The coronavirus outbreak has economically hit the majority of the people in this region
Day labourers in Joypurhat area are desperately hunting for work everyday to sustain their livelihoods even as the entire country is confronted with the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak has economically hit the majority of the people in this region. It is especially day workers who have seen a decline in their work opportunities by a suspension of economic activities.
“If we get work, we can manage meals for our families. Otherwise we have to starve,” said Omar Ali, a day labourer at Bagichapara of Joypurhat municipality.
“For the last few days, we have not been getting regular work,” he said, adding that the work-related crisis was increasing day by day.
The worker said that police and armed forces personnel had requested them not to get out of their homes. “How will we live then?” he asked.
Ali claimed that workers like him had not got any kind of relief from the government till now.
Ali was talking to this correspondent at the city’s Batar Mor area yesterday morning. Dozens of workers were also seen sitting there idle, looking for jobs. They are mainly carpenters and construction workers.
“We heard about the government’s relief but have not seen it yet,” said another labourer Azad Rahman, who came from Mandalpara area.
Kulsum Bewa, from Dholahar union, said that she had to work for her three children after her husband died.
“For the last one week I did not get any job,” she said, adding that she had been hit hard as a result.
“In such days of crisis, I did not get any relief,” Kulsum said. She claimed that the chairman and members (local government leaders) were providing relief to their favourite people.
She said her name was not included on the relief list.
Many other labourers made similar complaints.
They said that their conditions were worsening everyday with a decline in earnings. For their survival, they called for special support from the government.
Joypurhat Upazila Nirbahi Officer Miltan Chandra Roy said the government was providing food support in the area alongside raising public awareness about the pandemic.
He, however, acknowledged that the relief was not sufficient. Miltan urged the rich to come forward to assist the poor and day labourers with relief.