VGF Card In Pabna: Ultra-poor deprived as ‘political men’ preferred

Many ultra-poor people in Atghoria upazila under Pabna district have been deprived of the Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme as most the 1,500 names in the recently prepared list were included allegedly under political considerations.

Some 250 new names were included in the VGF list in each of five unions and the municipality area under Atghoria upazila while the local lawmaker signed the lists, sources said.

Demanding inclusion of their names in the VGF list, several hundred ultra-poor people, who were dropped from the new VGF list, staged demonstration in front of the UNO office on Wednesday.

Officials and UP chairmen, however, said they have nothing to do in this regard as the new list was recommended by the local MP.

Sujon and Mamun, sons of local AL leader Azizul Bishwas of village Jumaikhiri in Atghoria upazila, possessed VGF cards although they are traders and not so poor, locals said.

Eman of the same village also got VGF card although he is an established farmer and cultivated at least 15 bigha of land this year, they said.

Similar condition would be found in all the unions and the municipality area of the upazila as many ultra-poor people have been left out of the new list while the AL men have got VGF cards under political consideration, sources said.

“Recently we have a got a list signed by Shamsur Rahman Sharif Dilu, the MP from Pabna-4 constituency. Most of the names in this list have been included under political consideration,” Md Shahidul Islam Shahid, acting UP chairman of Debotter union parishad in Atghoria upazila, said yesterday.

“Deprived vulnerable and ultra-poor people of my union come to me for VGF cards but I have nothing to do,” he said.

“Earlier union parishad chairmen and members prepared the VGF list. But new names have been included in the list with the order of the local MP. So the problem cannot be solved without changing the list,” said Atghoria Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Masudul Haque.

Despite repeated attem-pts, this correspondent yesterday failed to contact lawmaker Shamsur Rahman Sharif Dilu over cell phone as his cell phone was found switched off.

Source: The Daily Star, 04 April 2009


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