What comes as news is infact a social welfare gesture on part of the Bangladeshi authorities. The mayor of Chittagong, which is scheduled to hold two matches of the jointly hosted worldcup, has decided to cater to the problems of beggars. Announcing the
fact that the tourist inflow would not appreciate the presence of beggar population in the country, the Mayor has decided to call them off till the event ends. Amounting to a huge number of 300, the beggars are known to throng the dense streets of Chittagong
and Manzur Alam, the mayor, feels this would be bad for the country’s image. To solve this problem, he has decided to compensate every beggar for staying off the streets, awarding them money which exceeds their average daily income.
Though this might come as a surprise for some, but after the fiasco back at India, during the Common Wealth games, Bangladesh is taking no chances on its image. The authorities as well as the general population are seen to be keen to provide a neat and subtle
image of their population and truly distinguish its country off the negative image that has been often portrayed by the media. The local fans are going to lengths to ease the flow of events and hope to witness the home team in some exciting matches at their
home grounds. Great care has been taken to avoid the last minute withdrawal like that of Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India.
Manzur Alam, who plans to meet the beggar’s association later this week so as to organize the payments and appreciate its need. Settling down for a sensitive dealing of the said sensitive and delicate topic, the mayor is keeping sure to leave the stone unturned
so as to reach the best mutual decision that there is.
‘We want to treat this issue as humanely as possible’, commented Alam when inquired about the deal. ‘Many of these beggars are disabled and many have families and their children studying in schools and collages. So obviously, they must be compensated as
Statistics show that Bangladesh has an enormous population of 700,000 beggars in total, most disabled and married. The huge population does indeed give rise to a morewhat sad picture of the economy where the ever-increasing population fails to be acknowledged
by the rather shallow job market. Alongside other economic failures, a huge population seems to have been exploited by the tyranny of inflation, pushing them to streets for their basic needs. A study conducted back in 2005, showed that the average income per
day of a Bangladeshi beggar is 100 taka a day, all collected through charitable street donations. In reflection of this stat, the 150 taka per day promise by the mayor seems rather generous. Courtesy the media coverage of his decision and the requirement of
the time, the mayor is likely not to go back on his word. According to him, he will personally see that some 300 beggars are compensated the daily fares for atleast two months of disappearance off the streets. Whether this is taken by the tourists well enough
or not, is a tale that only time can tell.