In Bangladesh, there is currently a strict lockdown in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. In Kutupalong and Cox’s Bazar, the lockdown has had a huge impact on the communities we work with, leaving many people unable to work and without any income. Whilst the prices for necessities have increased substantially leaving many unable to afford basic supplies for their families.
Programme Manager Sudeb Rudra said “The Covid-19 situation is worse this year compared to last year. Coronavirus has a great impact on celebrating Ramadan. The whole world is crying today because of the virus. People from all walks of life are in trouble. The lockdown system has been introduced so that the coronavirus cannot spread, but this results in a huge loss of income for common people. In addition, as a result of the pandemic and lockdown, the prices of essential commodities have increased boundlessly. Which is beyond the purchasing power of the common person. The price is almost double this year as it was last year. At the same time, there is no income.”
We spoke to Nural’s father Khurshed and school teacher Monira Begum to find out how Ramadan is different for them this year:
“The government has imposed a lockdown due to the increase in the infection and death rate of coronavirus due to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. According to government rules, leaving home is restricted without an urgent need, so necessary shopping for Ramadan while maintaining social distance is very hard and I have to do everything myself.
However, I am celebrating Ramadan better with my family members than many other people in the society whose income is already stopped due to lockdown. Every year during the month of Ramadan, my father was by my side. But since my father died last year, I have to handle all my work alone.
Although Ramadan is a month of joy, I can't enjoy being with my family because of the coronavirus. The epidemic is affecting our lives in various ways during the celebration of Ramadan such as job loss, lack of income, family financial problems, etc. I myself face a lot of problems like I can't go to school properly. The fear of losing a job as a result of not being able to go to school always haunts me. There is a scarcity of goods at the market and the prices are very high. I can't participate in social work”.
Children on the Edge is continuing to support teachers in Bangladesh during lockdown and whilst the Learning Centres are closed.