Drive for poverty alleviation
Wednesday, 01 October 2008

Employment generation thru long term plans need of the hour

According to Bangladesh Economic Outlook report half of rural and one-third of urban households have been forced to reduce their food consumption as the food prices shot up and due to reduction in consumption of food children of about 87 per cent of rural households and 75 per cent of urban households are facing health related problems. It said under-consumption of food due to price hike led to high dropout rate of the school children. The study also said recent food price inflation affected the education of children from poor and vulnerable households. Meanwhile, the other TBT report said, when rich and middle class people are rushing to the city's different shopping complexes or other markets for buying Eid special clothes, cosmetics, shoes and ornaments, the poor and rootless people are thinking about how to feed their family members tomorrow. Some rickshaw pullers, flower and fruit sellers and rootless people, said there is no special day in their lives as they only think as to what they will eat today or tomorrow. Bangladesh is a poor country, but there are lot of rich people here. Because of corruption and mismanagement of economy over the years the country's populace is now clearly divided into two sections- the rich and the poor. With the rich getting richer and the poor becoming poorer gradually social inequality and economic disparity have reached their peak. About 38 per cent of the people in Bangladesh live below the poverty line. Their sufferings know no bounds due to the skyrocketing prices specially of food items. The price spiral and soaring cost of living have badly affected other sections of people too, but the poor are the worst hit. So, it is no wonder that the poor and the rootless people are thinking of keeping their bodies and souls together instead of shopping for Eid. Even those belonging to the fixed and low income groups are unable to purchase items to the satisfaction of the children and family members. This is the result of our painful failure in achieving desired progress in the drive for poverty alleviation. Whatever achievement was made in this sector in the recent years has been offset by the price escalation and soaring inflation on the one hand and lack of employment generation on the other. 100-day employment generation programme is a positive step no doubt, but it is a temporary measure to help the extreme poor. What we need is substantial employment generation through long term plans and projects for poverty alleviation and control of prices.

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