Winter woes set sail
At present, minimum temperature is recorded 5.1 degrees celsius at Dinajpur in Rangpur division. This sort of miserable winter with bone curdling chill comes once every five or six years. The cold wave sweeping over the country may continue for the next two days. A weeklong cold wave has swept the country especially in the northern part of Bangladesh. It has predominantly jeopardised the lives of the poor.
Despite tall talks, grandiloquent verbosity, grandiose claims and elaborate plans by successive governments and excessive NGOs, this country is yet to make a noteworthy dent in poverty and attain a smidgen of success in poverty alleviation.
Those of us, with the warmth of heavy winter attire and comfortable dwelling, feel cozy and yet complain and harangue about the cold perhaps should think about the street people, including women, children and old folks as well as the poor and the destitute, bereft of warm winter clothing, comfortable living or snug abode.
The poor, the dispossessed and the deprived are currently and mostly bearing the brunt of winter miseries. Little bonfires lit in street corners, huddled masses and a longing for the sun are testimony of this.
The situation in the rural areas and in north Bengal must really be a lot worse, something the Dhaka elites and powers that be find difficult to comprehend. Nor do they particularly care.
It is unfortunate but the truth of the matter is, in a poor, poorly governed and botched managed country like ours, people die for reasons that they do not need to in this day and age. It is true for infectious or untreated diseases, it is true for horrendous road and work related accidents, and it is equally true for unexpected bone chilling winter effects.
What is the value of human life in this country? Will the authorities, rather than banging its empty and vacuous drum on state controlled media, appeal to the wealthy and privileged to assist the poor with food, clothing and shelter? Will the opposition party, rather than the drivel about senseless, and gratuitous destabilising mass movement to oust the government, indulge in the welfare task of helping the needy?