Development experts on Wednesday said that Bangladesh made progress in several social and economic indicators but about three crore marginalised people remained beyond the radar of the development process.
About one fifth of the country’s population were marginalised by economic status, working pattern, sex, disability, ethnicity, geographic location and diseases, they said at a discussion on inclusion of marginalised people in the development process at Krishibid Institution Bangladesh in the capital.
The discussion was organised by Leaving No One Behind, a new platform formed by nine leading NGOs including Brac, Action Aid, Save the Children, Care and Transparency International Bangladesh.
The platform works for inclusive development to attain the sustainable development goals framed by United Nations to ensure a better and sustainable life for all.
The experts said the marginalised people in Bangladesh had limited access to basic needs like health and education.
Being marginalised, these people led a discriminatory life and struggles for employment and support, they said.
BRAC executive director Asif Saleh said that growing inequality boded ill despite the country’s economic development.
He said that they must make sure to leave none behind in a country where the macro narrative of economic development and digitalization held sway over everything.
Taking micro narratives into consideration was crucial because the marginalised people could not influence to frame policy for their development, he said.
UNDP country representative in Bangladesh Sudipto Mukherjee said that launching programmes for the marginalised people was difficult in Bangladesh due to the scarcity of data about who the marginalised were, where they were and how much marginalised they were.
He said that no development would be sustainable without the inclusion of the weakest.
Journalist Mithila Farzana said that no development was development in proper sense unless it was inclusive of everyone, leaving behind none.
Progress in GDP or other indicators could be described as growth but sustainable development was development that included everyone and sustain over time, she said.
The government must ensure to instill the sense of inclusion and belonging among the lowest of the low and must let them know that their voices were heard, she said.
Sustainable development goal wing additional secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office Mokammel Hossain said that everyone’s cooperation was needed to attain the sustainable development goals.
NGO Affairs Bureau director general KM Abdus Salam said the NGOs must play a big role to achieve the goals by 2030.
Before the discussion, eight marginalised groups including ethnic minorities, sex workers, professionally marginalised people such cleaners and sweepers, people with disabilities, third gender people, aged people, marginalised due to geographical locations, narrated their owes and agonies and discussed ways to overcome the challenges.
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