Manta Community

Manta Community at Char Mantaj of Rangabali Upazila, Patuakhali, Bangladesh

I travelled Char Mantaj, the last southern island of Rangabali Upazila of Patuakhali district on 27 September 2022 to conduct climate and disaster vulnerability and readiness assessment with CPE team. The story has been developed from the observation of the study sideline.

I see that women with their children are living in boats, somebody cooks food on there at Char Mantaj, the last southern island of Bangladesh.  They are `Manta’ folks who spent their whole lives in boats. I knew little about them. I read some articles about them. After returning to Dhaka from Char Montaj, I searched for the articles on the `Manta’ community. Approximately 500 plus families are in `Manta’ community in Patuakhali district, these articles say. `Manta families’ float around the rivers of Char Mantaj. They are also found in the southern rivers, char and statuaries, particularly in Panpotty, Golachipa, Kalaiya, Boga, Bodnatali, Ulania, Patuakhali Sadar region. We also found such a family near the Goinkhali Launch Ghat of Rangabali during our journey from Char Momodarbunia Sluice Gate to Char Mantaj by launch. 

Manta Community near Goinghat Launch Jetty
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A female student of a private university along with her two friends who were waiting at Norshingdi Railway Station for a Dhaka-bound train on May 18, was subjected to physically assault and abusive words for wearing a sleeveless T-shirt. The attackers termed the dress code “vulgar / obscene clothing”. A middle-aged woman, later law enforcers arrested her and her name was known – Shila Akhter alias Marzia Akhter Shila alias Saima first started hurling abusive words at the victim and then some male joined her and started assaulting the girl. The terrified women ran and took shelter in the station master’s room to save herself from the angry mob. Receiving the call at 999 from the victim, the law enforcers rescued them and helped them board a Dhaka-bound train. From the following day, a video of the incident went viral on social media where netizens expressed anger and women’s rights organizations protested over the harassment and demanded the attackers be arrested. Finally, law enforcers arrested Shila Akhter at the end of the month of May. 

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Role of CSOs in Policy Decision

Have any impacts?

Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihooods – CSRL conducted a climate hearing on 2nd February 2018 focusing `embankment management involving LGIs’ in the context of climate change. CSRL has been organizing the event since 2009 in Bangladesh. The hearing took place for the first time on December 4, 2009 and then again on November 8, 2010. On 2018, the hearing was the third edition of the National Climate Hearing where three plaintiffs fro Gaibandha, Khulna and Satkhira district raised petitions on their suffering caused by global warming. They Jury panel included lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury, formar Banker Khondkar Imbrahi Khaled, academicians Dr. Jahangir Alam and Dr. Mahbuba Nasrin, panel of experts included Dr. Ainun Nishad, Dr. Tofayel Ahmed, Dr. Ahsan Uddin Ahmed. Dr. Qazi Khiliquzzaman Ahmad, Chair of CSRL declared the verdict to include local government institutions in embankment management to reduce vulnerability of people due to climate change.

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BCCSAP Review Workshop at Satkhira

Water logging is a problem, bur we can create it as an opportunity by creating a permanent water reservoir for fish cultivation. We can establish costic soda industry for saline water regions and also give restriction to brick field owners to build brick field in the bank of rivers.

Excellent opinions, excellent ideas occurred from the workshop on review of BCCSAP 2009 at Satkhira, organised by Progati, Uttraran in association with CSRL, OXFAM, GROW AND EU.

Transparency and Policies in NGO funding from Climate Trust Fund

14th August 2012. Today seven civil society climate networks and ten non government organizations (NGO) in a human chain in front of national press club has demanded full transparency and policies in NGO funding from Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF). They have also criticized government for a top down and bias process in this regard. The human chain has moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, other speakers of the rally were Prodip Kumar Roy of Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Mahbub Haque of Bangladesh Centre for Human Rughts and Development, Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of Network on Climate Change Bangaldesh, and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD. Participating seven networks are BAPA, CSRL, CCDF, EquityBD, CFGN, NCCB, BIPNetCCBD, and other ten organizations are OKS, BKF, Arpon, Kishani Sohva, DCI, VOICE, Prodip, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somiti, Manush Manusher Jonno and United People Trust.

Climate Adaptation Must be a Integrated Part of National Budget

14th June 2012. Today Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) the two network of right based civil society organizations, has organized a seminar title “Is Bangladesh Prepared for Future Climate Change Problems, National Budget 2012-13 and Climate Change Adaptation” held at National Press Club. Speakers in the seminar criticized the government for making the national climate plan as a stand alone document and as a mere responsibility of single ministry, they urged that as climate change issue is crucial for Bangladesh future, then climate adaptation issue should be treated as priority and it should be integrated by all ministries especially in the national budget” .

