a situation in the lockdown. Because of uncontrolled increase in prices of essential commodities people are struggling to buy daily necessities. It is not possible to develop a country only by improving the transportation system or the ancillary issues. Rather if we can ensure all that is necessary for the survival of the common man are implemented, then the country can be considered developed. Otherwise, no matter how much the country is developing but in reality it is not. So we have to make sure the people have everything they need to survive.

In conclusion, the lockdown can be declared by identifying the areas where the infection is most prevalent without giving a nationwide lockdown. As a result, the suffering of ordinary people will be reduced to some extent. The government can set up a fund with central initiatives to deal with the plight of the common man during a lockdown. The Ministry of Relief and Disaster Management will not be able to oversee the whole matter as it is not possible for them alone due to our large population. Therefore, not only the government but also the rich people of the country should take part in this funding. Administrators and people's representatives at different levels need to be involved in this work as they have to remember that now is the time for them to work for the people.

The government has already allocated tk 500 crore in all the unions and Upazilas to provide food aid to the extremely poor and the working people. If these allocated money can be distributed to the common people in a balanced way, then the lockdown can be implemented well. The prices of essential commodities in the market must be brought to normal level because people are suffering from uncontrolled price rise. We have to move with awareness. There is no substitute for awareness to prevent corona infection. Hope the world soon returns to its former glory and that ordinary people will live a healthy and happy life in this lockdown.


M Sayem Ahmad, a columnist