The Members of civil society groups in Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) have called upon the government to ensure relief for people in remote areas of the region during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They came up with the call in a joint statement under the banner of Parbatya Chattogram Nagorik Somaj on July 21.
Despite the commendable relief efforts taken by the government, the food security needs of a significant section of the marginalised population of the CHT could not be met due to some problems created at field level, they said in a statement.
Some families in a small part of the hilly and semi-remote areas of the hilly region did not get any relief at all. In most of these areas, 10 kg of rice was distributed per family through the Union Parishad, but in most cases the distribution happened only once, the statement read.
They also said many families in remote areas did not get government aid due to the mismanagement in relief distribution. Besides, some families could not get government aid due to communication problems.
Moreover, people in remote hills are not only deprived of relief, they are completely or largely deprived of access to electricity, access to drinkable water, quality education, government health services and other state services.
It is important to take special steps for them to achieve sustainable development, including the expansion of these opportunities, the statement read.
"We also think without taking into account certain aspects of the hilly region, proper distribution of relief and sustainable development in the region is not possible," they said.
The signatories are Chakma Raja Debashis Roy, Chittagong Hill Tracts Forest and Land Rights Protection Movement, Chittagong Hill Tracts Nagorik Committee, CHT Headman Network, CHT Women Headman and Karbari Network, Bangladesh Indigenous People's Network on Climate Change and Biodiversity City (BIPNET), Bom Social Council, Trinamool Development Agency, Maleya Foundation, Bangladesh Marma Students Council, Tripura Student Forum.