“We are quarantined and facing starvation. Can we be taken from here and sheltered in isolation? I don’t know what will kill us — will it be the coronavirus or hunger?”- hijra/transgender community member.
Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), one of the largest national grant making organizations in Bangladesh has taken an initiative to support a significant number of sex workers, hijra/transgender citizens, and persons with disabilities for the dreadful crisis they are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although several institutions are coming forward with relief and other assistance for the most vulnerable people, these particular groups are being neglected due to social stigma and are being deprived of basic needs such as food, shelter, and access to health services.
Sex workers, who depend on their daily income for most of their livelihood, have very little chance at savings, and as such leaving at least 20,000 sex workers unemployed and 6,000 homeless during this pandemic.
“In the last 10 years, I have not faced such a horrible crisis. For us, no income means no food. I had only Tk 800 on March 21 for managing expenses for me and my two children” said Laila, a name she uses for her customers.
The other excluded community, who often struggle to even appear to receive relief, are people with disabilities. They face a host of challenges such as unemployment, economic hardship, and social stigma in normal circumstances. Many of them used to work in ready-made garment factories which have shut down due to COVID-19. Without any source of income their lives are in precarious situations.
MJF is appealing you to come forward and stand by these marginalized people during this time of crisis by donating any possible amount and keeping these people alive.
MJF has partnered up with Alokito Shishu Founation, a platform run by youth dedicated to educating the underprivileged children of Bangladesh, who will leverage their nationwide volunteer networks to raise funds and distribute relief support.
MJF has set a target of assisting 1000 vulnerable people belonging to communities of sex workers, hijra/transgender, and people with disabilities by transferring BDT 1,500 to each of them. The stipulated amount will help these people survive for 3-4 weeks. While the above is the target, the actual number of beneficiaries will depend on the total amount we are able to collect.
WE URGE YOU TO DONATE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE SO THESE PEOPLE CAN GET THE HELP THEY DESPERATELY NEED!
Md. Ahmadul Haque
Md Mofijul Khan
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