Shree Sumon Das is a cobbler by occupation. He passes his day by making, repairing, and coloring shoes. But he is not the owner of this shop. He is the worker of a cobbler shop adjacent to a rail-gate in Gaibandha District. With a limited wage he earns, he maintains his family. But due to the lockdown condition, he became jobless.
Sumon Das said, Since the shop has been shut down for the last three months, we have passed a very hard time. I had to take a loan to maintain my family.
After the end of the lockdown, all the markers and shopping malls have been opened in a limited range so he has back to his previous job. Since they do not get so much order as before, he has to receive a reduced wage.
Sumon Das also said, Before the lockdown condition, my daily wage was 350 Taka, but now it is only 250 Taka as we have limited work on our hands. It became so difficult with this little wage. Since the shop is not running in full swing, the owner cannot provide us a full wage.
Though Sumon Das could back to his previous occupation, many people from the Robidas Community became jobless.
I worked in Dhaka city. My daily wage was 400 to 500 Taka. Now I have no income at all. I came back to my home and have been living here without any work/job for the last few months. There is no suitable job for me in the village. I do not know how to reap paddy, how to dig; our only occupation is to repair shoes.
Most of the people in this community had to take a loan against the interest to maintain their poor family. Now they are destructed to recover the loan.
Some people in this village give loans against high interest. Taking the loan from them in different amounts like 20,000, 15000, or 5000, we have been trying to survive our lives.
We have been passing our days in hardship by taking loans. I have to do farming…
By this time I have to recover my loan maintaining my family.
During this Covid 19 Pandemic, everybody is talking about the physical distance. But they are living in a densely populated place where they cannot maintain physical distance. Of course, they do not bother with this. Unlike the others, they are not aware of the food nutrient issue since they live from hand to mouth.
I heard from the news and some other people that we have to take nutritional food like different types of fruits during this pandemic. But we do not effort a single meal daily so how can we effort them?
We are watching on TV that we need to wash our hands with soap again and again. But the whole day I have to work homemaking and farming in other people’s houses. So I do not get a chance to wash our hands unless we take meals.
During this pandemic situation, some people received a grant from the mobile transaction, but most of the people in this community did not receive any cash grant. Only a few people received it which is very minimal.
During this pandemic, I have been staying in my home for the last 5 months but I do not get any aid from the Government.
Many people came here any took five Xerox copies of my vote ID and five copies of photos, but nobody gave us any aid.
Nobody but the only god knows how I have passed my days in very hardship with my two children. At that time, nobody gave attention to us.
I received only once 15 Kilograms of rice and flour as relief aid. I do not get anything besides this from the Government.
But some people report that they received relief aid from the individual level.
With the individual initiatives, Mohammad Alam came here and gave us ten kilograms of rice, one kilogram of dal, and oil.
On the 8th or the 9th day of lockdown, someone called Alam came here in Kalibari Gaibandha and help us with different necessary items like 10 Kilograms of rice, two kilograms of pulse, one kilogram of oil, one face mask, a half kilogram of salt, and so on.
In response to a question about the Government relief aid, their local representative told that…
Shapna said, In my ward, each of the eleven families of Robidas community received a cash grant of 2500 Taka from the Govt. Say it is not possible to help all the families. In my war, there are more than four thousand people, and the people of the Robidas community are not the only helpless community. Many helpless people are there.
The Robidas community reports that the Govt. aid was not sufficient for a family for four months. But the DV claimed that it was enough for them.
Deputy Commissioner of Gaibandha Mr Abdul Matin said, During the pick time of the pandemic situation, Govt. gave us sufficient relief. Whenever we receive a phone call for aid, we ensured them immediately. Everybody received govt. assistance.
Bangladesh is diversified with people of the various profession. Each profession is so important and deserves dignity. But sometimes they are the victim of negligence from society. Our positive mindset can change their lives entirely. At the same time, this community people need special attention from the Government.