The spread of Covid-19 has caused a country wide lockdown of nearly more than two months now, putting millions at risk of privation.
According to the 2018 data of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 21% of the population of Bangladesh is under the poverty line with 11% in extreme poverty. Among the most affected in this situation are the daily wage earners and slum dwellers, who are now left helpless without any work.
Dhaka Tribune has currently taken initiatives of two fundraising charity campaigns – ‘Serve the Future’, through which the underprivileged children and families receive dry food for two weeks, and through ‘Share your Meal’, individuals and families receive iftar, during the holy month of Ramadan. These campaigns were initiated on April 3 and 29 respectively, mainly to serve the underprivileged individuals with food and hygiene products to help cope with this widespread virus. Also, to help out by collecting funds for the ones who want to donate and do something good for the community. Donations through crowd funding, social organizations, corporates, DT publisher and employees have made both these campaigns a success.
With different NGOs running schools in different slums all over Dhaka, they provided lists and contacts of the students and families involved. Law enforcing agencies have also provided lists through which the ones receiving the aid can be tracked and tokens can be provided so the distribution can be done smoothly, maintaining the social distancing rules. Dhaka Tribune also made sure that the food is equally distributed among the different slums and locations based on BRAC’s Corona donation map.
Dhaka Tribune, in collaboration with five NGOs -- Obhijatrik Foundation, Prochesta Foundation, JAAGO Foundation, Biddananda Foundation and Ek Takay Ahar has distributed iftar among the slum dwellers in Begunbari, Baddanagar and Boubazar through its ‘Share your Meal’ campaign.“Through this campaign, we distributed iftar among 700 people on May 10 with an aim to reach another 3,000 to 5,000 people before Eid”, said Rafsan Salekeen, a representative of the Dhaka Tribune management team.
Through ‘Serve the Future’ campaign in its first phase, six tons of food consisting of necessary groceries for two weeks have been distributed so far among 225 families of Rayer Bazar slum in the capital.
With a number of different organizations working together, who are experts in their own fields -- NGOs, social organizations and Law enforcement agencies specially the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have come forward and helped cover thousands of families and individuals in a very systematic and transparent manner, which otherwise could have been very difficult for one individual donor or organization.
Even though the government has recently relaxed the lockdown measures, many households are still unwilling to take in any domestic helpers, most of whom are slum dwellers. Most day labourers, who could not leave the city are now compelled to stay idle, with no construction work taking place. The lack of work has pushed thousands into uncertainty. Dhaka Tribune requests everyone to come forward to help out the ones in dire need.
Both these campaigns will continue till Eid-ul-Fitr, and might extend if the pandemic situation does not improve. The success of these campaigns relies heavily on the availability of funds.
The donations for both the campaigns can be made through the following portals: (bKash, Rocket, Nagad - 01614926838) and bank transfer (AB Bank, Karwan Bazar Branch, A/C- 4002-436428-441).