In a country where there is no dearth of billionaires driving brand vehicles like BMW and Jaguar one wonders why the rich are not standing by those unemployed or who lost their source of livelihood due to Covid-19.
By any estimate several million Bangladeshis have joined the group of have-nots or are barely surviving due to the pandemic and they are now in disarray.
Many who were employed in major or small companies were sacked in one way or the other reasoning fund crunch due to losses blamed on the pandemic, but the billionaires have not paid any heed to save these people who once lived with dignity.
They were not beggars, but worked hard to feed their families and led a descent life before coronavirus gripped Bangladesh in March this year. It is not possible for them to beg and many have left for their village homes seeking survival with dignity.
A TV channel showed a former shop owner becoming a street vendor. The elderly man cried, saying “I am doing this to feed the family at least the minimum and I don’t know how else to survive.”
The education of their children is at stake at the same time and that means the future of our country is also being hampered as this generation will most likely end up doing menial or small jobs instead of taking up professions that can help Bangladesh move forward.
The government has to pay attention and support this group of unfortunate people, many of whom had small businesses that went bankrupt. We stress that the rich has a responsibility and if they unite to provide employment or financial aid, then “Sonar Bangla” will shine.
Many of them have received special financial packages from the government too like the garment sector, but layoffs are still taking place.
Owners of hotels and restaurants have re-employed a section of the staff members after re-opening recently in the major cities and Cox’s Bazar town, but are they charging the clients less for their services? They are recovering their losses, but keeping many people hungry.
Similar situation has been reported from many media houses owned by large conglomerates. This is inhuman and a shame.
We appeal to all who can support, not help, this unfortunate group of people. They will swing back with a little humanity from our billionaires.