The Faridpur district administration has undertaken an initiative to distribute humanitarian aid among 2.5 lakh helpless families using digital cards.
Officials said the aid scheme undertaken by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will benefit families whose breadwinners lost jobs due to coronavirus pandemic.
Dipak Kumar Roy, additional deputy commissioner (revenue) of the district, said they are using digital cards to prevent irregularities. The authorities can easily obtain all necessary information of the cardholders, including previous records, by scanning the barcode on the cards.
“Faridpur is the first district to adopt the method while implementing the project. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has already directed other districts to follow suit,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner Atul Sarkar told UNB that the cards will preserve all information of the beneficiary.
“We’ve already designed a website to store data of each ward, union and upazila of the district. It’ll contain updated information of humanitarian aid distribution activities in the district. Besides, a list of beneficiaries with their details will be stored there,” he added.
Masum Reza, Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Office, said they have already distributed relief items among 33,000 families using the cards.
The government announced a general holiday from March 26 and closed down all non-essential services, putting millions of people out of job, to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Later, the health authorities declared the whole Bangladesh vulnerable to infection and imposed heavy restriction on movement of people.
As the situation worsened, the holiday was extended to May 5 but since the outbreak is not showing any sign of slowing down, the shutdown is likely to be stretched.
The government has arranged relief and sale of essential items at low prices to help the poor but the move has been marred by reports of irregularities committed by public representatives.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has warned against irregularities in relief distribution. The Public Administration Ministry has suspended a number of public representatives for irregularities.