Caritas Dinajpur region in northern Bangladesh has distributed 1,500 blankets to poor people amid a cold snap. (Photo: Caritas Dinajpur)
Catholic charity Caritas and other social organizations have started distributing warm clothes and blankets to thousands of people as a cold snap hit Bangladesh.
Caritas has already distributed 3,500 blankets in three winter-prone areas in Dinajpur, Rajshahi, and Sylhet areas of the country, officials of the agency said.
Caritas Dinajpur office which covers northern Bangladesh, a cold-hit region, distributed 1,500 blankets among 1,081 poor people, said regional director Ronjon John Paul Rozario.
“We have distributed these blankets mainly among the poor people, irrespective of caste and creed. If more winter comes, we will collect some money and distribute warm clothes,” Rozario told UCA News.
Besides Caritas, Dinajpur Diocese has distributed 1,000 blankets and another 500 blankets will be delivered soon.
Suresh Chandra Das, 36, a Hindu from Dinajpur district thanked the church authorities after receiving a blanket for his family.
“The winter seems more severe this year. Our is a five-member family and we are suffering in severe winter. We work as day laborers, and we can't do anything to fight the severe cold. A blanket from the church is helpful but we need more,” Das told UCA News.
Media reports say extreme cold has triggered suffering for thousands of people in rural areas as many are unable to go to work while women and children are confined at home. The winter spell has sparked a surge in various diseases including colds and coughing.
Meteorologists say the cold northern wind has been active in various parts of the country amid dense fog over the past few days. Sreemangal area in the northeastern Moulvibazar district recorded the lowest 8.5 degrees Celsius temperature on Jan. 3.
Meteorologist Shahinul Islam told UCA News that two to three cold waves are predicted in the country in January and added that severe cold weather may start by the end of next week.
Various private banks have donated money for the poor people in the Prime Minister's Fund, while social organizations have been distributing warm clothes to poor people.
Hope for Life, a social organization, distributed 550 winter clothes in the Sylhet district.
Akash Ahmed, the chief coordinator of the organization, said that rich people should come forward to help the poor.
“We have distributed blankets from our own funds. We are trying to raise a fund and are getting quite a response. I hope we can help more people. I request those who have the ability to extend a helping hand to the people,” Ahmed told UCA News.