Empty streets, closed shop doors and a few faces dwelling on the roads in masks-- this is how Dhaka, one of the busiest cities, looks in isolation. While most individuals employed in management and other official sectors are working from home at the moment, the daily labourers, who composite a large number of our population, such as rickshaw and van pullers, house maids, blacksmiths and potters are left jobless for several weeks now. To help them, Eco-Network, an organisation founded by 7 university students to conserve nature and rebuild our environment, has extended their work boundaries with few initiatives, which includes distribution of food and cleaning items to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Eco-Network began their food distribution with Dhaka on March 23, and slowly went on to extend their help in Cumilla, Gaibandha, Kushtia, Kishoreganj, Mymensingh and Rajshahi. Each giveaway box consists of groceries for 15 days, including rice (5 kg), lentils (1 kg), cooking oil (0.5 litre), salt (0.5 kg) and a savlon soap. Alongside the distribution, they have also initiated a video awareness campaign online with the help of their Nepal ambassador Saru Pyakurel, Nigerian ambassador Smith Nwokocha and youth leader Anika Thasin.
In the last few days, they have reached over 350 families and are hoping to reach more in the following weeks. "Now that there are no work opportunities, many families are stuck in their houses with no food. However, cleanliness and restricted exposure to social places like roads, public transports, and schools, is the only way to fight this pandemic. So, before we give the boxes away, we teach them how to use hand sanitizers as well," shares Shamim Ahmed Mridha, the founder of the organisation. "We welcome anyone who wants to join us in this initiative. You can connect with us through our Facebook page."