Members of socially excluded communities, including Dalits, formed a human chain in front of Ashwini Kumar Hall of Barishal city yesterday morning, demanding an end to discrimination from every sector.
They also placed an eight-point demand, including enactment of anti-discrimination laws and reserving quotas in various sectors.
The programme was organised by Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM).
Lalit Das, district president of BDREM, presided over the event. Uttam Kumar Bhakto, central secretary of BDERM, and Supriyo Dutto, co-coordinator of Nagorik Uddog, addressed the programme.
The speakers claimed there are around seven million Dalits and other excluded community members in the country. The school dropout rate among these communities is around 95 percent, they said.
Articles 27, 28 and 29 of the constitution say the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, ethnicity, birthplace or profession, they mentioned, adding that in reality, Dalits and other excluded communities continue to experience caste discrimination and social exclusion in political, economic, social, educational and cultural spheres.
It is the state’s responsibility to protect the rights, dignity and uniqueness of these communities in Bangladesh, they said, urging community representatives who are in parliament to form social safety nets for these communities.