Sun Jun 14 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
“I grew up hearing adults in my community complain about problems in the US and Bangladesh. These complaints came from sentiments of dissatisfaction regarding negative aspects of the status quo that impacted them directly or emotionally. When I would ask, “Why don’t we do something about it?”, I’d be dismissed with a jaded ‘kichu hobe na’ or ‘jairokkom asse oirokkom e thakhbe.’ It’s sad to see such frustration about serious issues without actions being taken to solve them. Luckily, as I noticed members of my generation proactively taking matters into their own hands, I gradually gained an unshakeable sense of optimism and pursued better outcomes.
This year has been challenging for people, globally. As an empath and someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, and anger issues, I was deeply disturbed after learning the state of healthcare in Bangladesh, especially amidst this pandemic. COVID-19 cases are under-reported, there are not nearly enough testing kits to accommodate the population, there are less than 2,000 ventilators in a country of 161 million people, hospitals are closing, doctors are absent due to lack of protective gear, and people are being refused treatment. I had a loved one die in the waiting room of a public hospital.
Some friends and I agreed that something has to be done and put together a petition for the UN to urge the Bangladeshi government to take action, as well as a complaint to the UN. We’ve also reached out to 16 human rights organizations to see if they can provide external aid to the healthcare workers and facilities in Bangladesh. One organization, Physicians for Human Rights, is asking for contact with doctors in Bangladesh who can speak honestly about the conditions there, This has not been easy with the fear of the Bangladeshi Digital Security Act - a law that is basically invoked to suppress free speech.
We’re still trying to find these contacts and are still collecting signatures for our petition, which is why I am speaking on this platform. We need your help. For more information, you can check out my IG post or the link in my bio.”