Bede’s dire state amid lockdown; ‘Shopner Khoje’ standing by them
Published: 05:36 PM, 24 April 2021
Floating Bede community settlement in a Mahogany garden at Kalyankhali village of Maijpara UP in Narail Sadar Upazila
The members of the floating Bede community in Narail are living in a dire state. Unable to get out to work, they are having a hard time with family members, including children. No one has come forward to cooperate with them yet. The members of this community want the opportunity to earn income by following the hygiene rules.
It is learned that there are floating Bede communities living on the banks of Madhumati, Nabaganga, Chitra, Kajla, and other rivers in the Narail district. Currently, there are 5 to 6 Bede communities in different areas including Narail Sadar upazila’s Habkhali, Maijpara, Gobra, Kalia upazila’s Mahajan areas.
This floating community switch places every few days to facilitate their business, however, they got stuck due to the lockdown. The Bede community cannot go to work now, as a result, they are living an inhumane life.
A Bede community is stationed in a Mahogany garden at Kalyankhali village of Maijpara UP in Narail Sadar Upazila. 16 families came and stayed here about a month ago. They were earning well before the lockdown – but now, they cannot go to their village for the lockdown.
Khaleda, a member of Bede Palli, said there was no income after the lockdown and even can’t go to the village. When going to someone's house for help, they “chase” them away. “We can’t properly eat now. I can’t think of a way to run my family. I could have survived if the government had cooperated a little,” she added.
10 families have been staying in Gobra area in Sadar upazila for more than two months. They were managing the family expenses by visiting different areas and with the help and cooperation. But due to the increase in Covid-19 infection and lockdown, they cannot go out for the last 11 days. Sometimes they secretly go out to the village but no one is talking with them properly.
Meanwhile, Narail DC Mohammad Habibur Rahman has distributed masks as well as giving cautionary advice on Covid-19 prevention among this Bede community in Gobra.
About a month ago, a Bede party was stationed at Bagdanga village in Habkhali UP of Sadar upazila. They also can’t get out of the village amid lockdown. For this, the members of this Bede community are living a very inhuman life. However, even though it is late, Narail-2 MP Mashrafe bin Mortaza is coming forward with the help of these Bede people.
Some enthusiastic college and university students in Narail have started providing food aid with the help of Mashrafe bin Mortaza. They started giving food items including rice, pulses, oil, onion and garlic under the patronage of Mashrafe through their voluntary organization ‘Shopner Khoje Foundation’.
“We have been carrying out educational programs and awareness programs to improve the quality of life of the Bede community under the initiative of ‘Shopner Khoje Foundation’,” said Mirza Ghalib Satej, the founder of the organization, adding that the organization is giving food aid as well as free medical services to these people.
Narail DC Mohammad Habibur Rahman said 5-7 Bede communities are living temporarily in different areas of the riverine Narail district. They shift places after a few days. They will be given the necessary food assistance in the lockdown. Besides food aid, activities will also be undertaken to improve the living conditions of these Bede communities, including health awareness.