You may not barter your life for a trifling gain. But, there are certainly some to whom it is a precious gain so much so that they are resolute in their determination to grab it, even at the cost of their blood and lives.
This is what happened on Friday when hundreds of angry people got into a tussle over buying eggs at Krishibid Institution in Khamarbari area of Dhaka as the authorities failed to ensure an adequate supply of eggs during an egg selling event.
The Department of Livestock Services (DLS) and Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) jointly organised the event to observe World Egg Day with over 40 countries of the world.
After they announced to sell eggs at a special price of Tk3 each on the day, interested people from all walks of life started joining a queue that stretched over one and a half kilometres.
Organisers said they had a stock of 100,000 eggs at their stalls, and the selling began at 9am according to their Tuesday’s announcement.
As over 80,000 eggs got sold just within half an hour of the event, they stopped selling eggs and urged the buyers to go back.
“No more eggs will be sold today. We are requesting you to go back. We will expand our capacity and hold an even greater event in the future,” BPICC member Biswajit Roy announced on the microphone.
After the announcement, a scuffle ensued between the organisers and the buyers, leaving some injured and causing damage to dozens of eggs.
Law enforcers later charged batons on the buyers and detained some of them in a bid to bring the situation under control.
Voicing their grievances against the organisers, some of the aggrieved buyers said mismanagement and negligence from the authorities wrought the incident.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Mahidul Islam, a buyer from Jigatola, said he went there to buy eggs, but to not avail; rather, he was beaten by police in the crowd.
“Did the organisers hold the event to get people beaten? Why did the authorities not question the organisers about their flaws?” an angry Mahidul asked.
Nazma Akhter from Mohakhali returned home in dismay after failing to buy eggs.
“I went there in the wee hours but could not buy a single egg. Instead, I had to lose my mobile handset in the crowd. Stern actions should be taken against the authorities as they botched up the entire event,” she said.
Learning from mistakes
BPICC member Biswajit said: “We never imagined that this many people would throng the spot. We thought that people in small numbers would come to buy eggs.”
He, however, added that they had taken it as a lesson for their future endeavours, reports Bangla Tribune.
Organisers claim success
Despite the blatant fiasco, the BPICC claimed the event ended with success. “We will not call it a failure; rather, we are successful,” said BPICC President Mashiur Rahman.
“People’s response to our event was far greater than was our preparation for the programme, even though we had to stop it for some unexpected reasons. And we are sorry for that,” he added.
Outcry in the virtual world
Meanwhile, netizens are in uproar on social media sites, pouring scorn on the organisers.
Sayed Khalilur Rahman said in a Facebook post that the tussle over eggs at cheap prices reveals the people’s living standards and their everyday struggle for survival.
“Really, we are a middle-income country!” he said with heavy sarcasm.
Emadadul Haque Tuhin said: “It’s incorrect to call it a crowd; rather, it was a battle for eggs.”
Parts of this article were published on Bangla Tribune