The government has failed to adopt proper initiatives and ideas for improving the livelihoods of the marginalised populations of the country, said eminent economist Wahiduddin Mahmud.
The disadvantaged and vulnerable quarters are lagging behind the common citizens because of this policy failure, he observed while addressing a programme arranged on the occasion of the official beginning of the journey of the Brattyajan Resource Centre (BRC) at Cirdap auditorium in the capital on Saturday.
"Besides, the idea of development has not been properly preached to these groups. The government has not done anything to tweak the mindset of these people in order to change their thoughts and notions conducive to their livelihood," Wahiduddin said.
Many projects have been taken up for the development of the country, but the economic development of the marginalised people has been hindered by a lack of proper planning, he maintained.
The economist went on to say, "We often talk about protecting the environment but the livelihoods of the marginalised people are closely linked to forests, rivers, and hills. We also talk about meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which include protecting the environment and improving the living standards of these people."
He urged the government to make appropriate plans and implement them for the betterment of the disempowered people of Dalit, Harijan, Rishi and the third-gender communities.
Backed by the Society for the Environment and Human Development (SEHD), and the Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), Brattyajan Resource Centre has started its journey for the welfare of marginalised people of Bangladesh.
Presenting the keynote article at the event, Philip Gain, director of SEHD, said, "The SEHD started its journey in 1993, but launched its resource centre today. Over the years, the scope of our thoughts and activities has expanded a lot. We are now working with tea garden workers and sex workers."
"In the last 10 years, Bede, Harijan, Rishi, Kayputra, Jaldas, and Bihari communities have been added to the marginalised community that includes 60 lakh people. We are calling them 'Brattyajan'."
Hossain Zillur Rahman, chairperson of Brac Bangladesh, chaired the event, also attended by Lilly Nicholls, high commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh; Jeremy Opritesco, deputy head of mission, EU delegation to Bangladesh; and others.
A total of 11 research books of the BRC on different marginalised groups of people were unveiled at the event.