Dalit communities yesterday demanded that the government take effective measures to ensure equal rights and end discriminations against the disadvantaged people.
They came up with the demand at different programmes marking Global Human Dignity Day.
In Gaibandha town, Bangladesh Dalit o Bonchito Janogosthi Odhikar Andolon, Bangladesh Rabidas Forum, Bangladesh Rabidas Unnayan Parishad, Bangladesh Harijan Oikya Parishad, Abalamban, and Jano Udyog formed a human chain.
Speakers at the programme said the Dalits are seen as lower-class people, and they are lagging behind in every sector in absence of equal opportunity. They demanded the right to improve their lives.
Dalit people are also mistreated in many ways by the privileged-class. For example, they are driven out of restaurants, shops, educational institutions, and offices, they said.
Most Dalit children drop out of school and start working as cleaners, and those who achieve higher education do not have proper employment, the speakers said, demanding dignified jobs for their children. They also sought proper accommodation facilities.
Harijan Oikya Parishad secretary Santosh Basfore, Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDREM) secretary Khilon Rabidas, and Rabidas Unnayan Parishad president Santosh Rabidas, among others, spoke.
In Barishal city, Bangladesh Dalit Parishad held a press conference where they demanded security for the community, especially ahead of the national election.
“The authorities should ensure free, fair and minority-friendly national polls so that we can cast votes without fear,” said Jibon Rabidas, Barishal divisional president of the parishad.
The organisers placed a 22-point charter of demands including formation of a national Dalit commission and inclusion of the pledges to protect Dalit rights in the election manifestos of all political parties.