Under the strain

Low-income families reel from stubborn inflation

Updated: 2024-07-09 09:49
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A vegetable stall at Kawran Bazar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sept 21, 2022. MAHMUD HOSSAIN/AP

Editor's note: In this weekly feature China Daily gives voice to Asia and its people. The stories presented come mainly from the Asia News Network (ANN), of which China Daily is among its 20 leading titles.

One of the longest spells of high inflation in recent decades has severely hit many households in Bangladesh, with food costs in the country making up a major portion of their bills.

On the side of the road near the Mohammadpur Townhall area in capital Dhaka, about 50 people, mostly rickshaw pullers, were either waiting in their seats or lying on passenger seats and vans one recent evening.

They were eagerly looking out for a car — a group of people in the vehicle usually comes to the largely residential area at about 7 pm and distributes free cooked food such as rice and curries.

But on that evening, two hours had passed and there was no sign of them.

Thirty-eight-year-old Mohammad Sumon was one of the rickshaw pullers. He, along with his wife, and neighbor Mohammad Tuhin, had been sitting in a van. The couple live in a rented house in a slum near the Allah Karim Mosque.

Speaking to The Daily Star, they said they may have to go to bed unfed since free food was not available in the evening and there was no food at home.

Sumon said they came here with the hope that the people, whose identities could not be known, would distribute the food like they did since the beginning of Ramadan in early March.

"It has given me a lot of relief as we have been eating and also taking food for our other family members."

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