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.
In a statement on 15 September 2022, at the end of a 10-day visit to Bangladesh, Mr. Ian Fry, UN Special Repporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of human rights said, “I visited some of the most adversely affected regions of Bangladesh and it is clear to me that the burden of climate change should not be carried by Bangladesh alone. For too long, major emitting countries have denied their responsibility for the suffering they are causing. This must end. The major greenhouse emitting countries have a clear obligation under the international law to provide funding to help highly vulnerable countries like Bangladesh to recover from the impact of climate change.”
In the same statement he said, “I received a statement of claims from the environment and climate change human rights defenders that they have been subject to harassment and imprisonment due to speaking out against climate change issues. It was claimed that there was `shrinking local space’ for public comment. A number of incidents were reported to me where environmental and climate change human rights defenders have been arrested or harassed by authorities for protesting against the development of new coal-fired power stations and other climate-change unfriendly developments. I have also heard of incidents of death threats made against environmental human rights defenders by ‘unknown’ people. This intimidation by persons possibly linked to the Government does not auger well for a nation striving to position itself positively in the international arena on climate change.”
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.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency — but it is far more. It is an economic crisis. A social crisis. And a human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis.” – UN Secretary General, Antonio Gunterres.“ The coronavirus is not going to go away so we must learn to live with it.”– Special envoy of WHO David Nabrro.
CSRL and Jalbayu Parishad started a three-day long training / workshop on ‘COVID-19 Awareness, Gender-Based Violence and Community Monitoring’ from yesterday. The first session was on ‘COVID-19 awareness’. After concluding the session, participants were asked to come up with action ideas on ‘COVID-19 Awareness’ in the following day.
As like other countries of the globe, Bangladesh has also adopted the non-therapeutic preventive measures like lock-down, social distancing, hand washing, masks wearing, travel bans, isolation etc to face corona emergency, but these measures have faced challenges in coastal and riverine region, while cyclone Amphan and severe floods washed away everything of the people. The people of lower income group has been facing severe challenges for their daily lives and livelihoods since last March. Actually they are living in disaster emergency. So, they are more concerned about disaster than coronavirus.
The people, particularly the coastal is facing severe difficulties with drinking water. The women of the coastal region walk two or three miles to collect drinking water. The Jalbayu Parishad, in English Climate Council, a local civic organization in Koyra and Shyamnagar, has identified two major problems coastal region due to climate change, one Embankment and the other drinking water crisis. To bringing solution of these problems, the Climate Council has taken various types of advocacy approaches; they conducts lobby meeting with local public administration, local government representatives and policy makers to address the issue of coastal embankment and water, and has continued advocacy activities at national level. Climate Council and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) have jointly convened a ‘Third National Climate Hearing’ in Dhaka in 2018, National Consultation Meeting in 2019, Memorandum Submission to the honorable Prime Minister by Union Council Chairman’s, holding press conferences, etc. to bringing a policy decision on these two issues.
Like others, we have been also running ‘Office from Home‘ since March 25 of this year to adapt with the situation arises due to coronavirus and search a way to continue the programme of climate finance which we have been implementing since 2017. Despite the difficulties of conducting activities with the community from home, it is ongoing but slowly. To adapt with the situation, weekly meetings with team members have been organized by the Secretariat at Facebook Messenger to maintain contact with local office colleagues, develop work plans and monitor progress in order to implement the programme of climate finance. But the extra noise created in Facebook Messenger, we made a decision to buy the zoom software. Today, the weekly meeting was held in Zoom which we purchased recently. Although we have participated at the meeting held in Zoom organized by others, but we never create a zoom meeting. That is why; there were some technical problems in today’s meeting. Now we have to solve those technical problems.
Gender based violence has increased while people are about under house arrest during lockdown situation due to outbreak of coronavirus in the country. Experts say, both men and women are victims of domestic violence. Women and children have been the victim of slander, false accusations and even physical abuses. But none of them want to reveal their names or take any action in this regard.
In connection of UN resolution, two day long international conference on “Peoples Empowerment and Development” has kicked off in Dhaka today for the welfare of the world’s one billion bottom line people. More than 80 high level delegations from 63 member countries of United Nations have come to Bangladesh to discuss about the development model presented by Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina in the United Nations General Assembly in last year.
