International day of the world’s indigenous people’s was celebrated by ECDO on 9 August 2018. ECDO celebrated this event with theme of ‘Indigenous Peoples Migration and Movement’. On the occasion of this event ECDO organized a colorful rally in the morning in Sylhet city with the active participation of different indigenous people’s organization and local civil society members. And in the afternoon, ECDO jointly organized a discussion session with the Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC) of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) at CCC Sylhet office. The discussion session was presided by Mr. Aziz Ahammed Selim, senior journalist and the chairman of CCC Sylhet. At the beginning of this session Mr. Lakshmikanta Singha, Executive Director of ECDO was delivered a welcome speech. Advocate and ex-president of Sylhet Bar Association Mr. Emad Ullah Shahidul Islam was present as moderator of the session. Ms. Nongpoklai Sinha, Coordinator of ECDO made a multimedia keynote presentation related to the event.
In her keynote paper she endeavored to give a present scenario of Bangladeshi indigenous peoples. After her presentation the floor was open for the audiences. Most of the participants were urging to the government not to ignore indigenous peoples rights to ensure good governance in the country. Further they said the government should give more attention on the issue of indigenous people’s rights and development. Because, now the indigenous peoples are marginalizing day by day due to unable to adopt with rapid urbanization process. As a result they are gradually displacing from their ancestral land. On the other hand some of the local political leaders are also trying to grab indigenous peoples land. For that reason now some indigenous groups like Patro, Oraon, Dalu etc. in Bangladesh are living in an endanger situation. Considering the above situation most of the speakers urging to the government to pay special attention to the plain land indigenous peoples.
On the occasion of this day celebration on behalf of plain land indigenous peoples claimed the following demands to the government;
- To establish a separate ministry for plain land indigenous peoples
- To increase the fund of Special Affairs Division (SAD) under Prime Minister’s office.
- To ensure publication of primary level text book in different indigenous peoples languages according to the national education policy-2010
- To establish a separate institute for indigenous peoples in Sylhet city.
- To solve all kinds of indigenous peoples land related disputes in a short time and easy process
- To take initiate different project for ensuring income generating activities for indigenous youth
- To made indigenous peoples protection law
- To create a special FUND for the development of tea labor community
- To introduce a reserve seat in the parliament for the indigenous peoples of Sylhet region
- Finally to recognize ‘indigenous peoples’ in our Bangladeshi constitution.
1 June 2017 is the last day for Non-Governmental Organizations to apply for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), in order to have an opportunity to take part in UN deliberations. ECOSOC consultative status is governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status, rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status, procedures for the withdrawal or suspension of consultative status, the role and functions of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, and the responsibilities of the UN Secretariat in supporting the consultative relationship. Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, which is composed by Member States.
Applications for consultative status for 2018:
NGOs interested in applying for ECOSOC consultative status should submit their application and required documents before 1 June 2017. The following link provides background information, some of the benefits and the instructions how to apply: http://csonet.org/index.php?page=view&nr=377&type=230&menu=14
Ms. Diana K. Myers Vice President of International Program Leadership, Save the Children USA from Washington DC visited ECDO Life Skills Education (LSE) Project in Sylhet on 23rd October, 2010. During her short visit she was informed by ECDO authority about its running different project activities. She was very delighted to hear & see ECDO activities. She also visited LSE session of young peoples at Doldoli Tea estate near Sylhet city. During her visit she discussed with the participants of young peoples to know their learning & impact of this project at community level.Â
At the end of meeting ECDO gave her some publications on indigenous peoples & she thanked to ECDO for giving that publications. Dr. Nizam Uddin Ahmed Director, HIV/AIDS Sector & South Asia Program Advisor, HASAB representatives & others were accompanying with her. ECDO authority was very pleased to get her in ECDO office. Mentionable that ECDO organized Master trainers training, Peer educators training, Gate keeper meetings with young peoples guardian, Condom seller training, conducting young peoples Life Skills Education sessions, conducting youth counseling sessions through youth friendly health corner etc. to make aware on HIV/AIDS & STI particularly for young peoples within the age limits of 15-24, since 2008 with support from Save the Children USA through HASAB consortium in Sylhet, Bangladesh. ECDO believes that the activities of this project already have made a good impact at community level.
ECDO is also implementing Development Initiative for the Group of Northeastern Indigenous Talents of Youth (DIGNITY) project with support from Action Aid Bangladesh since 2006. Under this project ECDO organized series of group discussions with women and adolescents in its project area.
The main objective of the project is to:
- Organize workshops on Child and Reproductive Health,
- Traditional Birth Attendance (TBA) Training
- Organize group discussion on HIV/AIDS and Child nutrition.
- Awareness building for Education and Birth registration
Indigenous people of Northeast Bangladesh are not sensitized on the above issues and there is need to disseminate information on these topics. Without birth registration the indigenous people may be deprived from a total of 16 government facilities such as school enrollment and government service jobs. In the area of nutrition ECDO is helping the indigenous people to make them understand that there are cheaper vegetables that are available locally which are good for their health. The proper ways of hygiene are taught to the community people by ECDO, as well as this organization stressing the need for check-ups for pregnant mothers and offering suggestions on the government and visiting private health centers closer to their residence to increase their access to health facilities. ECDO has also given training on TBA to 25 women from different indigenous communities. These were women practicing child delivery, so the workshops were to add to their knowledge and skills. Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials like posters and leaflets on reproductive health and nutrition have also been disseminated to different indigenous communities in their own mother language.