In the Indian Subcontinent since time immemorial a particular group of people has used religion as a weapon to utilize various social facilities for themselves. By using religion they set up a social classification of people which has become well known under the name of Caste System. This social system was and continues to be deadly for a lot of people living in the Indian subcontinent.
So many people living in the south western region of Bangladesh have been victims of this cruel system. These people are known in different names like Harijans, untouchables, outcaste people, Tapshil groups, ethnic minorities, Dalits, Scheduled castes, Bhu-putra, Bhumij etc.
Discrimination and oppression are still going on against them and they have great difficulties in having access to local resources. They are still marginalized from the greater society and are extremely poor, illiterate, landless, rightness, underdeveloped and frustrated.
Their life is still full of agony and distress. The national policy makers have constantly overlooked their situation and even NGOs have not come up with a plan for these groups of people.
Through the efforts of Father Luigi Paggi, and other members of the Xaverian Missionary Society and Caritas some young men and young ladies belonging to these backward groups living in the South Western coastal region of Satkhira, Khulna and Jessore have been able to get a certain degree of education. They have also been able to become aware about their own people’s miserable situation and have understood that trying to change and improve it is now their duty and responsibility.
Therefore, in 1993 a group of them set up a small Students’ association, which was called ‘Parittran.’ The meaning of this Bengali word is ‘liberation or salvation.’
Parittran is a promise and a movement. Parittran wants to assist neglected ethnic out caste groups for their empowerment through participatory way by developing community based people’s institutions.
Through this Organization those students had in mind to start a movement of the oppressed minority people (i.e. Dalits) towards achieving social and economic benefits, human rights and self respect.
This movement aims at:
- Eradicating social evils such as caste and untouchability
- Developing sustainable economic activities
- Making backward people aware of ecological problems.
The following is a brief Description of the Organization:
To establish a society free from social, gender, class, caste and religion based discrimination, where every citizen enjoys equal status and dignity.
- Providing legal assistance to the women and the Dalit people.
- Establishing the Dalits and ethnic minority class in the local, national and international level.
- Focusing on the positive role of Dalits through various media and publications
- Developing the Dalit community as small scale entrepreneurs through appropriate skill development training.
- Awareness for the Dalit community on health, nutrition, family welfare and environment conservation.
- Establishing equal participation of male and female towards sustainable development through joint efforts and to have organizational development in them.
- Developing social awareness and social movement against early marriage, polygamy, divorce, dowry, trafficking of women and children and violence against women.
- Assisting the Dalit community so that they can become active development partners for the society.
Legal Status of Parittran
- Registered with Social Welfare Department of the Government of Bangladesh.
(Vide Registration No. Sat- 168/97).
- Registered with NGO Affairs Bureau: FD Registration No -1776.
Parittran has two committees to run the Organization
Which are –
- General Committee comprising of 29 members, Female- 9, Male-20.
- Executive Committee comprising of 9 members Female- 6, Male-3.
Parittran is particularly working in 10 Districts of Khulna Division to organize dalit community people.
On going Programs.
- An Action Research Analyses of Socio-economic Barriers of the (Dalit) Untouchable Community and Means of Evading These Barriers,
- An Action Research on Bagdai Community Socio-economic Problems and Possible Way out.
- Searching for a way to Dalits empowerment A Participatory group research
- Pilot project for the eradication of Casteism at its roots
- Increasing Local Government Sensitivity on the Establishment and Protection of Women’s Human Rights.
- Recognition, Establishment and Protection of Human Rights for the Outcaste (Dalit) Community People
- Promoting the rights of ethnic minorities and women in the south-western of Bangladesh
- Civic participation and human rights education for youths.
- Underprivileged Community Empowerment Program -1(UCEP-1).
- Social Mobilization and Development of the Munda Community
- Training, Research and information dissemination
- Environment and disaster management program (EDM)
- Promote Human Rights and Democracy Education.
- Promote Good Governance.
- Climate Change.
- Gender and Women Empowerment
Strategy of Parittran.
- Forming Volunteers grou.
- To explore and identify key problems of the community.
- Dalit and Indigenous peoples.
- The government and Local government.
- Civil Society.
Main Actions of Parittran.
- Education and Awareness raising
- Advocacy and Lobbing
- Campaign and Social Mobilization.
- Participatory Action Research
- Information collection and Dissemination
- Disaster and risk Management.
- Popular Theater.
- Capacity Building.