National Char Alliance (NCA) has urged the government to adopt policy, form a foundation, and allocate and spend adequate budget for the people of the char area to boost their economic ability, literacy and employment.
It recalled the election pledge of Awami League government to upgrade the life standard of the char people and integrate them into the mainstream of the society.National Char Alliance, an organisation working for char people, made the demand at a press conference held at the National Press Club on Monday. NCA Chairman Kondker Ibrahim Khaled was the key speaker.
The press conference was jointly organised by the National Char Alliance (NCA) and Shamunnay under ‘AlokitoChar’ project supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
“Though government has undertaken effective programmes and expanded dimension of the existing initiatives for poverty alleviation, it is yet to adopt special measures for the char people. Almost 10 million people are living in the char areas and most of them are living under the poverty line,” said Ibrahim Khaled.
Despite special allocation in the national budget for the char people, it is not being spent due to lack of a proper authority, he said, recommending formation of a body like PKSF to resolve the problem.
He said char areas constitute around 10 percent of the total geographic area of Bangladesh covering parts of 100 upazilas under 32 districts and people of the areas are exposed to extreme river erosion, flood, drought and many other natural calamities.
“To ensure sustainable development in terms of food, education, health and other basic needs of the char people, we need to undertake specially designed programmes, allocate budget and spend the fund properly,” he added.Zahid Rahman, member secretary of NCA moderated the press conference. Secretary of Bangladesh workers party Fazle Hossain Badsha MP, head of news of GTV Syed Ishteaque Reza, advocacy manager of Practical Action Mehrabul Goni, Water Aid representative Ranjan Kumer Goash, director of Friendship Kamal Uddin, and Shamunnay secretary Shaheen-ul-Alam also spoke on the occasion.
Apart from the journalist, representatives from Care Bangladesh, Oxfam in Bangladesh, Concern Worldwide, researchers, entrepreneurs, representatives from various women and farmers associations were also present.