ActionAid's two-day festival – organised to celebrate the resilience of communities of Bangladesh and the country's glorious heritage, culture, and traditions – ended Friday in Dhaka. The event "Festival of Resilience: People, Planet and Possibilities" aimed to encourage celebration and participation among communities in recognition of their stories of resilience. For decades, the people of Bangladesh have faced countless challenges, such as climate and human-induced disasters, inequalities, economic instability, refugee crisis and pandemic. But every time, the mass bounced back with the power of resilience and survived with renewed vigour. Read: ActionAid to celebrate Bangladeshi resilience, cultural heritage A very recent example would be the last two years, during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the collective effort of the people of this country helped communities stay hopeful and agile. To celebrate the innate quality and resilience of people, ActionAid Bangladesh organised the festival. Through a wide and immersive range of activities, the festival helped celebrate the people, their strength, joy, and solidarity. Key attractions of the opening day included a performance by Happy Home girls; the inauguration of exhibition and kiosks; opening dialogue on the "Multi-dimensional perspective of resilience."
To celebrate the resilience of communities of Bangladesh and the country's glorious heritage, culture, and traditions, ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) has organised a two-day festival. The event "Festival of Resilience: People, Planet and Possibilities" aims to encourage celebration and participation among communities in recognition of their stories of resilience. The festival, which started Thursday in Dhaka's Gulshan 2, will end Friday. For decades, the people of Bangladesh have faced countless challenges, such as climate and human-induced disasters, inequalities, economic instability, refugee crisis and pandemic. But every time, the mass bounced back with the power of resilience and survived with renewed vigour. A very recent example would be the last two years, during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the collective effort of the people of this country helped communities to stay hopeful and agile, despite all the uncertainties and despair. This innate quality and resilience of people are worth celebrating. So, ActionAid Bangladesh is organising this festival. Through a wide and immersive range of activities, the festival will help celebrate the people, their strength, joy, and solidarity. Key attractions of the opening day included a performance by Happy Home girls; the inauguration of exhibition and kiosks; opening dialogue on the "Multi-dimensional perspective of resilience." There was also a special "She-tales," segment, involving women leaders from the community who shared their tales of courage and resilience, and a cultural performance by the AAB Band. On the last day of the event, there will be a flash mob by the young participants of the Activista Network of ActionAid Bangladesh. There will also be three "Human Book Café" sessions with distinguished speakers – Imtiaz Ahmed, professor of international relations and director of Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka; Naveed Mahbub, comedian and columnist; Tania Wahab, entrepreneur, Afsan Chowdhury, journalist and researcher, Shameem Akhtar, filmmaker and media activist, and Afzal Hossain, popular actor and director. "The knack for survival through endurance and overcoming obstacles is what makes us, as a nation, unique and commendable. At ActionAid, we felt that it was high time we celebrated this innate resilience of people – and therefore, came up with the idea of this Festival of Resilience," Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, said. "Through this two-day event, we are going to promote the diversity of the country's culture, an attempt to learn the grassroots' resilience mechanisms, explore opportunities for potential partnerships and highlight the work of ActionAid Bangladesh for building resilience to increase awareness."
ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) exhibited its glorious 38 years of journey with a daylong event titled "ActOnAid! Exhibition" at a hotel in the capital Saturday. The exhibition focused on the strategic priority programmes, special initiatives, success stories and impact on the communities of ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) and how one can support its mission and vision to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication. Read: Climate migration in Bangladesh may increase 7-fold by 2050: ActionAid Alongside the exhibition, Farah Kabir, country director of AAB, hosted and moderated a panel discussion titled "Inclusive development partnerships towards attaining the SDGs" with industry leaders, philanthropists, celebrities, young changemakers, academics and activists. "ActionAid Bangladesh started its journey from Char Fasson of Bhola. No one knew about Char Fasson in those days, but we were there to support the communities affected by floods and cyclones. Since then, we have been here working with the most marginalised, in the very hard to reach places and in different geographical locations," Farah said. Read: Undertake steps around COVID-19 relief operation: ActionAid to govt AAB, an affiliate member of the ActionAid Federation, has been working in Bangladesh since 1983 in solidarity with the poor and excluded people to end poverty and injustice. The organisation aims to facilitate and empower people to challenge poverty and exclusion underpinned by its human rights-based approach (HRBA).
