Leaders of Bangladesh Community Centre Convention Hall and Catering Association (BCCA) on Sunday demanded reopening of community centres keeping half of the seats vacant following health guidelines amid the pandemic.
Around five lakh people have been engaged with community centres, decorations, event management, catering and some other works and their livelihoods are in crisis amid the lockdown, they said.The BCCA made the demand at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
Shah Zakir Hossain, president of the association, said, “Hundreds of crores of taka are being lost every month in about 4,000 community centres that are closed due to the lockdown. Decorator traders are also counting losses of around Tk 15 to 20 crore each month.”
“The pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on our families. Many of them do not even have the money to buy food. Around 20 lakh people are directly and indirectly involved in this sector,” he said.
He further said, “We are facing livelihood uncertainty as no event is organised. Those who used to make a living by doing various jobs, including photography, decoration, logistics services, flower delivery, mechanic and cleaning work are now unemployed.”
“Community centre traders are in dire state as they have no income. As a result, they are living an inhuman life. All events booked throughout the year have been cancelled,” he said.
There are around 400 community centres and convention centres in the capital. These community centres arrange various functions, including Panchini, Bagdan, Gayeholud, wedding, post-wedding reception and birthday.Bangladesh Community Centre Convention Hall and Catering Association (BCCA) General Secretary Monir Hossain and Chattogram Community Centre Owners Association President Md Sahab Uddin, among others, were present at the press conference.