Sufferings of poor in winter season
Bangladesh, having a tropical climate, summer is more usual wherein winter stays only for two months or even less as our current geographical genre is changing rapidly. Due to the celebration of many festivities like wedding season, Pitha festivals, winter vacation, Picnic and outdoor programmes, sports etc. winter is considered as an enjoyable month, especially for those who belong solvent class. However, this is just one side of the story.
Winter is neither an enjoyable season nor a season of festival for those who live below the poverty line and their condition turns for the worse in hostile weather. People, who live in the street under the open sky, do not often get any blankets or warm clothes to protect themselves from the biting cold.
So many people in our country suffer to a great extent owing to the fact that winter is a rough season. People from the northern part especially Dinajpur, Kurigram, Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Gaibandha and Nilphamari etc suffer most in winter season because temperature decreases most in these parts of Bangladesh. Villagers are often seen warming themselves around a fire of straw. Poor slum people become very helpless but it is the elder people and children who suffer the worst. They fail to tolerate the extreme coldness and suffer from various diseases such as pneumonia, cold diarrhoea, cough, fever, asthma due to bitterly cold weather. Experts say that cold weather kills 20 times more people than any other season. Aklima Akter, a 32 year old and mother of 3 children said that her son of two and half years old died last year due to pneumonia. They could not provide him with proper treatment and medicine, not even with proper clothing for winter. Another one, named Barkatullah, said "We has to stay under the open sky of pavement at night in the shivering cold. We neither have any house or sufficient cloths to protect ourselves nor do we get any shelter to stay."These sufferings are not just a story of one family; these are the story of most of the poor people who cannot even cover their selves with necessary warm clothing.
Though government has started to distribute winter clothes for the season but depending on the severity of the situation, the process is moving much slower. However, many voluntary organizations have already started their winter clothing collection and distribution activities and people from all walks of life are participating spontaneously to reduce the immense sufferings of the underprivileged residents of the country.
Writer is an Operation Coordinator
of AIIM Global Ltd.