Introduction of the organisation
Nagorik Uddyog is a national level human rights and social mobilization organization established in 1995 aiming to promote social and gender justice, equality and rule of law with accountable, transparent and responsive institutions by mobilizing community people through building their own self-sustaining agency that they can realize their rights and entitlements, with special focus on women, workers, socially excluded, underprivileged and minority communities.
Programmatic interventions in response to COVID-19
- Distribution of 20,000 awareness raising leaflets among Dalit people and workers of informal sector and garments. .
- NU facilitated community forums – Citizens Rights Group (CRG) are working on 63 unions of 7 upazilas of Barishal, Pirojpur, Tangail and Rangpur district to aware people about the risk of spreading COVID-19, ensuring expats maintaining home quarantine, assisting administration and law enforcing agencies in maintaining social distancing as well as connecting the most vulnerable people to the government emergency support.
- Distributed soap and mask among 800 students of Dalit School operated by NU as well as provided orientation on hand washing and hygiene maintenance.
- Distributed 1,400 packets cooked food among floating people in different places of Dhaka city (on going)
- Distributed 100 food package among Hawkers in the city (containing rice, lentils , potato, oil and soap)
- Distributed 50 food package among Urdhu speaking ( Bihari ) people, who are hard hit as they engaged in informal sector work ( much needed community)
- Submitted a list of Dalit vulnerable people in different districts and sub-district to the authority to get government support on priority basis. So far 3,563 (three thousands five hundreds sixty three) Dalit families received government emergency food support in 10 districts.
- Dalit youth volunteers are working to ensure social distancing in the Dalit colony (it is difficult to maintain distancing as the colony is crowed.). They are also working to restrict colony people’s movement to outside without reason as well as outsiders’ entry to the colony
- Send a press statement on behalf of Dalit people demanding to provide necessary support (food, materials for sanitization, cash money) for the Dalit community people.
- Attended a talk show to discuss on how to get prepared to overcome Corona disaster
Our target groups, informal sector workers (especially streets hawkers, domestic workers, and van and rickshaw pullers, city floating people, people with disablity and beggars), Dalits, tea plantation workers, people living in the tea garden but do not have any job in the garden and Urdhu speaking (Bihari) community.
- Resources are the key challenges in this difficult situation. Our development partners / donors still not responding for livelihood support as the their own countries are hard hit by the COVID-19
- As a human rights and social mobilization organization, we are fully depended on donor funding
- Distribution of food stuff and other assistance is also a problem as staff/ volunteers are reluctant to work in the field due to fear of being affected and maintaining social distancing
- As government distributing food support through local government channel, the local voters are only entitled to get the support. On the other hand party affiliation gets priority.
Future outlook and recommendations
Economic and social aspects:
- Urgently need to distribute food package to the most marginalized and socially excluded communities as they generally do not get support from rich and wealthy people due to religious, cultural and ethnicity and untouchability (Dalit, indigenous, Bihari etc). Need to prepare a comprehensive list.
- Procurement of paddy with fair price from the farmers directly, store as much as possible and ensue distribution through OMS and other social safety net programme.
- Government should make a call to the development partners to extent support
- NGOs should get involved to distribute the government food stuff.
- Government should revised the budget of current fiscal year ( 2019-2020) to redirect the funding for immediate needs as only two months ahead of us to spend the money.
- The number of packages has already been declared by the government to reopen and tackle the economic loss, the source and expenditure channel needs to clarify to the people.
- Need to start discussions on next fiscal year (2020-2021) budget.
- Priorities may be set up with new vision in next five year plan.
- Intensifying advocacy: Universal pension schemes, implementation of social security strategy policy, health sector reform.
- Need to declare the emergency and to be more aggressive to tackle the situation. However, need to ensure freedom of opinions of oppositions political parties, civil societies and people at large.
- COVID-19 testing facilities need to expand immediately to identify infected people as the trend of infection increasing.
- Ensure to get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all level of health professional along with their other needs, food, adequate rest etc.
- As CSO should strengthen advocacy to improve the public health and primary health care facilities.
See more of Nagorik Uddyog’s work in COVID-19 response
Photos of our activities