Two rows of people surrounded a mini-truck in front of BDR Gate No. 3 near Azimpur cemetery in the capital. Today at 10 o’clock in the morning the temperature is 33. However, the feeling is 42 degrees Celsius. Someone’s umbrella, someone’s market bag on his head. An old woman has been standing in line for a long time. About an hour later his turn came. After buying two male products, one woman can take them. When asked about the reason for this inequality, the sellers said that the number of men for lockdown is now higher. At that time women came more. He had to be harassed to reach the truck. Sweating and soaking. He handed over two hundred rupees notes and said, I will just take the oil. With two two-liter oil bottles, he gasped as he came up the sidewalk.
The name is Archana Bhadra. Women over sixty do not mind talking. He is doing the work even though there are three men in the house. He is relieved that the people of the house will not be ashamed if he takes this product of TCB himself. Archana Bhadra’s family number is 9. When asked why he only took oil, he said that the rice truck is different. Will come again tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Archana Bhadra lives in Khalek Lane, New Paltan. He has been in Dhaka for seven years. They have a joint family with two sons. The boys have a shop in Newmarket. Rental shop. Closed for a long time for lockdown. However, the people in the area know the boys well and are ashamed to stand in the line of TCB. And he did not allow the father of the boys to come by himself. The scorching sun forbade the old man to leave the house as he would not tolerate it.
The government-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has started selling products at affordable prices for one month from Monday. Many had already come and waited at designated places like Palashi Junction, Azimpur, Jigatla. Two rows of men and women lined up in front of BDR Gate No. 3. The quarrel started. Dealers of TCB dealers are giving products to women one by one with two men. The waiting women were tired of standing in the sun, complaining that some were even taking two packages. As a result, many are afraid to return empty-handed in the end.
The sellers said that they brought 600 liters of oil in a truck. It was found that people need more cooking oil than sugar and pulses. It saves more to buy. Six hundred and fifty liters of oil ran out of the TCB truck in front of Gate No. 3 of BDR by 12:30 pm. Pulses and sugar are still sufficient. Not everyone is taking the whole package. Soybean oil is now being sold at Rs 145 to Rs 155 per liter. 100 per liter of TCB oil. That means saving about one hundred rupees in two liters of oil.
Talking to the sellers, the quarrel started again in the men’s line. Someone has come forward to break a rule. Others who are waiting will not accept it, because they too have been waiting in the hot sun for a long time. Everyone’s face has turned red. This quarrel of the men gave the women a chance to take precedence. Some were saying, leaving small children at home. It is important to return first.
A small shopper was found in the men’s line. Saddam went to class seven. This is the first time he has come to buy TCB products. Seeing such a small baby buyer, some were skeptical, perhaps with family members. Talking about this, the situation became a bit heated. An old man came forward from behind Saddam. On behalf of Saddam, he took a package and handed it to her. He said he was Saddam’s landlord. There is only mother and younger sister in her house, so there is no one to come. Asked to know if he had come to buy TCB products as a landlord, he said he was a little annoyed. Two of the four tenants of his house in Lockdown have left home and returned to the village.
I asked Saddam if it was bad for him to buy cheap products. Holding pulses, sugar, oil in two small hands with a face reddened in the heat, the child said, not feeling bad; Because it will help his unemployed father a little. Her father is not at home now. This kindness towards the family of so many people, even if only for a while, brought silence among the buyers present. Those who had been complaining for so long, now they looked at the child with sympathy. By then he was able to take the product and ran in the guise of a winner. Some of the people who came to pick up TCB products smiled a little indulgently this time. In fact, the people standing in a queue for the need to become one.
The image of TCB’s product buyers has been changing since the Corona supermarket. Shyness and shame have been defeated by the needs of the people. Middle class people are also appearing in front of the minitruck. In the last few months, many people have become unemployed, the only earner in the family. For those who have moved from the middle class to the lower middle class, this saving in food prices is a bit of a relief.
One such person was found as a buyer here. There are five family members of Bailey Mali in Mymensingh. The husband is an employee of Dhaka University. Soybean oil is also in demand by Bailey Mali, a resident of Azimpur. Previously did not stand in line for TCB products. Now he has to come, if he wants to know if he feels bad for this, he said, there is no chance to pay attention to the bad feeling. It is difficult to run a family now with a small income. He used to do some odd jobs himself. Lockdown says he has stopped working. So come to take the product at a slightly lower price.
All the goods of the truck here are almost finished in one day. The sellers were assuring the buyers, will come every day for a month from now. You can take it tomorrow without rushing so much. But in the midst of this lockdown, the people who come out of the house once to the truck in the hot sun are anxious. Fear, if it stops again! After the sale of TCB’s products started from July 5, it was closed again from July 19. The activities started from July 26 will continue for a month. Sugar and lentil pulses are being sold at Tk 55 per kg in TCB trucks. A buyer can buy a maximum of four kg of sugar and two kg of pulses. Besides, a buyer can buy two to five liters of soybean oil at Rs 100 per liter.
Some are complaining that even well-to-do people join the queue, making it uncertain for them to get products from time to time. Many people buy from here and sell at higher prices in shops. However, no one will accept that as a buyer. Many present were embarrassed to speak.
As I left behind shoppers like Bailey Mali and Saddam, I saw an old man walking with a bottle of oil in his hand. The bangles on his hands are glistening in the sun. That worship is polite. Who had his own house in Comilla. Once upon a time there was some crop land. The children are allowed to invest in their business by selling them so that they can do business. Until Corona, everything was going well for Archana Bhadra’s children.
Two brothers used to sell clothes in a rental shop in New Market. They used to return home at noon every day and eat rice together with everyone. Now he is walking around empty handed as the shop is closed in lockdown. However, it is important to maintain self-respect with acquaintances. So don’t line yourself up as a buyer of affordable products. So Archana Bhadra stands in front of the truck for a long time to save the children’s honor. After waiting, he saved the rickshaw fare and walked back to the dilapidated house of one of the narrow houses in the city.