Currently 20,000 employees of shops and businesses, along with 30,000 transport workers are jobless in the city. Besides, 5,000 street peddlers also had to keep their businesses closed for the last 20 days
Although a large number of people need relief material in the Bogura municipality amid the crisis over the novel coronavirus, very few people have received it so far.
Despite allocating relief material several times, many poor families in many places have not received any.
Azahar Ali Mondol, an official of the District Relief and Rehabilitation Office (DRRO), said, relief material has been allocated for the Bogura Municipality in three phases.
He said, "Very little relief material arrived in the first two phases, but it will be possible to provide support for a significant number of people in the third phase."
"In the last allocation, 10kg rice has been given to at least 1,000 families in every ward," he added.
Many low-income people including labourers, rickshaw pullers in the municipality area are found to be waiting for relief material.
DRRO official Azahar said currently 20,000 employees of shops and businesses, along with 30,000 transport workers are jobless in the city. Besides, 5,000 street peddlers also had to keep their businesses closed for the last 20 days.
Wahed Mia, an employee at a shop in the municipality, said he has been jobless for the last one month. He is the only earning member of his family. Although he needs food support badly now, nobody has been heeding his plight.
Romesa Begum, a resident of the Sambaria area, said she has no food at home. She used to work as a house help. Her son also worked, so they had no problem earlier. But both of them have become jobless together due to the coronavirus shutdown.
Two weeks ago, the local administration asked 28 public representatives in the municipality to submit a list of 500 day labourers and workers in their areas. They submitted the lists as per the directive, but a very small amount of relief material arrived after that.
Many ward councillors including women councillors said hundreds of people in their areas need food right now, but they were receiving very little of it.
Ruhul Kuddus Dilu, councillor of ward-21 in the municipality, said there were around 35,000 people in his area, but only 21 people were given 10kg rice and 5kg potatoes per head.
"Most of the people in my ward are poor. I am very worried because there is very little relief material to go around," said Kuddus, demanding an increase in the amount of relief material to meet everybody's demand.
Aminul Islam, councillor of ward-15 of the municipality, said, "Many people are too shy to express their need during this calamity. At least 4,000 people in this ward need relief material, but allocation for only 21 families has arrived."
"I distributed 5kg rice, flour, and oil each among 2,800 families from April 4 to 11 from my own fund. I am willing to provide this support as long as the crisis continues," said Aminul, who is also the general secretary of the Bogura Motor Owners Group.
Mejbahul Hamid, councillor of ward-17 of the municipality, said, "I need relief material for 4,500 families. I have distributed necessary goods among 1,500 families on my own, and I need to provide support to 3,500 more families."
He said when he received relief material for 21 families, he could not decide who should get it.