It should be our topmost priority to root out the widespread corruption that exists in the system
It is quite shameful to see that relief resources allocated for those most in need are not reaching them, but are possibly getting misappropriated along the way. In this year of crisis, it is the poor who are suffering the most, and this pandemic year has laid bare a harsh reality -- our relief distribution system needs to be fixed.
Poor people and farmers across the country have been deprived of flood relief, Covid-19 assistance, as well as agricultural incentives, reports show. Nepotism and political bias are said to be the main reasons. Sadly, this is nothing new, because the process has always lacked transparency.
This lack of transparency allows corruption to flourish. As Poverty Elimination Organization's Md Zakir Hossain, in a recent webinar, has pointed out: “UP chairmen and members do not distribute relief and incentives properly to the real poor people. They allocate part of it and sell the rest to businesses.”
Various officials, it is alleged, make lists to serve their own interests. Nepotism and political consideration, not humanitarian need, is what drives their decisions. Enough people are simply not getting aid. In an area with thousands of poor people in severe need, a resident complained that only a few hundred had received some form of aid.
It should be our topmost priority to root out the widespread corruption that exists in the system. This can only be done through stringent oversight at every level. When it comes to Covid-19 supplies especially, a lack of scrupulousness will cost the nation dearly. This is not the time to pick and choose beneficiaries: If we fail to prevent the spread of disease among the poor, the overall threat rises for each and every one of us, including the rich and influential.