January 30, 2008

Rotten sympathies vs the power of one

After the devastating blow of cyclone Sidr, which has claimed about 5000 lives (unofficial figures) and damages were in billions of dollars, Bangladesh received good responses from world communities. Many nations pledged millions of dollars of donations to overcome this loss. But after two months only a portion of the donations reached Bangladesh.

Pakistan and India had sent rice as aid among other things. This could be an welcome gift to the hundreds of thousands of Sidr victims as the price of rice soared in the country due to inflation. However according to this report 22 containers full of rice sent from Pakistan were found damaged and rotten. Ten tonnes of the rice received from India were also found to be rotten.
Ayub Meah, secretary of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, said: “We will urge Pakistan to substitute the same with unblemished rice. But we will not force them to replace the rotten rice since it is not a commercial cargo. It is a normal practice to destroy damaged food items at the port.”
I hope this was due to mismanagement in transport and not for other reasons.

In another news we get to know that an anonymous philanthropist had donated $130 million alone to rebuild the battered life of Sidr victims in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. His/her donation is a far bigger amount than the wealthiest nations in this world. So hats off to this person and he/she is included in my prayers.

I will share with you another story of about a decade ago. When I was working with a renowned trading house of world renowned Electronics brands in Bangladesh, they announced a gift of one TV for each of the members of Bangladesh cricket team to celebrate one of their surprised big wins. This was widely advertised in newspapers. But as per my knowledge these TVs were never delivered to the Cricket team members. I guess everybody forgot.

I sincerely hope that the donors of Sidr victim will not forget and fulfill their pledge.


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