Tax Justice Campaign

29th May 2012. Today seventeen civil society rights group networks and organizations in a rally and human chain organized in front of national press club, Dhaka termed the Black Politics is the prime source of black money and tax injustice in the country. They urged government to expand direct tax in the next budget and to reconsider VAT expansions. They also mentioned that country must be aiming for self reliance in development finance and should not expect foreign aid more. The group carried a banner which said that, the nation wants to pay more taxes but there must be steps to reduce luxury and to stop corruption. The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, other speakers of the rally were Joyanta Acharja of Shurakkah Foundation, Prodip K Roy of OK Society, Subal Sarkar of Bhumihin Somity, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Fedration, Hena Chowdhury and Mejbah Uddin Ahmed of Jatiya Sramik Jote and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD. Apart from above mentioned organizations and networks other participating organizations are Development Centre Initiatives, Eventful Bangladesh Society, Manush Manusher Jonny, Media Foundation for Trade and Development, Prodip, SDO, Sirac Bangladesh, UP Trust and VOICE.

No to World Bank on Climate Fund Management

10th May 2012. Today six civil society climate networks and eleven organizations has organized a press conference in national press club. They have demanded there should not be any more fiduciary management role of World Bank in Bangladesh climate resilience fund beyond 2013, they also demanded an independent institution with democratic ownership for all climate fund management. They have also express worries that there is a conspiracy going to extend present role of World Bank in resilience fund until 2018. The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, position paper read out by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud of VOICE, introductory speech was given by Prodip Roy of OK Soceity, other spekers of the press conference were Progoti Chakma of BIPNetCCBD, Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD and Khokan Sikder of CDP.

October 2009

31.10.2009, Saturday

PM pledges power decentralisation

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will decentralise power for people’s empowerment at the grassroots level. She observed that power is very much centralised in Bangladesh as the country was ruled by many military dictators for a long time after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. The prime minister was addressing the inaugural function of a two-day training workshop titled ‘E-Governance, Service at Doorsteps’ arranged for the UNOs by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at a PMO auditorium. The workshop was arranged as part of the PMO-supported Access to Information (A2I) Programme under which 60 UNOs will be trained on e-governance in the first batch at the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Bhaban. The PM said upazila nirbahi officers (UNOs) have to work together with people’s representatives, including upazila chairmen, to ensure people’s maximum welfare. [The Daily Star, 01 November 2009]

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Bangladesh: climate change as a burning political issue

For a policy aimed at prevention can only be instituted at Bangladesh’s state level, if a massive effort is made towards mobilising popular forces from below. Instead of limiting oneself to demanding financial concessions from imperialist governments, a high target needs to be set towards limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, writes Peter Custers

 IN THIS brief essay, I propose to analyse the danger that Bangladesh in the future will be visited by a climate catastrophe, as also the way in which such a catastrophe can be averted. I will also discuss more elaborately why climate change is a political issue, and not a matter of Nature’s erratic behaviour or spontaneous conduct. Today’s climate change, as scientists have argued for long, is primarily the consequence of the choices which Great Britain and other rising European capitalist powers made when staging the 18th-century Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution entailed a technological transformation, leading to the factory-based system of industrial production. Technological changes in methods of production were accompanied by a shift from reliance on renewable sources of energy, such as wind and fuel wood, towards reliance on non-renewable energy sources, i.e. fossil fuels, starting with coal. More than two centuries of industrial production – in which coal, oil and gas have been employed as principal energy sources – have resulted in emissions of such large quantities of greenhouse gases to the world’s atmosphere, oceans and forests, as to make dramatic changes in the world’s climate virtually inevitable.

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Creating hope

Sharmin Chowdhury visits PSD, a school for underprivileged children, that has come up with an innovative idea to support slum children with their educational expenses through a programme called Aponjon Prokolpo.


I want to be a doctor’ says Rahima, a student of class three. Likewise, Nasrin, Josna, Kobita, Juthi, Bina, all express their desire to become doctors in future.

Dressed in their colourful uniform in red and green, the children studying enthusiastically are not a part of the privileged group who can afford formal education. In fact, the children are the residents of Peyarabag slum and are the students of a charitable school, named Program for Sustainable Development (PSD) School.

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Gopal, My School Mate

Gopal, my school mate. We read in the same High School Together. I leave my village in 1987 for higher study, but Gopal stays at home and obtains college degree from Local College. Now He is working in local NGOs and his monthly salary is only Tk.4200 (US$60), Only US$2 per day. It is an income of the man, who have a college degree, who was a bright student once. 

How is the income of illiterate persons, casual workers, daily laborer’s, who haven’t any alternative skills but only two hands? I know, the men also my neighbors who earns less than US$0.50 per day. I work in the capital and every day I speak about poor people as many educated man do. But my poor neighbors becomes ultra poor, live without any life.

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