'Ensure social rights of Harijans'
Participants at a seminar held at Dumuria upazila town yesterday took a vow to eliminate all forms of discriminations against people belonging to the Harijan community.
The seminar titled, 'Rights of Harijans and its Reforms and Reality,' was jointly organised by ActionAid, an international NGO, and Bhumija Foundation, a local NGO, working for establishment of rights of the neglected ommunity.
Held at Shaheed Zobair auditorium in Dumuria, the seminar was presided by upazila social welfare officer Mehedi Al Masud.
They demanded a separate ministry for Harijans, allocation of fund for their development, reserved seat in the local government bodies, their inclusion in steering committees of all Union Parisads (UPs), right to get Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) cards, allotment of government 'Khas' land including right to birth registration. They also urged government to implement Section 27 and 28 of the Constitution.
Bhumija Foundation co-ordinator Achinta Saha, in his key-note paper, revealed that over 55 lakh members of the community live in poverty level. But no previous governments took any initiative to remove the social discriminations against them, he said.
He further said that over 70 percent people of the community are still being deprived of education and other basic rights. By ignoring their rights, it would not be possible to attain the desired national goal of development, he said.
Participants which included government officials said the backward people are facing discriminations in job, education, health and politics.