But we have to keep in mind that not only the destitute people, but also the low-income and lower middle class people are in a difficult situation. Especially, those who cannot reach out to others for help fearing public embarrassment. As a result, the queues of people in front of OMS or open market shops and TCB (Trading Corporation of Bangladesh) trucks are getting longer.
Many associated with TCB's product sales say they have never seen such a long line in the past. The news published in Prothom Alo on Tuesday shows that people have crowded in various places for TCB's products. There were 60 to 70 people waiting in front of some trucks. Many women were standing in queue helplessly with their school going children. None of them were below the poverty line earlier.
As many people are crowding in front of trucks and shops, not all of them are getting the products. According to Prothom Alo, TCB sold oil, sugar and lentils at fair prices at 67 places in the capital on Monday. The food department is selling rice and flour in 10 trucks in the capital through OMS.
Apart from this, rice and flour are also being sold at fair prices in 95 shops through distributors. People are thronging there as they are getting essential commodities like rice, flour, edible oil, lentils and so on at lower prices than the market price. In some products it is 20 to 50 per cent less.
In this situation, the government should increase the supply of goods through TCB several folds. In fact, those who lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the lockdown needed to be provided with free essentials as much as possible.
But the government did not do that. In that case, OMS products are their only hope. This will reduce the suffering of the people affected by the lockdown. On the one hand, people's income has decreased, on the other hand, the prices of daily commodities are increasing.
Restrictions have been relaxed from 15 July. But that does not mean that the pandemic is over. Relaxing the restrictions for a week is not going to solve the problems of the people affected by the lockdown. So the government has a responsibility to the people affected by the restriction and overall covid crisis.