Not Myth But Reality: The Indigenous People of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is blessed with a cultural mosaic. But all the mosaic pieces do not glitter, particularly a large number of small pieces are not distinct and also not blended well with the big and dominants. About 45 indigenous communities are indeed very much discriminated against and segregated from the mainstream. The book presents the issues where the pain of discrimination, exploitation and other forms of deprivation is obvious and strongly felt.

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About The Author

Dr. Shahed Hassan

Dr. Shahed Hassan is a Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Anthropology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Besides more than three decades of teaching, Dr. Hassan has worked as Researcher/Consultant in different areas of development with special focus on indigenous/traditional environmental knowledge, indigenous population, ethno science and environmental issues and concern. He has substantive years of working experience in the Philippines, Nepal, Japan and the USA. Dr. Hassan is an analyst of eminent repute and fully conversant with development activities of the government and non-government agencies. He has worked for the Actionaid, World Bank, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, IUCN, CARE, DANIDA, ILO, GTZ, WFP, PACT/PRIP, IVS, Australian AIDAB, DFID/WELL, WaterAid, ADB, Republic of the Philippines, Kingdom of Nepal, Japan (as Japan Foundation’s visiting researcher) and USA (as Fulbright’s visiting faculty).

Md. Ayub Ali

Md. Ayub Ali was born in 1967 at Khayerhuda village in Jibannagar Upazila under Chuadanga district. He achieved his BSS, MSS and M. Phil., degrees from the Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently Executive Director of Society for Research and Development Steps-a non-government research and development organization and a reputed researcher in field of rural development with special concentration on poverty and human development, minority people’s right to development, population and health, water and sanitation, and poverty & food security, etc. He is author of numbers of books, which include, THE HIDDEN MATRIX : Women’s position and Gender Relations in Adivasi Communities, The Untold Voice, Propelling Participation, Total Sanitation : A Community Stakes, Inching Towards A New Horizon. A Win Over Bad Bygone Habit, Secret to the Success of poor and Vulnerable People in the Chars and Haors, and Sustaining the Success.

The indigenous communities are living in the country for centuries but their very recognition is unclear. They do possess unique cultural identities but are hardly valued. Their living is tough and full of hardship but remain unattended and unaddressed. To comprehend such a situation the book has organized facts and figures, obtained through a baseline study, in a manner that will give brief but meaningful information of the indigenous people. Beside various factors which are keeping them out of the mainstream, the most crucial are socio- economic and cultural. Nevertheless, land remains the major concern. Once owned and now lost is a tragedy in a person’s life. Along with, other influencing factors keeping them alienated are educational backwardness, non-functioning role of the customary organizations, less access to legal support and other services from government and non-government agencies. All these are integral part of the book. While reading each chapter certain recommendations can be noted and these are put forward in overt and covert language.


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