Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is ECDO?

ECDO is a not-for-profit and non-government organization working for the development of plain land indigenous people in the Sylhet Division of Bangladesh.

You can learn more about us by visiting our who we are section.

What does ECDO do?

We design and deliver projects which aim to meet the fundamental needs of the indigenous people, and address some of their biggest problems including education, health, climate change, employment, gender equality and basic human rights.

You can learn more about our work by visiting our what we do section.

Who does ECDO work with?

We work with many plain land indigenous groups in the northeastern corner of Bangladesh, but primarily focus our efforts on Manipuri, Khasi, and tea labor communities.

You can learn more about the communities we work with by visiting our indigenous people section.

Where does ECDO work?

We work in Sylhet Sadar, Jaintapur and Goainghat upazilas, located in the northeastern corner of Bangladesh. We are the only organization working exclusively for plain land indigenous people in Sylhet Division.

You can learn more about where we work by visiting our what we do section.

Does ECDO work in the Chittagong Hill Tracts?

No, we only work in Sylhet Division.

What are Indigenous Rights?

There is a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the UN General Assembly adopted in 2007. This document is a result of a collaborative effort between both indigenous and government representatives, and spells out the rights of indigenous people, including the right to self-determination, the right to free, prior, and informed consent before any outside project is undertaken on their land, the right to keep their languages and cultural practices, the right to full government services, and, the right to be recognized and treated as peoples.

Who are plain land indigenous people?

The main ethnic groups in the plain lands of Sylhet are Khasi, Manipuri, Garo, Patro, Bishnupriya and Tripura, although our non-formal research has indicated that there are 37 different indigenous communities living in Sylhet Division. For a full list of communities, please visit the indigenous people section of our website.

Where can I get information about plain land indigenous people?

You can access academic research and resources through our publications section. You can also visit our partner websites for further information, or contact us with any questions or feedback.

How many indigenous people are living in Sylhet Division?

Sylhet Division has a population of 6.7 million people, the majority being Bengali Muslims followed by Bengali Hindus. Indigenous people represent just 1.5% of Sylhet Division, and are situated mostly in tiny villages near to the Indian border, or in colonies on tea estates where they live and work as laborers.

What problems do indigenous people face?

Almost all of the regions that indigenous people inhabit are among the most remote areas, with most communities living a very hard life; an overwhelming majority of indigenous people live below the poverty line. The indigenous communities in Sylhet Division are scattered and disunited united in preserving their traditional and cultural practices. They are very poor and have little opportunity to improve their socio economic condition. In most cases they are disadvantaged due to the fundamental and basic problems such as lack of access to clean water, sanitation, health facilities, education and opportunities of employment.

We provide detailed information about the issues faced by indigenous people on our website. We encourage you to visit the indigenous people section to get a more comprehensive understanding of their situation.

How does ECDO work with the government?

For the most part, we work with local government institutions. In many instances where ECDO provides training workshops, we seek the support of local government to provide certificates and resources for activities. When ECDO observes days, such as World Indigenous Day, we generally try to work collaboratively with local government to celebrate the event.

How can I get involved?

There are many ways you can help us. Individuals can donate, intern or volunteer, become a member or follow us on social media networks. Organizations and agencies can become a financial donor or corporate partner.

Visit our take action section to learn more about how you can get involved.

How can I become a volunteer?

First you should read the volunteer or intern section of our website. If you meet the criteria, you can fill in the volunteer/intern application form and submit it to us via email:

How can I donate?

We accept donations via cheque and/or bank deposit. Our details are below.

Account name: Ethnic Community Development Organization

Account number: 550

Branch: Zindabazar, Sylhet

Bank name: Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited

Don’t forget to include your name and details on the donation.

How are donations distributed and used?

It depends on the size and scope of the donation. Organizations can fund entire, or partial, projects. In some instances, individuals or donor agencies may wish to fund a specific project or donate to a particular cause.

We are flexible, and can work with donors to come up with a funding solution that suits both parties. You should contact us if you wish to seek further information, or discuss any ideas.

Can I become a member?

Yes, anyone can become a member. Please visit our membership page under the take action section of our website to join the ECDO community.

How can I access your publications?

You can visit our publications section, and either download a free PDF or purchase your own copy of any publication. In some instances, we allow students to come into our office and photocopy pages. Please contact us for more information.

How can I give ECDO feedback?

Please email any feedback you may have to:

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