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Nagorik Uddyog Intervention on COVID-19 Crisis

Nagorik Uddyog

Nagorik Uddyog is a national level human rights and development organization established in 1995 aiming to promote social and gender justice, equality and rule of law with accountable, transparent and responsive institutions by mobilizing community people through building their own self-sustaining agency that they can realize their rights and entitlements, with special focus on women, workers, socially excluded, underprivileged and minority communities.

1. Dalit and Tea Community

From April 1, 2020 to 23 May 2020, NU implemented following activities among the Dalit communities in collaboration with Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM).

  • A total of 5000 families received protective materials (Hygiene kits) Dalit and tea communities.
  • Distribution of 20,000 leaflets containing the message to protect from virus infection.
  • Raise awareness among the 800 pre-primary Dalit students as well as provided Hygiene kits to protect them from virus infection.
  • Youth Dalit volunteers are working to make aware on social distancing at the Dalit colonies and tea gardens. It is difficult to maintain distancing as the colony is crowed. They are also working to restrict colony people’s movement to outside without reason as well as outsiders’ entry to the colony.
  • Distributed food materials among 450 families of unemployed tea workers and Sobdokar community at Maulavibazar and Habiganj district.

2. Informal Sector and Garment Workers

The following work completed in cooperation with Bangladesh Labor Rights Forum

  •  Distribution of 20,000 awareness raising leaflets among informal sector workers in Dhaka city containing the message to protect from virus infection.
  • Distributed 1,400 packets cooked food among floating people in different places of Dhaka city.
  • Distributed 200 food package among Hawkers and domestic workers in the city (containing rice, lentils , potato, oil and hygiene kit)
  • 100 garment workers received food package for their children and adults.

3. Working with Linguistic Minorities (Bihari):​​

Nagorik Uddyog collaborated with Council of Minority to support the Bihari community.

  • Distributed 820 food package among Urdhu speaking (Bihari) people in Dhaka, Syedpur, Rangpur, Chittagong and Mymensingh districts, who are hard hit as they engaged in informal sector work (much needed  community)
  • 3 sickly camp dwellers assisted to get COVID-19 test and found positive. One of them died (6 years old) at hospital and 2 of them are under treatment. Supporting food and medicine to them.

4. Community level awareness

NU facilitated community forum- Citizens Rights Group (CRG) are working on 63 unions of 7 upazilas of Barishal, Pirojpur, Tangail and Rangpur district to aware people about the risk of spreading COVID-19, ensuring expats maintaining home quarantine, assisting administration and law enforcing agencies in maintaining social distancing  as well as connecting the most vulnerable people to the government emergency support.

5. Lobbying with the government

Submitted a list of Dalit vulnerable people in different districts and sub-district to the authority to get government support on priority basis. So far 3,563 (three thousands five hundreds sixty three) Dalit families received government emergency food support in 10 districts. BDERM local committee coordinating this work.

6. Cash Support to the low income group

100 families supported with cash, who cannot seek for direct assistance from the ongoing relief operation.

Sources:

  • NU’s existing project fund (reserved)
  • Call for Humanity (A Minnesota based organization initiated by a few philanthropists NRB)
  • NU staff contribution

Nagorik Uddyog (NU) [The Citizen’s Initiative]​

The name “Nagorik Uddyog” (The Citizen’s Initiative) epitomizes the organization’s fundamental goal as well as the strategies and activities it utilizes to achieve this goal. Nagorik Uddyog promoting people’s participation and access to democracy, rights, justice & development.

Since its establishment 1995, Nagorik Uddyog (NU) has worked to strengthen local government in Bangladesh via the dual imperatives of, on the one hand, raising awareness among the general masses of people’s basic human rights and, on the other, building people’s capacity to pursue and realize these rights.

NU recognizes that democratic elections are by themselves insufficient in fulfilling democracy. The poor, marginalized and disadvantaged must be given the power to participate in and contribute to all those decision-making processes that affect their lives. Accordingly, NU strives to provide an enabling condition for the people to set up institutions and mobilize themselves.

