Monday, April 28

Deja vu', fighting over rotten rice

One of my earliest memories is to see Bangladeshi refuguees in 1971 fighting over left over food thrown in garbage bins. It is tragic to see that more than 35 years after independence, they are still fighting over rotten food.

Bangladesh deployed troops at a dumping site near the country’s main
Chittagong port yesterday to stop poor people from collecting rotten rice,
officials said. “The dumping site has been cordoned, and the relevant
authorities have been asked not to dump rotten rice at unrestricted spots
anymore,” a security official said.

Hundreds of poor people thronged the dumping
site as the food department started ditching some 500 tonnes of damaged rice on
Friday. Nearly half of Bangladesh’s 140mn people live on an income less than a
dollar per day and their plight has worsened since rice and other food prices
started rising this year.

The retail price of a kilo of rice and wheat has risen
by 100% since last year to around 40 taka ($0.58) and 45 taka respectively,
officials said. Bangladesh faces food shortages after the country lost around
3mn tonnes of rice and wheat in a series of floods and a devastating cyclone
last year.

The dumped rice had been donated for the victims of Cyclone Sidr by
Pakistan but was damaged during shipment in January. “The rice is still not too
bad, we are sure this will not harm us,” said Manjula Begum, a mother of three
children, after collecting a bowl of rice.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

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