'13pc become homeless during monga'
Monga Mukto Bangladesh Pracharabhijan Daptar, an initiative of Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad and ActionAid Bangladesh, launched its four-day rallies yesterday to raise awareness of the famine like situation among the people as well as the government.
A press conference was held at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity to formally launch the rallies that would touch Bogra, Joypurhat, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari and Jamalpur districts.
Pracharabhijan also conducted a benchmark survey where it was found that 13 percent people become homeless per year during monga period, 37 percent people loss their work ability, 84 percent people in Joypurhat live in homes which are unusable and 88 percent people have became ridden with loans by the local mohajans (money lenders).
The speakers said the monga-free rallies would share experience with the monga victims and their way of fighting the annual phenomenon, cultural programme on the issue and a grand rally ending with a declaration at Gaibandha.
Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad Chairman Dr Kazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed said, “Equal opportunity should be created for all the monga-affected people to fight it,” adding, “Although the political pledge to fight monga in their election manifestoes, but do not work on it.”
Journalist Abul Moksud said, “Conducting research is not enough to fight monga, pressure should be created on the government for proper planning to manage it.” He suggested for developing cottage industries and distribution of cultivable and khas (fallow) land among the farmers to face the situation.
The speakers also suggested for land reform, investment in agriculture, livelihood training and creating pressure on the government to save women and children from trafficking and migration.
President of National Advisory Committee of Pracharabhijan Daptar and Chairman of Krishi Bank Khandker Ibrahim Khaled and ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir also spoke at the programme.