বৃহস্পতিবার, ১৩ জুন ২০২৪, ০৬:২৫ পূর্বাহ্ন

Change Agent Conference-2024 Positive change requires collective effort and conviction

ডেইলী বেঙ্গল গেজেট রিপোর্ট
  • প্রকাশের সময় : সোমবার, ৩ জুন, ২০২৪ ৮:৫৮ pm

 

Christian Aid organized a conference in Gazipur last 2nd & 3rd May- 2024 on Empowering Minority Communities and Backward Left to participate effectively in the development process of Bangladesh.

The backward communities of Bangladesh suffer from discrimination and deprivation in the society due to various reasons. Although the extent of this inequality varies from community to community, it is one of the reasons behind their backwardness. According to Lore Census, about 8.91% of the total population of Bangladesh are religious minorities, a large part of which are discriminated against only on the basis of caste and occupational identity. This community is better known as Dalit community. Apart from this, there are about 16.51 lakh plains tribes who are known by the state as minor ethnic groups of the plains.

The Sylhet region of Bangladesh has more than 1 million tea communities who are discriminated against due to their occupational identity. A significant part of the country’s population is the Hijra and Transgender community and the disabled who face various forms of discrimination in society due to gender diversity and physical disabilities. Bangladesh currently has about 12,629 sexually diverse populations and about 23,61,604 persons with disabilities. Although there are specific laws for the protection of disabled people, many of them remain outside the social protection zone due to obstacles in their proper implementation. Furthermore, as there is no specific law to reduce discrimination against other backward communities, no effective initiatives are observed to eliminate the ongoing discrimination against them. It should be noted that with the aim of reducing discriminatory practices against backward communities and empowering them by increasing their capacity and ensuring their active participation in the development of Bangladesh, Christian Aid, BLAST, Bandhu Social Welfare Society, Nagorik Udyog and Wave Foundation with the support of the European Union from 2021 on the ‘backward communities’.

It is implementing a project titled ‘Empowerment and active participation in the development process of Bangladesh’. The aim of the project is to empower the backward communities and activate their participation in the development process of Bangladesh and eliminate all forms of discrimination in accessing various services. Under the project, 292 change agents selected from the backward communities in the remote areas of Khulna, Sylhet and Rajshahi divisions are actively working to increase their accessibility to the socio-economic development government services of their respective communities.

By enhancing the skills of change agents, the project has enabled them to engage in various activities. As a result, on the one hand, they are able to make their community aware of their rights, and on the other hand, through effective advocacy with local service providers, they are able to contribute to making government services accessible to their community. So it can be said that the project has been able to contribute significantly to the empowerment of the backward communities through the selected change agents.

With the help of project partner organizations, Christian Aid organized a Change Agent Conference with the participation of project change agents on June 3, 2024 at Dream Square Resort, Sreepur, Gazipur to exchange work experience with these skilled and experienced change agents of the project and to recognize their contribution. About 350 people including project change agents, volunteers and field level officers from Khulna, Sylhet and Rajshahi divisions participated in the conference. The event was attended by Nuzhat Jabin, Country Director, Christian Aid; Zakir Hossain, Chief Executive, Civic Initiatives; Kaniz Fatema, Program Director, Wave Foundation; Anjum Nahid Chowdhury, Program Manager, Christian Aid; Umm Farhana Zarif, Cluster Leader, BLAST.

In the event, the change agents of the project shared their work experience and highlighted their success in empowering the backward communities. They also expressed their determination to continue working in the future to bring about positive change in the lives of the backward communities.

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