M Matiur Rahman Mamun: Rabindranath Tagore, the world famous poet and humanist wrote, perhaps, in such a disaster, “O my God! Forgive all our sins. People are dying. Please save them. Who will save us? You are the Progenitor of all. Save us, save us with your sense.”
Likewise, in the COVID-19 or CoronaVirus Pandemic, the honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has made a clarion call to all rich or wealthy persons of the country living in home and abroad to come forward and extend their helping hands to the distressed people with a view to saving them. The steps of the honourable Prime Minister are undoubtedly praiseworthy. But it is a matter of regret and it is a fact that some of the wealthy people are avoiding this and even they are trying to leave the country.
The number of rich entrepreneurs or owners of crores of taka is not less at all. But it is to notice how many of them come to do so in this epidemic period as per expectation.The common people of the country hope that the rich entrepreneurs or owners of crores of taka will come forward in this regard. The multinational companies of our country like Basundhara, BRAC Bank, some government , non-government banks , institutions etc. have already stood beside the distressed people of many sectors. They will surely be deemed with respect in the core of the people’s hearts.
It is especially expected by all that the people who have deposited a huge amount of money in banks at home and abroad, will positively come ahead in this pandemic situation of the country with patriotism, humanism, and philanthropist. Let humanity conquer over all. Those who come forward willingly for the welfare of the countrymen are really successful. How much of this will be fulfilled is unknown.
There are no other alternatives but to depend on the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after the dependence on the Almighty Allah, the great Creator in this national disaster. Even the President of the powerful United States of America seems totally helpless in this disaster. There are long queues of dead bodies. It’s a mammoth task to perform their funeral activities. The Honourable Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson is in the same condition. The situation has become so grievous due to the helplessness of the European statesmen. The state of Indian Prime minister is also not so good.
On that moment the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina is going on with her triumphant march of great humanity, hardest solidarity and untiring effort in such a country having a huge number of unconscious, poor people of more than 85000 villages. She has declared various packages, loan facilities on easy terms in the agriculture sector for the marginal people for their self-reliance.. Later on she has taken steps for 3 years.
It is mentionable that steps should be taken to avoid harassment of people while taking these loans. Again, the process should be made easy so that the mostly eligible persons can take loans only showing their National Identity Card (NID) without any deposit money. It is also to remind the statement of the great economist and Nobel Laureate Ovijit Binayok. He said, “ The poor people are now penniless. So their power of purchasing is too scanty. The government should provide them with money. It is because they run the economy of the country, not the rich.”
It deserves praise that the government of Bangladesh has started giving relief to the poor people to mitigate the distress of the poor people. Again. subsidy has also been given on some daily necessaries. Otherwise, the sufferings of the poor villagers would increase to a large extent. The Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh has already declared clearly to make a list of the people who have lost their jobs. Although there were some defects, 50 lakh families got the money. It is expected to make proper distribution in future.
The village people are happy to get the money through their bank accounts. Besides, the government has increased old age, widow allowance and some other allowances like social safety funds for the marginal people. It is also praiseworthy that steps have been taken to give 50 lakh VGB cards newly. Rabindranath Tagore once said, “ The joyous and happy mood of our countrymen are the extended form of my mind, their prosperity means my prosperity. So long we did not realize this fact, we fell into famine after famine, distress after distress and also we became frightened with fear or humiliated”.
The Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina is doing what she thinks appropriate for the subsistence of common people while it is to notice what others are doing. We should bear in mind that calamities or pandemics broke out in different periods. Solutions have also been made. Nothing is ever lasting. But at this moment we should have patience. We should abide by our own duties and responsibilities and thus help the nation develop and go ahead. But it is a matter of fact that we have little amount of this quality. While the Prime Minister of the government is working hard continuously, we the common people can’t do our own duties and responsibilities, Patriotism means not only to oppose but also to cooperate with others.
The COVID-19 or Corona virus has broken out all over the world. We have to survive by fighting against this pandemic. We have to come out of the narrow politics over the helpless people in this serious disaster. Otherwise the danger will increase. We should overlook what the ambassadors of other countries say. We have to go forward with the attitude of advancing our own countries. We should not arise in our mind that we will befall others in danger as we have fallen in danger. It is the responsibility of the citizens to the instructions of the government. The steps of the government are pro-people oriented. The Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already proved this. She is the statesperson of such a state which is the Sonar Bangla of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. However, now it is the main task to take steps to reduce unemployment problems during the after effects of the pandemic. This is a great challenge. This is the demand of the time.
It is because according to the rate of unemployment of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Bangladesh is the second highest. Considering this matter, the government can solve it to some extent by expediting the recruitment in non-government sectors. Steps should be taken not to hang any recruitment process years after years. The recruitment process which is pending in non government schools, colleges or madrasas, should be completed soon according to the respective organogram. If it is done hastily, the program “ Every House, Every Job” of the government declared by the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will ultimately be implemented. But finances should be allocated in the Budget.
The emancipation of the common village people should be considered. Labour export in foreign countries should be balanced in this way. It is because European countries, the Middle East and Asia also will face unemployment problems soon. Many Bangladeshi labourers in the Middle East have already become unemployed. The situation in Maldives is not good at all. Many expatriates in Europe are jobless. So there are no other alternatives but to solve unemployment problems in the country. Budget should be reallocated accordingly
The author is a Tagore researcher and activist from patisar