THE large South Shields Bangladeshi community has joined forces to help people in its stricken homeland.
The latest period of political turmoil in Bangladesh began in January, when police banned protests by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in the capital Dhaka, on the anniversary of last year’s general election.
It has led to a round of political violence, which has claimed many lives, and to frequent strikes and transport blockades, hampering economic activity in the country, by preventing businesses from operating normally.
Worried members of South Shields Bangladeshi community, many of whom live in the town centre and work in the restaurants along the town’s famous Ocean Road, have looked on from afar with increased alarm.
Members of the Greater Sylhet Council UK recently held a meeting in the street’s Grill and Chill venue, where members were able to share their concerns.
The community has also collected clothes to parcel off and send to people living in the hard-hit Habiganj district of Bangladesh.
Aid organiser Ali Hayder said: “There is a real crisis and turmoil in Bangladesh that needs to be addressed, and the community here in South Shields is very concerned.
“We wanted to meet and discuss what was happening and to do all we can to show our support for the people in Bangladesh.”