The youths should be involved beyond passive consultation processes and encouraged to actively provide inputs to local and national Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) accountability mechanisms. But the voice of the young people, who make up more than a third of the country's population, is missing in the implementation of the SDGs. Experts made the observations at the dialogue "Accountability for SDG Implementation: Local Perspectives and Youth" organised by Citizen's Platform for SDGs Bangladesh and ActionAid Bangladesh Sunday. "Among the 122 indicators of SDGs, eight are directly focused on youth employment, various injustice, educational rights and others. Undoubtedly, we need to pay attention to the assessment, evaluation and voice of the youth," said Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, convenor of Citizen's Platform. ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir said: "Though Bangladesh prepared two voluntary national reviews in 2017 and 2020 respectively to assess the implementation status of the SDGs, youth and marginalised communities were not fully involved in the process." "So, the voluntary local reviews need to be prepared through the district, sub-district and community levels, especially involving young men and young women below the age of 35 years and who have been left behind lately due to the pandemic."
Dhaka, Apr 24 (UNB) - The 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, the worst-ever tragedy in the country’s multi-billion-dollar ready-made garment (RMG) industry, is being observed on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic. This year, there will be no outdoor programmes to recall the victims due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Read Why Rana Plaza owner’s bail shouldn’t be stayed, asks HC Different right bodies, worker organisations and left-leaning political parties, including Rana Plaza Survivors’ Association, usually arrange various programmes every year, remembering the tragedy. On April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza, an illegally-constructed building in Savar which housed five garment factories, came down crashing, killing 1,138 people and injuring over 2,000 others. According to the survey conducted by ActionAid Bangladesh, the physical health condition of 14 percent of survivors is getting worse. Also read: 57pc Rana Plaza survivors remain unemployed: Survey Among them, 58.5 percent are more or less stable, and 27.5 percent are completely stable. Most of the 14 percent survivors reported that they are still bearing a headache, pain in hand and leg and back pain. In terms of psychosocial health, 12.5 percent are still in trauma in comparison to 10.5 percent survivors last year. Currently, 62 percent reported that they are more or less stable, and 25.5 percent have recovered fully compared to 21 percent last year. A total of 4.5 percent more survivors have improved their mental health than last year. Also read: HC issues rule on why Rana Plaza owner should not get bail These findings were disclosed in a virtual dialogue titled ‘COVID-19: Challenges for the Rana Plaza Tragedy Survivors’ on April 22 organised by ActionAid Bangladesh in memory of the 8th year of Rana Plaza tragedy. The survey was conducted among 200 survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse.
Nearly 57 percent of the survivors of Rana Plaza have remained unemployed, according to a survey. Besides, 43 percent of the other survivors have to make a living by changing their work from time to time due to deteriorating physical condition. Rana Plaza is the deadliest industrial disaster in Bangladesh that left more than 1,100 people, mostly RMG workers, dead in 2013. According to the survey conducted by ActionAid Bangladesh, the physical health condition of 14 percent survivor is getting worse. Among them, 58.5 percent are more or less stable, and 27.5 percent are completely stable. Most of the 14 percent survivors reported that they are still bearing with headache, pain in hand and leg and back pain. In terms of psychosocial health, 12.5 percent are still in trauma in comparison to 10.5 percent survivors last year. Currently 62 percent reported that they are more or less stable, and 25.5 percent have recovered fully compared to 21 percent last year. A total of 4.5 percent more survivors have improved their mental health than last year. These findings were disclosed in a virtual dialogue titled ‘COVID-19: Challenges for the Rana Plaza Tragedy Survivors’ on Thursday organised by ActionAid Bangladesh in memory of the 8th year of Rana Plaza tragedy. The survey was conducted among 200 survivors of Rana Plaza collapse. Also read: HC issues rule on why Rana Plaza owner should not get bail According to the survey, 43 percent survivors are engaged in various types of wage and self-employment. However, due to the deteriorating physical condition, they have to make a living by changing their work from time to time. The 12 percent survivors have returned to garments with another 12 percent involved in tailoring. In most households, there is only a single earner whose income is reduced due to the outbreak of COVID-19. A total of 37.5 percent said their household income is between Tk5,001 – 10,300 while 29.5 percent have a household income between Tk10,300 - 15,300. Majority of survivors have an average expenditure of over Tk10,000 with major costs incurred for food, followed by house-rent, children’s education and treatment. Around 67 percent participants said that the factories are maintaining the guided procedures when they enter into and stay during the working hour while 33 percent participants expressed that the factories are not offering guided measurements in rolling out safe health and hygiene at the workplace. Member of Parliament Shirin Akhter stated that, “We have labour