• Friday, Aug 07, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:37 pm

ED: To protect the country, protect the poor

  • Published at 09:36 pm July 13th, 2020
poor woman old street
Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Due to lockdown measures, this demographic has been marginalized even further

For the past decade, Bangladesh has been on track towards reaching middle income status, and has achieved an economic growth rate that has been nothing if not admirable. Much of this economic success is owed to our vast pool of cheap labour and informal jobs.

Now, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the urban poor who have played so vital a role in our collective economic ascent, are being neglected. They have long been forced to live in slums under unhealthy conditions, or worse yet, to squat on settlements or on the street, but now due to lockdown measures, this demographic has been marginalized even further. Evicted from their slums, they no longer have any place to go.

This newspaper has editorialized many times over the years about the need for clean, safe, and affordable housing for the poor. Regrettably, this problem never got the attention that it deserved, as it always seemed like less than a priority.

Now that a global pandemic has hit, and the scale of the problem has become stark. Human suffering has increased manifold, and for this we cannot blame the coronavirus, but weakness and failure of our policy to ensure proper homes for our urban poor.

It is good to see that some work is being done by NGOs to try to ease the sufferings of the poor and disenfranchised. But that will, ultimately, not be enough. We need targeted action that directly addresses the matters of livelihood, health, and housing.

As long as such a large portion of our population remains vulnerable to poverty and disease, the whole country is vulnerable. If we fail to contain the spread of Covid-19 among the poor, containing it at a broader level may become an impossible task.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail