COVID-19, the destitute community and a token of love from Bandhu staffs
The country wise lockdown to prevent social transmission of deadly COVID-19 and need to stay home for keeping safe have started affecting the livelihood of poor. They are becoming much more concerned about their hunger rather than the deadly touch of Covid-19. Among them, there are thousands of hijras who are in need of humanitarian support.
Since Bandhu Social Welfare Society is committed to the wellbeing of this communities, the staff members of the organization decided to extend support to these forlorn communities in organized modality.
First, the organization has done a mapping of 3350 poor community members of all divisions of the country through its field offices and 35 CBOs.
A Task Force consisting of seven members from Bandhu was formed to coordinate all humanitarian tasks.
Second issue was to determine relief materials. It was decided to give each poor hijra a package containing 5 kg rice, 1 kg lentils, 3 kg potatoes, 1 kg puffed rice, 2 kg onion, 1-liter soybean oil, 1 kg salt, 2 musks, anibiotic soaps, and 6 pkt. Oral saline.
Third issue was to mobilize funds which is essential to extend any sort of support; therefore, a budget was developed with possible expenditures.
For initiating the relief distribution, all staffs voluntarily donated their one-day gross salary. Some resources were mobilized through MJF and USAID funded projects. With this initial resources, Bandhu Social Welfare Society has started distributing food packages to Hijra and Gender Diverse population who are now in financial crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic.
In the first phase, on 14th April 2020 a total of 100 members of the community of Dhaka, Khulna, Chattogram and Mymensingh received the relief. In the second phase, on 21st April 2020, 424 more community members received the humanitarian supports from Bandhu staffs and abovementioned projects. It has plan to reach out all 3350 community members directly in different phases.
Apart from the direct support, Bandhu has also been linking the community members to other relief support initiatives by DC offices, philanthropists, MPs and different organizations including UNDP.
Bandhu believes that with supports from all, these indigent clusters of the population can at least survive with these bare essentials in this very difficult time.