laws in our country. If that law is implemented properly, it is possible to gain some benefits to the workers. As well as compensation laws needs to be enacted. Creating an emergency fund makes it easier to get temporary relief from dangers like the Rana Plaza tragedy.” Also read: 7th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse today She said trade unions, employers and the government can work together to create a good working environment, transparency, and accountability in the factories. “If we can confirm all these things, we can say that we’ve been able to bring positive changes by learning from the horrors of the Rana Plaza incident,” she also added. Shirin Akhter called on the trade unions to negotiate with the RMG owners to see if the incentive announced by the government during COVID-19 is properly allotted to the workers. She also requested the employers to arrange rations for the workers. Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh s Farah Kabir moderated the function. She said even in eight years, the condition of significant surviving workers is not satisfactory. But the workers are called the oxygen of the economy and development of the country. “We’ve to come out of the colonial mentality and fulfill the just demands of the workers. Accidents could happen again at any time like Rana Plaza collapse. That is why everyone should be made aware about insurance schemes, self-development skills or special fund formation and emergency activities,” she added. The Country Director of ILO Country Office for Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen said there is a requirement to improve security and governance on labour issues, and this needs institutional change. “We’ve to create a culture of health safety for workers in factories and the government needs to enact legislation to ensure this.’ Also read: Rana Plaza volunteer dies after ‘setting himself on fire’ in Savar He called for a new way of thinking about social security during COVID-19. And for that Tuomo Poutiainen spoke of creating new jobs by increasing investment in collaboration with the government, industry and workers. Research Director of Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Dr Khondokar Golam Moazzem said since the Rana Plaza collapse, there has been no positive change in the victims’ lives. Despite some financial assistance, the process of reintegration of injured workers in the formal sector has not been introduced; they have to be brought under reintegration process. He called for the distribution of free health cards from the Rana Plaza Trust Fund at the upazila level to ensure the medical treatment of the injured workers who have returned to their village homes. He also proposed for the provision of health insurance for the surviving injured workers. Dr Hameeda Hossain, Convener, Sramik Nirapotta Forum (SNF) called for ensuring the safety of workers by implementing safety committees and insurance schemes. General Secretary of Somajtantrik Sramik Front Rajekuzzaman Ratan said on an average, about 1,000 workers die in various accidents in our country every year. The National Social Security Project needs to be implemented to ensure security. People should not lose their lives.
The monthly income of wage-earners in four select districts came down around 70 percent in a year (November 2019 to November 2020), according to a SANEM survey unveiled on Tuesday.
Planning Minister MA Mannan on Saturday stressed the need for better coordination among public, private stakeholders and experts for the sake of the country’s youth development as they are key force of economic development.
A research conducted by the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) identified six transmission mechanisms through which the youths of the country are being affected - health, education, employment, income, poverty, and domestic violence – due to COVID-19. SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan on Saturday presented recommendations to overcome the problems at a webinar titled “Youth Perspective on Covid-19 Crisis in Bangladesh: Response Through National Budget and Planning”, jointly organised by SANEM and ActionAid Bangladesh. Chaired by Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, university teachers, private sector representatives, development practitioners and students took part in it. The recommendations are – provide health coverage and engage the most vulnerable youth group in the health care packages to meet up their basic needs; inclusive education, public-private partnerships to widen access to distance learning tools free of cost, expand capacity of networks without demand surges. SANEM also suggested extending social safety net to include unemployed youths, creating employment retention schemes, and tax reliefs or interest-free loans to SMEs operated by youths. Dr Raihan hoped that with collaboration at all levels Bangladesh will be able to get through this crisis. Farah Kabir shared her observations on the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent effects on the youth of Bangladesh. “One of the most important aspects of any crisis is the effect of the crisis on the youth. In tackling the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to take into consideration the issues of the youth. These issues have social and economic aspects as well as the mental health aspects,” she added. She stressed the requirement of national planning and targeted policy interventions to address the issues of the youth in the current context. Dr Sayema Haque Bidisha, Research Director of SANEM and Professor of Economics department at Dhaka University, Mahtab Uddin, Research Fellow of SANEM and lecturer of the department, Zubayer Hossen, Research Economist of SANEM and Nazmul Ahsan, Manager-Young People of ActionAid Bangladesh took part as panelists.