A large number of marginalised people have been spending their days starving or eating just one meal in a day during the coronavirus pandemic, speakers said at a webinar on Wednesday.
They said unemployment and poverty are increasing among these people.
They also said a big number of marginalised people did not get any government relief in the last three months. Some got, but not more than five kilogrammes of rice.
The speakers were addressing the webinar titled "Marginalised people during Covid-19: Inclusion and exclusion". It was organised by Manusher Jonno Foundation.
According to information given by the speakers, 21,826 Dalits and Harijans, 29,631 disabled people and 49,239 fishermen did not receive any government assistance during the period from April to June.
On the other hand, only 4,100 families in the three hill districts and tribal communities of the plainland received government benefits, which is only 25 percent of the total people in those areas, said the speakers.
Speaking as the chief guest, Planning Minister MA Mannan said, "The country has been affected by several disasters in a row – coronavirus, cyclone Amphan, and finally, flood."
The government is trying to tackle the situation but other entities such as non-governmental organisations should also come forward for help, he added.
Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said, "The government is trying to address all the challenges and has taken good initiatives accordingly, but there have been problems in relief distributions."
Among others, Centre for Policy Dialogue's distinguished fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya and Country Representative of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) Judith Herbertson also spoke at the programme.