NU holds special interest in democratizing the historically gender-imbalanced “Shalish”, Bangladesh’s traditional rural dispute-resolution system. A fair and equitable Shalish entails unprecedented access to justice for rural women – the ‘poorest of the poor’ in this country – and in turn a new and exciting horizon in Bangladesh’s development journey.

Key Focus Areas​​

Improving Access to Justice Through Human Rights Education and Community Mediation

Salish, a traditional alternative dispute resolution process at community level, is widely recognized in rural Bangladesh and is popular among rural poor. One of the big reasons of its popularity, community people can have easy access to Salish because of its dynamic and flexible nature. It could be defined as ‘informal village

Improving rights of Dalit, Excluded and Indigenous Communities​​

NU aims to promote rights, cultural diversity and improve the quality of life of the most excluded and marginalized communities of Bangladesh, including Dalits and indigenous peoples. Around 6.5 milions of Dalit peoples in Bangladesh are facing discrimination in all aspects of life though they have a significant role in the country’s economic, environment and social 

Women Rights

Women remain among the most vulnerable and disempowered groups in Bangladesh. Cultural practices such as early marriage, polygamy, dowry, female seclusion, and arbitrary (oral) divorce contribute to women’s subordinate status; while religion has been used to sanction these practices. Lack of awareness of their rights coupled with deeply rooted gender inequalities seriously constrains women’s access to appropriate, gender-sensitive justice.

Child Rights

NU has been working with working mothers’ children and school drop-out working and street children since 2013 through providing service delivery programme – informal education and skill development training – by offering day-care and drop-in centre facilities in Dhaka city. Through research study, NU found that if the children of underprivileged female workers particularly garment workers are provided day-care 

RECENT ACTIVITIES

দলিত শিক্ষার্থীদের শিক্ষাবৃত্তি প্রদান

বেসরকারী মানবাধিকার সংস্থা নাগরিক উদ্যোগ অসচ্ছল দলিত শিক্ষার্থীদের জন্য বৃত্তি প্রদান করে আসছে।  গত ১৪ ফেব্রুয়ারী, ২০২০ নাগরিক উদ্যোগের চলমান প্রকল্প ‘মানবাধিকার রক্ষা ও সহায়তার মাধ্যমে দলিত ও সামাজিকভাবে বঞ্চিত জনগোষ্ঠীর দারিদ্র বিমোচন ও বিদ্যমান বৈষম্য লাঘব’ প্রকল্পে ১০ জন দলিত শিক্ষার্থীদের মাঝে শিক্ষা বৃত্তি প্রদান করা হয়। 

Cultural Events

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Street children have hardly have opportunities to participate in cultural events. In this regards, in participation with drop out children, we organized a cultural event at Bishwa Sahitya Kendra in the city. In this event 59 street children participated and showed their cultural performance: sing song, recite poems, dance and drama performance.

Our women leaders wining Joyeeta Award

Our women leaders shows their courage and contributes to promote human rights of poor victims. On occasion of fortnight of ‘International Violence against Women and Begum Rokeya Day 2017’,  government of Bangladesh awarded the women who contribute to the society in different categories. This year our a women leader of GWLN in Badarganj Upazila, Mst. Nurjahan Begum awarded as Joyeeta Nari for Struggling in
life.

9th National Council of Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM)​

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Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) 9th National Council held on 15 December, 2018 in Dhaka. Renowned writer Ms. Selina Hossain was present as Chief Guest in the inaugural session of the council. Abdur Razzak Hawlader, Director, Directorate of Social Services; Mukul Ranjan Shikder, former president of BDERM and Zakir Hossain, advisor of BDERM and chief executive of Nagorik Uddyog were present as special guests.

Our forum members elected as Local Government representative

Our forum members are competing and being elected in local government elections. In Bangra Union, Kalihati, five
women leaders competed in election and Ms. Nargish Akta, a member of GWLN, elected as women representative. In last City Corporation election in Rangpur, seven forum members (4 women and 3 men) competed and among them Ms. Afroza Akter elected as councilor.

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Land and Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples of the Plain Land in Bangladesh

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OUR AFFILIATIONS ​