“Beyond The Pandemic” Episode 2: Speakers urge to stay beside people

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Published on May 20, 2020
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In the second part of the online discussion 'Beyond the Pandemic'  organized by Bangladesh Awami League, guests have called for extending the hand of cooperation according to one's ability by seeking for the person next to you in dealing with the disaster of coronavirus.

The theme of the second episode of this webinar on corona epidemic and subsequent Bangladesh was 'Humanitarian Aid During COVID-19 Crisis'. The participants expressed hope that Bangladesh would successfully tackle the Coronavirus crisis under the visionary leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The program was moderated by Barrister Shah Ali Farhad, Special Assistant to the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Expressing his condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the epidemic, Obaidul Quader, Party's General Secretary and The Minister of Roads & bridges from Bangladesh Awami League said, "Sheikh Hasina's skilful leadership has reached the marginalized people of the country in this global epidemic." Relief assistance to more than 50 million people in the Corona crisis and 5 million families have been provided with Eid gifts through mobile banking. Calling on every leader and activist of the Awami League to stand by the people in this calamity, he said, "Father of the Nation Bangabandhu has worked for the people all his life. Inshallah, we will deal with this global crisis by keeping our morale strong." He asked the Awami League leaders and workers to watch over the unemployed people. 

Awami League joint general secretary and education minister Dr Dipu mani said, "Not only the government but also our people, such as various voluntary organizations, individuals ... let us stand by each other in society. As much as we have the government, we will stand by the man next to us.

Recalling various initiatives of the government at the time, she said arrangements have been made for six months of food aid for low-income people. Under the Ministry of Disaster and Relief, about Tk 92 crore has been provided for the purchase of baby food and other essential items till May 14 and 1 lakh 62 thousand 617 metric tons of rice has been provided. Also, 5 million families have been given financial assistance. In other words, two and a half crore people have come directly under this cooperation.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a total of 18 incentive packages worth Tk 1 lakh 1 thousand 117 crores. In the 18th incentive package, she has given a fund of Tk 2,000 crore for expatriates and youth. The total incentive package is 11.9 billion dollars. That is three point six percent of our GDP.

Awami League office secretary Barrister Biplob Barua said, "While we are working on the global epidemic coronavirus, we are facing another disaster called Amphan." People in 19 coastal areas of the country are now worried. And Bangladesh Awami League has also prepared for this disaster.

Journalist Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul was also a panellist of the discussion. He said journalists were working on the front line in the Corona situation. The mainstream media in Bangladesh supports the current position of the government. This catastrophe is seeing a few positive aspects from the media side. One is the human face of politics. The second is management. Bangladesh is ahead of India and Pakistan in South Asia. The disaster has been declared pandemic internationally. Besides, another one has been added which is Infodemic. Numerous misinformation is being provided. He also said that he would provide correct information by informing the people about this wrong information. 

Shipra Das, a member of the Bidyananda Foundation, said, “We have distributed hand sanitizers early to deal with the corona situation. Later we distributed PPE with masks. Later we started the food project. First, we distributed dry food. Dry food has been distributed to about two lakh families. Cooking meals have been arranged at about four places. We have delivered cooked food to about three lakh people.

Awami League's Relief and Social Welfare Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, Juba League General Secretary Mainul Hossain Khan Nikhil, Swechchhasebak League General Secretary Afzalur Rahman Babu, Krishak League President Sameer Chanda, Chhatra League President Al Nahyan Khan Joy and general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharya, among others, were present at the two-hour virtual discussion.

Sujit Roy Nandi, relief and social welfare secretary of the party, said that the relief and social welfare sub-committee of the Bangladesh Awami League has continued to provide corona prevention and food aid items across the country as per the directives of the HPM Sheikh Hasina since the onset of the corona disaster.

