A group of 21 non-government organisations on Saturday called on the government for redefining poverty to ensure balanced growth in the country.
The objective of sustainable development cannot be achieved if the poor community is overlooked and not helped by the government for improving their condition, they said.
They believe the poor community in the country is much larger than it is reflected in the government account.
‘Social and economic disparity and inequality persist in the society and are a big challenge to achieving sustainable development goal,’ said COAST executive director Rezaul Karim Chowdhury.
The EquityBD secretariat coordinator Syed Aminul Haque cited the example of India where 10 crore people slipped below the poverty line after their government redefined poverty in 2014.
He said a similar measure needed to be taken in Bangladesh so that the people in need of help could be identified and offered help for improving their condition.
Aminul made the comment while presenting the NGOs joint statement at a press conference at National Press Club in Dhaka in the morning.
He said the population of jobless and landless people kept inflating as the government has been unsuccessful in creating employment opportunities and protecting those living in the danger of being affected by natural disasters.
The speakers also observed that no development can be sustainable if democratic institutions were not strengthened.
They demanded that money launderers be brought to book and people involved in corruption be punished for ensuring equal distribution of resources among the citizens of the country.
The press conference was organised by COAST Trust and EquityBD.
Dwip Unnayan Songstha executive director Rafiqul Islam and BNNRC chief executive officer AHM Bazlur Rahman also spoke at the event.
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