In Bangladesh, starvation and death have struck hard at the people living in Rangpur district.?
In Bangladesh, starvation and death have struck hard at the people living in Rangpur district. No one knows the exact death toll but Indian newspapers have reported figures ranging up to eight thousand dead. The famine in Rangpur was caused by heavy floods washing away the summer rice-crop.
In an attempt to cope with the situation, the local administration has set up refugee camps and gruel kitchens but has been swamped by the thousands, or rather tens of thousands of landless labourers and their families who have rushed to the camps in the hope of getting food. Rangpur officials estimate that one million people, a fifth of the district's population, will be depending on the gruel kitchens. The gruel is a compound of wheat and coarse grain and provides little nourishment. Rice, the usual staple food of the people, has been priced far out of reach of most. A labourer would have to work for two whole days to buy a single pound of rice.
People living in the refugee camps have no blankets, many lack clothing, and cholera and dysentery are rampant. Under such circumstances many die and are buried without ceremony in unmarked graves.