Highlighting sustained democracy and empowerment of the people as fundamental instruments for development, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s model placed the following mutually reinforcing peace multipliers as essential preconditions for sustainable peace: (i) eradication of poverty and hunger, (ii) reduction of inequality, (iii) mitigation of deprivation, (iv) creation of jobs for all, (v) inclusion of excluded people, (vi) acceleration of human development, and (vii) fighting of terrorism. Moreover, all these need to be addressed in cohesion placing people at the center of all development and peace endeavor.
“99 percent poor is paying sin of 1 percent. Don’t let them decide for you! Let them to listen, we are poor because of you”. An invitation only gathering of world CEOs and political leaders named the world economic forum (WEF) is holding at heavily guarded Swiss Resort Town `Davos’. The crisis makers, the world riches are discussing about the fate of poor. They will made a global crisis in name of solution and we have to pay for it. The globe has identified neoliberal economy, the root of crisis! But they will impose it to us in new shape with a new strategy. The economically poor nations like Bangladesh would be pressured to open its market to these profit hunger. They will make billions of profits from us and open a charity to pay attention to the poor! Now this is the time to hear them, we are poor because of you!
Online Knowledge Society organized human chain and colorful rally at Rangpur demanding Agricultural Producers Cooperative and Marketing Cooperative for ensuring Fair Prices of Crops. A memorandum was submitted on that issue to the District Commissioner (DC).
Meeting Brief Ad hoc Working CommitteeGlobal Economic Justice Forum (GEJF) Held at INCIDIN Office, Dhaka | November 01, 2008
Agenda: Transformation of GEJF into Bangladesh Social Forum:
The committee decided that transformation of GEJF is not a relevant concern for initiation of Bangladesh Social Forum process. So this agenda should be dropped for further discussions on any of these two forums.
However both forums can exist side by side considering the merits and mandates of these two.
Regarding Bangladesh Social Forum process, further communication will be made from a separate National Facilitation Team to be convened by Md. Hilaluddin as per the proposal came from the members of the working committee.
Karmojibi Nari – Abdullah Al Mamun
APIT – Tahmina Yasmin
WAVE – Mohsin Ali
SUPRO – Prodip Roy
VOICE – Ahmed Swapan
BARCIK – Kamruzzaman Sagar
ActionAid – A.R. Aaman
Sadhin Bangla Garments SKF – Shamima Nasrin and MAK Azad
Brief Report of the Meeting ofGlobal Economic Justice Forum (GEJF) September 02, 2008 | Venue: BARCIK Office, Dhaka
· How could we carry forward the GEJF process?
Discussions and Decisions
Mr. Sukanto from BARCIK welcomed everyone and the house requested Mr. Mohsin from Governance Coalition to preside over the meeting. Then Aamanur Rahman from ActionAid Bangladesh discussed briefly about agenda of the meeting. Regarding the GEJF process, two kinds of statement were found and discussed. Some participants said GEJF should be an annual forum for the anti-neoliberal activists and should be a platform for culmination of experiences and innovation around the economic justice issues. Some others said only a single event can not culminate all these activism and there should have series of actions throughout the year. Some other emphasized the importance of these two side by side, as only an annual event can not sustain the issues and on the other hand a structured process will give it a project look which will be additional burden for the whole members/ organizers.
Finally it was suggested by the house that a small working group would be formed to work on this issue along with the modalities to run the forum effectively. This group will sit on 08-09-08 at 3.00pm at WAVE office, Lalmatia, Dhaka. The house proposed the following persons as volunteers of the ad hoc working committee. The committee will place their suggestions by this month through email notification. After Eid vacation a general meeting will be summoned to discuss on the proposals. This ad hoc committee will keep functioning only up till next general meeting.
“The whole book is a compilation of more than forty insightful papers written by young people of this country and supplemented by people of eminence. All have drawn a line map regarding how to go about from this point to the development of this country. As young people of today are the sensible citizens of tomorrow, it has become necessary to conceptualise such project of youth vision 2020, giving them voice and make their participation strong in nation building process. This project will certainly inspire other youngsters whose role the country need in its development process. The country needs badly young people’s involvement in its day-day-affairs, which is lacking till date and their apathetic attitude to any burning issue is making our country weak. This project helped many bright young people to think deeply their country and their people and above all future and at least gather some dream to realize. The ideas gathered in the book are incredible and if practised can make this country a place, where everybody can have a choice of their own. The book is a must reading for all development practioners, political leaders, students, academicians, and above all, anybody having some sense, deep concern and empathy for India’s progress.”
Prodip Roy from Bangladesh has written an article in this Book. Please collect this book and know the vision of youth people of South Asia. Please visit: www.vedamsbooks.com/no51123.htm