Leaders of indigenous communities demanded steps for creating reserved seats in the Jatiya Sangsad for indigenous people from plain land to ensure their rights and political empowerment.
The demand was made at a views exchange meeting on 'Rights of plain land's adivasi and dalits and rights based development (samataler adivasi o dalit jonogoshthir odhikar o odhikar vittik unnayan shirshak motobinimoy) at the auditorium of Thakurgaon Press Club yesterday.
Eco Social Development Organisation and District Advocacy Platform jointly organised the programme with the initiative of Promoting Inclusion Of Discriminated Groups Through Institutional Mechanism.
Representation of adivasi people of plain land is still absent in parliament, said the speakers at the programme, adding that if their representation is ensured in the highest policy level, their problems will be submitted properly, which will help to promote their basic rights.
Until conducting an independent census on adivasi of plain land it is not possible to pay attention on the community to resolve their problems and realise their rights, they said.
The leaders mentioned that no census has yet been conducted in the country on their communities.
Special scholarship for adivasi students from primary level to university level was emphasised to enhance their education for mainstreaming them, said the speakers.
Formation of land commission for plain land adivasi people was also recommended to protect their lands and save them from harassment by influential vested quarters.
The adivasi leaders also demanded implementation of adivasi quota in each sector.
Expressing their dissatisfaction, they said though the political parities always vow to establish indigenous people's rights in the election manifesto, none gives importance to preserve culture, tradition and rights of the indigenous communities.
As the chief guest Abul Hasnat, manager (Finance and Admin) of donor organisation HEKS/ EPER Bangladesh, attended the programme with Abu Torab Manik in the chair.
Among others, Bisu Ram Marmu, district unit general secretary of Adivasi Chhatra Parishad and Raju Baspor, general secretary of Upazila Advocacy Platform, addressed the meeting.