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.
ECDO has distributed education materials among the Manipuri, Patro and tea labor students through organizing four different programs. The programs were held at Alaibahar and Lackatoorah tea estate for Education Support Centre (ESC) students in Sylhet district and the program for Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) students’ held at Bhanubil Majhergaon and Mongalpur under Moulvibazar district. On 10th July in Sylhet Md. Abdul Muntakim, Assistant District Primary Education Officer (ADPEO) was present as chief guest. Mr. Dilwar Hussain, chairman of Khadimnagar Union Parishad (UP), Sylhet, Mr. Lakshmikanta Singh, Executive Director of ECDO, Raju Goala, President, Bangladesh Tea labor Union Sylhet valley were present as special guest in the program. The above education materials were provided to sixty indigenous students. And the program was held on 3rd August 2018.
And the last two Education materials distribution program were held for Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) students on 3rd August 2018 at Bhanubil Majhergaon & Mangalpur Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) in Moulvibazar district. Mr. Monindra Singha, Member of Adampur Union Parishad, Kamalgonj Upozila was present as chief guest in the program. Mr. Indrajit Singha, Manipuri poet and President of ECDO, Mr. Rajkumar Singha President of Bhanubil Majhergaon MLC management committee, Ms. Nongpoklai Sinha project coordinator of ECDO were present in the program.
It should be mentioned that among the ESC students ECDO provides School bag, note book, pen, wood pencil, eraser, ruler, sharpener etc. And for the MLC students ECDO provides Umbrella, note book, pen, wood pencil, eraser, ruler, sharpener etc. ECDO provides education materials to its one hundred fifty students. All students were very happy after getting these education materials and they have committed us to be more attentive in education.
ECDO provides this education materials under the project of `Promoting Education and Mother Tongue of Indigenous Children’ with support from HEI VERDEN Norway. ECDO is implementing the second phase of the project. We already finished our first phase of the project very successfully.
Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO) organized the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples-2017 in Sylhet jointly with the Social Work department of Shajalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and The Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on 9th August 2017. ’10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ was the theme of the event.
On the occasion of the day celebration a colorful rally was arranged with the participation of local indigenous peoples, university teachers, students, human rights activists in the university campus. Then a discussion session was held at Seminar hall of Social work department. And the discussion session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Faisal Ahmmed, Head of Social work department. Professor and Dean of Social Science faculty Dr. Abdul Ghani was present as chief guest. Mr. Lakshmikanta Singh, Executive Director of ECDO, Advocate Irfanuzzaman Chowdhury, President, Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC) TIB, Sylhet were present as special guests.
Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO) and Oxfam jointly organized two day long Manipuri Handloom exposition on 25-26 June 2015 at Mohammad Ali Gymnasium Hall, Rikabibazar, Sylhet. The exposition was organized under Women Economic Leadership (WEL) project with support from Oxfam. General Manager (GM) of Bangladesh Bank, Sylhet Mr. Mohammed Mobarak Hossain inaugurated the exposition as the chief guest. Mr. Nilchand Singha Assistant General Manager (AGM) of Agrani Bank Limited, Regional office of Sylhet, Renowned fashion designer Mr. Chandra Shekhar Saha, Mr. Saikat Biswas, project coordinator, Oxfam, Mr. Mahi Uddin Ahmed Selim, General Secretary, Sylhet Zella Krira Songstha and resource person Ms. Radhabati Devi attended as special guest in the inaugural ceremony. The inaugural session was started with a welcome speech by Mr. Uzzal Azim, program officer, Oxfam. The guests and audience were fascinated with the colorful Manipuri traditional dance performed by the artist of Manipuri at the beginning of the inaugural session. Chief guest Mohammed Mobarak Hossain highly appreciated for the initiative taken by ECDO and Oxfam for the development of Manipuri handloom sector. Further he said through this project it is possible to ensure empowerment of Manipuri women economically and socially. Special guest Mr. Nilchand Singha said he feels proud for getting the opportunity to be attended as special guest like this important event. He suggested to ECDO to communicate with his institution (Bank) for any kinds of financial support to promote this handloom project. Mr. Saikat Biswas and Mr. Chandra Shekhar Saha also delivered their speeches describing about the journey of this project. At the initial stage of the project total 58 expert Manipuri women artisans from Kamalgonj and Sylhet were involved in the project for renovating a heritage of weaving history. ECDO’s aim is to introduce the real Manipuri handloom products to the buyers which ultimately can instigate Manipuri women’s economic leadership both in their families and communities. It should be mentioned that the inauguration session was presided by Lakshmikanta Singh, Executive Director of ECDO.