He said ‘Corona prevention materials have been distributed in about 60 organizational districts and 200 upazilas across the country. Among them were 50,000 high-quality masks, 20,000 hand sanitizers, 500,000 antiseptic soaps, 2,500 PPEs and 100 thermal thermometers. These materials have been provided to various social, cultural groups and religious organizations. Besides, the relief and social welfare sub-committee of the Bangladesh Awami League has continued its food aid activities across the country.

Sameer Chanda, President of the Awami Krishk League, said, "Free health care for farmers has been launched and public awareness activities have been carried out to make farmers aware of the need to deal with the epidemic coronavirus."He further said, "Krishak League has introduced 10 hotline numbers and two hotline numbers for each district monitor to solve all the problems related to agriculture by dividing the whole of Bangladesh into 10 regions and to cut the paddy of helpless farmers."

Krishak League has formed a 7-member monitoring team to ensure that the right farmers could be found, the farmers could get the price of 26 Tk per KG fixed by the government and also ensuring that no farmers is being harassed.

Samir Chanda added, the leaders and workers of Krishak League have continued the distribution of Eid gifts of the Prime Minister and Food items for comrades-in-arms who are farmers’ friends selling vegetables in vans.

Awami Juba League secretary Mainul Hossain Khan Nikhil said, "Since the beginning of the coronavirus, public awareness leaflets, hand sanitizers and masks have been distributed across the country." In addition, a public awareness recording was sent across the country for miking to make people aware. He said, "During the Corona period, the leaders and workers of Juba League have distributed relief to about 42 lakh people across the country." The school van driver, the third gender community and the imam-muezzins of the mosque were distributed on behalf of the Juba League and the Eid gifts of the Hon'ble Prime Minister, he said. Besides, after finding out that a family is helpless somewhere, Juba League has delivered food aid to that family through local leaders and activists. Launched Tele Health Service and Ambulance Service. Nikhil further said, "After the onset of the boro season, when there was a labor crisis, the leaders and workers of Juba League stood by the helpless farmers all over the country and cut the paddy and took it home." Besides, the leaders and workers of the party are distributing Iftar every day somewhere in the country during the holy month of Ramadan.

Awami Swechchhasebak League secretary Afzalur Rahman Babu said, ‘Since the beginning of the coronavirus, public awareness leaflets have been distributed across the country, hand sanitizers and masks have been distributed, besides a public awareness recording has been sent for miking across the country. Besides, the leaders and workers of the Swechchhasebak League have been distributing relief across the country during the Corona period. He said, "We have launched a telehealth service with a hotline number of 09611999777. Ambulance service has been introduced in 5 divisions including Dhaka, where the leaders and workers of Swechchhasebak League are working to take the sick patients to the hospital without any hindrance. He added, "After the start of the boro season when there was a labor crisis, the leaders and workers stood by the helpless farmers all over the country and cut the paddy and took it home."

Besides, the leaders and workers of the party are distributing Iftar every day somewhere in the country during the holy month of Ramadan. He added, No matter what the catastrophic situation maybe we Bangladesh Awami Swechchhasebak League will always be by the side of the people under the direction of Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh Chhatra League Al Nahyan Khan Joy said, ‘I am grateful to the grassroots leaders and workers of Bangladesh Chhatra League. They are working for the people in this crisis moment. We stand by the side of the farmers under the direction of Sheikh Hasina, and our Hon'ble Prime Minister also praised it. Chhatra League from all over the country including me and our general secretary and our central leaders and workers are working together to tackle the Corona crisis. Lekhak Bhattacharya, general secretary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, said, "Bangladesh Chhatra League has been working all over the country since the beginning of the Corona crisis." We thank the leaders and workers of Chhatra League all over the country for their great work and talent in fighting this crisis. Some people have come forward on their initiative for the unemployed people. He also said that the image of good work of Bangladesh Chhatra League all over the country is going on the verified Facebook page of Bangladesh Chhatra League. Lekhak said, ‘We have launched telemedicine service with the help of medical students of Bangladesh Chhatra League. Service activities are continuing at the ward level.