The two hotlines launched by the Dhaka South City Corporation to provide support to poor and unemployed people amid the Covid-19 pandemic have seen a big increase in calls over the last three days.
The number of calls skyrocketed after the city corporation announced its programme of delivering food items to the doorsteps of impoverished and jobless people living within its area of jurisdiction.
The DSCC introduced the two hotlines [01709900703 and 01709900704]on March 28.
"We have received around 1,000 phone calls per day in the last three days, and the number of calls is still increasing," said Abu Taiyeb Rokon, system analyst of Dhaka South City Corporation responsible for overseeing the initiative.
The city corporation's Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Shah Imdadul Haque also said that more than 3,000 people had called the hotlines since Thursday.
As part of the initiative, Dhaka South Mayor Sayeed Khokon organized the delivery of food items from Nagar Bhaban to vulnerable people's doorsteps on Saturday afternoon. The city corporation has so far distributed food to 200 families who called the hotline.
"We made a list of around 600 people who will be getting packets of food," said CEO Shah Imdadul Haque, adding, "The city corporation is distributing the food through its own funds, and the poor and jobless people will receive the assistance for a month."
He added, "After receiving the phone calls, city officials are making a list of people eligible for the food assistance. It takes at least two to three days to deliver the food items as there is a shortage of manpower in the city corporation."
The Dhaka South City Corporation has formed a nine-member committee, headed by the corporation's Additional Chief Engineer Mohammed Asaduzzaman, to ensure a smooth distribution of food items among vulnerable people in the city.