COVID-19 response: Raising awareness among Jashore Light Engineering workshops and retail outlets

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Due to COVID-19 induced restrictions, hundreds of Light Engineering (LE) workshops and retail outlets based in Jashore municipality are experiencing a slow-down of business. The extended lockdown has resulted into disruption in the supply chain and reduction in sales and revenue. Furthermore, limited or no compliance towards the Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) guidelines has made the workers more vulnerable during the times of pandemic. PRABRIDDHI in association with the Jashore Municipality, is raising awareness among the LE enterprises of Jashore to protect their livelihood.

Jashore municipality is the prominent LE hub of the South-west region of Bangladesh, supporting the livelihoods of thousands of people. According to a joint study commissioned by PRABRIDDHI and Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST), more than 2,600 full-time workers are employed in the Jashore LE sector, generating substantial revenue for the local economy. With the lockdown reimposed to prevent the recent spread of COVID-19, this impactful sector has been hit hard.  

PRABRIDDHI joined hands with the Jashore municipality, Jashore Agri-machineries Merchant Association, Jashore Auto-Parts Association and Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners' Association (Jashore hub) to safeguard the livelihood of the Light Engineering (LE) enterprises and thousands of their workers. GoB and WHO endorsed health messages were promoted by distributing festoons among 250 LE retail outlets and by displaying banners at 15 major LE transactional hubs. Moreover, 2,200 reusable 3-layered cloth masks and 220 sanitiser dispensers were distributed among 220 LE workshops in Jashore. These measures are enabling the LE sector of Jashore to become more resilient during the pandemic. 

Mr. Haider Ghani Khan, Mayor of Jashore municipality, spoke highly of PRABRIDDHI for taking prompt steps to execute a successful COVID-19 emergency response for the LE sector. “We are always ready to collaborate with the project for the greater good of the local enterprises”, he added.

“In this unprecedented time, any kind of support carries greater value. Thanks to PRABRIDDHI and Jashore municipality for providing us with catchy festoons containing COVID-19 safety guidelines”, Mr. Selim Reza, Vice President, Jashore Agriculture Machineries Merchant Association, expressed his gratitude to the project. “I expect the festoons can make the enterprises and their customers more aware of the hygiene and social distancing etiquette”, he shared. 

Mr. Harunur Rashid, Secretary of the Jashore Light Engineering Association, recounted the timely supports PRABRIDDHI has extended to the local LE sector. “Providing COVID-19 safety products to the poor workers, who cannot afford to buy single-use face masks and sanitizers for daily use, was considered as a gesture of goodwill to ensure safe working environment”, he added.