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.
Four representatives from HEI VERDEN, Norway have completed their documentary on education project in Sylhet. It should be mentioned that Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO) is implementing education project with support from HEI VERDEN since January, 2015. Under this project ECDO is operating Education Support Centre (ESC) and Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) activities respectively in Sylhet and Moulvibazar district. HEI VERDEN has developed a documentary on the activities of this project to share about the education process and environment of Bangladesh to Norwegian children. In this documentary they covered three types of education system in Bangladesh. One is the middle class education system (non government Kindergarten school), the second is semi government school and the last one is fully nongovernmental school of a tea garden run by NGO.
To accomplish this documentary they have visited Sylhet Khaanchi Bari International School and College, Raja Girish Chandra (GC) High school, Sylhet and Education Support Centre (ESC) run by ECDO with support from HEI VERDEN at Lakkatoorah tea estate in Sylhet. In the visit team there were Ms. Ingrid Vikse, Executive Director of HEI VERDEN, Mr. Ivar Munthe, project advisor, Ms. Hanne Siri, Director Film development and Mr. Magnus Strand, camera person. During this visit they took interview with concern teachers, guardians, member of school and college management committee, local tea garden authority and others. HEI VERDEN team members thanked to the following authorities The Sylhet Khahanchibari International School and College, Raja G C High School and Lakkatoorah tea estate for giving their valuable time and efforts to accomplish the documentary. The visit was finished on second March 2018 following by signing a project renewal agreement between ECDO and HEI VERDEN in ECDO office, sylhet. It should be mentioned that the documentary was done under the project of ‘Promoting Education and Mother Tongue of Indigenous Children (PEMTIC) supported by HEI VERDEN, Norway. The main purpose of the project is to ensuring primary education for the poor and marginalized (The Patro, Khasi, Tea labor community) indigenous children and promoting Manipuri language & scripts in Bangladesh.
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.
Mr. Ivar Munthe, project advisor and Ms. Eva Nasheim board member of HEI VERDEN, Norway visited ECDO project area from 12-14 February 2016. They visited Alaibahar, Doldoli Education Support Centre (ESC) in Sylhet and Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) at Kamalgonj, Moulvibazar. It should be mentioned that ECDO is implementing ‘Promoting Education and Mother Tongue of Indigenous Children’ project with support from HEI VERDEN, Norway. Under this project ECDO is providing education support to the Khasi, Patro, Manipuri and tea labor indigenous primary students.
To ensure primary education for indigenous children ECDO is taking various measures under this project. Education Support Centre (ESC) and Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) activities become very popular among the local indigenous community within very short time. At ESC Patro, Khasi and tea-labor indigenous children are getting the opportunity to learn their school lesson from their own mother tongue speaking teacher; early in the morning before starting their mainstream school. The specialty of this ESC is that indigenous children learn their lessons through bi-lingual process in this centre. At first every lesson is uttered in Bengali and later the indigenous teacher make it understand to the ESC students through their own indigenous language. In this process indigenous children learn their lesson very easily which is written in Bengali.
On the other hand at Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) Manipuri children are learning to read and write the Manipuri language through their own script. In these centres Manipuri children are learning English and Mathematics also along with Manipuri language. As a result now both ESC and MLC students are doing very good performance at their mainstream school. ECDO provides all necessary education materials like; school bags, school uniforms, umbrella, note books, pen etc. Overall the main aims and objectives of the project are as follows;
- Ensuring quality primary education for indigenous children.
- Develop language skills for young Manipuri generation, whilst preserving and promoting Manipuri culture.
- Integrating bilingual teaching-learning processes into mainstream primary education,
- Reducing the drop-out rate and increasing overall performance of indigenous children at primary school, and
- Develop year wise three different Manipuri Text Book for using in the Manipuri Language Centre as Text Book.
During the visit of HEI VERDEN representatives they have visited the above project area. They were also present school uniform distribution program at Alaibahar and Doldoli Education Support Centre (ESC) during their visit and interact with the local community and local government representatives. They were very much delighted to see the success of the education activities under this project.