The government’s promised compensation packages of rice have not reached the fishermen who were expecting them.
This sheds light on the bureaucratic inefficiency plaguing our system. From disaster relief to food aid for the poor, time and time again the government has failed to carry through its plans to reach out to the people who need it most.
Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made a pledge that no one should have to starve to death in this country -- at the very least, rice would be available for all.
Yet, hopes were quickly dampened due to the corrupt practices of ruling party men who misappropriated resources for their own profit, selling rice allocated for poor people to richer sections of society at a higher price.
The most recent example of irregularities regarding rice sees fishermen, who have been prohibited from fishing Ilish, deprived of the 20kgs of rice they were promised.
Fishermen now find themselves squeezed from both ends -- they can neither carry on with their regular livelihoods, nor can they live off the compensation packages they were promised.
Where is the allocated rice going? Such gross misallocation of government funds stalls progress and increases distrust towards programs which initially sound noble.
It is not enough to give out government directives. Proper implementation is key.
The government must stay vigilant against irregularities, and plug the many leaks in the system that allow massive amounts of the nations resources to go to waste, or end up in the pockets of corrupt officials.
Banning the cultivation of Ilish to preserve such a rare and precious resource makes sense. But to get fishermen to comply, the government must hold up its end of the bargain, and ensure the speedy and fair distribution of compensation for fishermen.
It is imperative that the government stops the misappropriation of public funds.