WHILE remittances from the Bangladeshi workers abroad, which reached Tk 1,20,000 crore in the past year, form a strong wheel of the Bangladesh economy, the outbound migrant workers continue to face various hurdles in the homeland to reach the countries of destination, the latest of the kind is to get their finger prints registered with the government authorities in the capital Dhaka. The registration of finger prints with the government’s authorities concerned is mandatory these days to get immigration clearance before their departure. But there is only one place, that too in the capital city, for millions of outbound workers to get the job done. The workers, after their visas attested with passports, require to give their finger prints following payment of Tk 200 each to the Expatriate Welfare Bank on the Eskaton Road in the Dhaka city. The result is obvious: several thousand workers from different regions of the country assemble, as New Age reports on Tuesday, in front of the Expatriate Welfare Bank every single working day for getting the finger prints registered. Given an unlimited number of workers assembled and a limited number of employees working with the bank, many workers having no relatives in the city to stay for a night or two face extraordinary sufferings everyday.
The solution to the problem lies in opening the offices for registering finger prints of the outbound workers at least at every upajila complex. The New Age report says that the government has decided to decentralise the service, but its immediate programme aims at opening the facility in the Chittagong town only. This is, in our view, is too inadequate. The most of the workers going overseas, mostly poor, after all, come from the rural areas of the country.
This is really unfortunate that the successive governments of Bangladesh continues to ignore the interests of the poor despite the fact that it is primarily the poor, such as migrant workers, apparel sectors workers and the farmers who provide, directly and indirectly, the maximum amount of money to keep the national economy moving. While a sense of gratitude to these highest contributors to the national economy should dictate the rulers to make all possible efforts to make their lives easier, the ruling classes of the country continues to ignore the interest of these workers without any hesitation. This must change, and to effect the changes, the conscientious sections of the people must raise their voice, in a sustained manner, against the criminal indifference of the powerful to the powerless poor in question.
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