Betel leaf orchard fire

Stand by the affected growers

Published : 14 Mar 2024 08:53 PM

Cultivation of betel leaf has been playing a vital role towards vitalising the rural economy since long as the living condition and livelihood of many villagers depend on the cash crop in many districts of our country. Since long, betel leaf has been acting as the main driving force for farmers, workers and businessmen in terms of their livelihood.

Farmers sell their harvested betel leaves to the businessmen at weekly markets directly from their plantation field. As a whole, betel leaf is more profitable than other crops as the growers avail of the scopes of selling the cash crop in local markets easily.

But, a devastating fire has burnt around 5,000 bighas of betel leaf orchard to ashes at Bheramara upazila in Kushtia district on Sunday. Therefore, about 2000 betel leaf growers’ dreams turned into ashes now. 

The fire broke out on Sunday noon at several villages in the Bahadur and Mokarimpur unions in Kushtia’s Bheramara upazila. The fire spread quickly due to the presence of cane used in farming betel leaves, according to media reports. 

Locals said the fire originated from the garden of one farmer and soon engulfed the adjacent gardens and houses. The farmers do not know what to do now. 

There is nothing left except burnt earth. Betel leaf is popularly known as ‘paan’ in our country. 

There is nothing left 

except burnt earth

Pubic representatives and local administration inspected the ruined betel leaf orchards. Therefore, we think they will stand by the affected farmers during this crisis.

The government will also have to take all out measures to help farmers and mitigate their sufferings. The local administration must prepare a list of affected farmers, who will be given government aid and cash.

We believe human beings show humanitarian approaches by standing by one other during any disaster. Apart from government, political leaders and workers, public representatives and the affluent people will also have to stand by the affected farmers. 

The affected farmers have been passing through an inhuman life for want of food as many houses were also burnt to ashes alongside betel leaf orchard by the devastating fire while huge cropland was destroyed. We believe the affected people will get adequate relief materials and other succor to survive alongside cash money to restore their damaged plantation field.   

We hope, the authorities in association with local representatives of people including  lawmakers, upazila chairmen, municipality chairmen, union parishad chairmen and councillors will enlist the names of affected growers and take necessary measures to alleviate their suffering.