Create scope for Dalits to change economic condition | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, December 09, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, December 09, 2009

Create scope for Dalits to change economic condition

Speakers tell discussion

Speakers at a panel programme yesterday underscored the importance of creating scope for Dalits to bring a change to their existing marginalised socio-economic condition in the country.
They put light on the history of lives and livelihoods of Dalits, the oppressed people in society.
The speakers said this at the panel discussion organised as part of the concluding ceremony of Jatiya Dalit Sammilani at Public Library auditorium in the city.
Bangladesh Dalit Forum and ActionAid Bangladesh in association with Dharitri Foundation, Bhumija Foundation and Research and Development Collective (RDC) organised the programme.
Noted sculptor Ferdousi Priyabhashini said Dalits should gain their rights by themselves, as the rights are not served to anybody so easily.
Drawing example from her own life, she said the existing social set-up has effortlessly made some segments of people untouchable, but it is the obligation of those people to come out of the prejudice and empower themselves.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman, president of Bangladesh Economic Association, spoke at the event as the chief guest.
He briefed the audience on the history of Dalits, the social structure to exclude them from the mainstream, their movements and the consciousness of the litterateurs regarding Dalits in different times through their writings.
Scopes should be made for Dalits to help them go ahead as the new liberalisation of economy, which makes the poor to stick to poverty and the rich to expand their power and properties, will never include Dalits' rights to be empowered, he added.
Dr Kholiquzzaman said a reformed economic system, which includes every segment of the society by means of production, could facilitate to establish the rights of Dalits in education, health, training and access to resources.
The concluding ceremony were divided into three panel discussions -- Socio-economic position and dignity of Dalits, Dalit's Life: The experience of South Asia and Dalit women.
Michael Hossain, executive director, Gonojagaran Sangstha, Narail, said if there are political commitments for providing health, education and other rights to Dalits, they will have to suffer no longer.
Prof Sudeshna Chatterjee of English department of Kolkata University, Bangladesh Dalit Forum Chief Adviser Prof Mesbah Kamal and Adviser Jannat E Ferdousi also spoke at the programme.

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