Thursday, June 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

A fine mess

TCB’s initiative has, so far, failed to meet its objective of being a marketplace for the less fortunate

Update : 21 Mar 2022, 03:25 PM

Despite our days of famine and starvation being well behind us, food security is still an issue in Bangladesh, a situation made all the worse due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Giving way to a rise in prices of daily essentials, a large number of people are finding it difficult to buy their staples from regular shops.

To that end, initiatives such as Trading Corporation of Bangladesh’s truck sale, where they intend to provide 50 million people around the country with daily essentials for Ramadan at affordable prices, are absolutely imperative.

However, the initiative has thus far been marred by gross mismanagement and a lack of anticipation in exactly how many people would be vying for access.

TCB’s initiative has, so far, failed to meet its objective of being a marketplace for the less fortunate. And even more troubling is that women primarily seem to be getting sidelined by aggressive men waiting in line, allegedly. The authorities in charge of the trucks should have foreseen something like this, as gender-based disparity like this is commonplace in Bangladesh. 

Suggestions of having individual lines for men and women, to that end, stand to help to some degree.

However, the underlying issue with this drive still is a lack of foresight, coordination, and proper management -- a walk across the city will show that there are long lines behind such trucks, because of which many people are coming back empty handed.

Our economy might be at a far better place now than where it was even a decade ago, but the fact of the matter is that a large swathe of our population still hover close to the poverty line who need to be lifted up and, in the meantime, have their daily sustenance met in a manner that is affordable to them.

That there have been allegations that the trucks in question are selling rotten goods is perhaps not the kind of outreach that the underprivileged need at this point. Issues with stocks are understandable, delays are understandable, but allegations of the food handed-out being out-of-date and mismanagement need to be taken seriously.


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