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Govt working to uplift Dalit people: Ranga

State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Md Mashiur Rahman Ranga today said the government has taken a special initiative to ensure fundamental rights of the country's backward people, including members of the Dalit communities.

It is not possible to institutionalize the country's unprecedented development and the democracy without ensuring fundamental rights like shelter, education and health of the about one crore Dalit community people, he said.

The state minister was addressing a roundtable meeting on 'Reorganization of Panchayet (village council) as village court for the Dalit community and responsibility of the state' at Jatiya Press Club auditorium here, said an official release.

Shari, a voluntary organization, and UNDP jointly organized the meeting with Shari Executive Director Priya Bala Bishwas in the chair, the release added.

The government has expanded the area of social safety net programme to include the backward section of people in society in the country's mainstream of development, Ranga said, adding that Taka 64,656 crore was allocated in the current fiscal year to ensure social security of the backward section of people, including the Dalit community.

Ranga said the opinion of the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry will be taken on reorganization of Dalit community's Panchayet as the village court.

Appraising the UNDP's Dalit-friendly activities, the state minister said more non-government organizations should play role in support of the government's ongoing social safety net programmes.

He suggested the Shari for expanding its humanitarian works for the Dalit community and assured it of giving all-out cooperation in this regard.

Researcher Professor Dr Mejbah Kamal, UNDP representative Taslima Islam, noted journalist Santosh Sharma, Barrister Tapas Kumar Bol and Dalit leaders Ramanada Das and Ranjan Bakshi Nupur spoke in the meeting, among others.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)