Dalit is the self-chosen political name of the castes in South Asia region who were formerly considered ‘untouchable’ according to the Hindu Varna system. Currently, Dalits perform as occupational groups in Bangladesh. An estimated 5.5 million people belong to Dalits in Bangladesh (IDSN, 2006).
Different research shows that 94 categories of Dalits live in Bangladesh. Among them the major communities are Bnashfore, Hela, Lalbegi, Domar, Hari, Balmeki, Telegu, Jele, Behara, Dai, Nikari, Teli etc. Although the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh promises to ensure equal rights and dignity for all citizens, unfortunately, due to various factors including the knowledge and behavior of the society, Dalits remain oppressed in all aspects. It can be said that among the marginalised population, Dalits especially the urban Dalits are considered as extremely vulnerable due to their limited economic opportunities and other constraints to engage in economic activities.
This study aims at urban Dalits mostly the Harijons living in selected northern districts of Bangladesh. The overall objective of this study is to provide anthropological insights in understanding urban Dalits and their lives in selected areas.