nobbo 'mohajon' (the new Shylock)

A pathetic tale of unrelieved poverty driving a family to suicide has been reported from Rajshahi.

All the six members of a family in the village Bagmara in Rajshahi attempted suicide by taking poison but were saved by timely intervention of neighbours. The reason, simply failing to completely repay NGOs a mere loan of 97,000 tk in time, though most of it has been repayed. According to news report, Alam Hossain, a rickshaw van driver, his wife, their two sons and their wives had drawn a loan of Taka 97,000 from four NGOs, namely BRAC, Caritas, IRDP and SHARP.

Obviously, the loansharks were not simply talking of loan but the loan plus the oppressive rates of interest. Last week officials from the NGOs went to the house of the beneficiary and pressed them for payment by Sunday, or else ----- . Or else they would confiscate the house and all that the family possessed including the CI sheets of the roof. All the pleas of the poor family to grant more time for payment went unheeded. Impoverished, harassed by NGO officials and driven to desperation, they tried to avail themselves of the ultimate escape chute which they felt was their only escape from the pain and humiliation.

and yet the leaders of these NGO get to wine and dine with the top brass, and are more than often potrayed as national heroes and 'saviours of the poor and downtrodden'. Bill Gates, on his 12 hr trip to Bangladesh, made time to visit a BRAC project. so, one can just imagine how far their arms reach!!!

we are always taught to hate the monsters in our history book, at the same time turning our eyes away from the present day monsters.

will not we, humans, who proud ourselves as the best of creation, learn to raise above the self and put humanity and justice above all? will the day not come, when poverty alleviation will not be just empty rhetorics, but sincere will of our leaders?

read the complete article from daily independent-bangladesh

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