Introduction of the organisation

Nagorik Uddyog is a national level human rights and development 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

1. Dalit and Tea Community:

From April 1, 2020 to 5 August 2020, NU implemented following activities among the Dalit communities in collaboration with Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM).

  • A total of 6150 families received protective materials (Hygiene kits) Dalit and tea communities.
  • Distribution of 20,000 leaflets containing the message to protect from virus infection.
  • Raise awareness among the 1000 pre-primary Dalit students as well as provided Hygiene kits to protect them from virus infection.
    Youth Dalit volunteers are working to make aware on social distancing at the Dalit colonies and tea gardens. 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.
  • Distributed food materials among 1800 families of Dalit and unemployed tea workers community at Dhaka, Khulna, Jessore, Barisahl, Maulavibazar and Habiganj district.

2. Informal Sector and Garment Workers

The following work completed in cooperation with Bangladesh Labor Rights Forum

  • Distribution of 20,000 awareness raising leaflets among informal sector workers in Dhaka city containing the message to protect from virus infection.
  • Distributed 1,400 packets cooked food among floating people in different places of Dhaka city.
  • Distributed 400 food package among Hawkers and domestic workers in the city (containing rice, lentils , potato, oil and hygiene kit)
  • 100 garment workers received food package for their children and adults.

3. Working with Linguistic Minorities (Bihari):

Nagorik Uddyog collaborated with Council of Minority to support the Bihari community.

  • Distributed 820 food package among Urdhu speaking (Bihari) people in Dhaka, Syedpur, Rangpur, Chittagong and Mymensingh districts, who are hard hit as they engaged in informal sector work (much needed  community)
  • 3 sickly camp dwellers assisted to get COVID-19 test and found positive. One of them died (6 years old) at hospital and 2 of them are under treatment. Supporting food and medicine to them.

4. Community level awareness

NU facilitated community forum- 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.

5. Lobbying with the government

A list of vulnerable Dalit community people of different districts and sub-district submitted 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. BDERM local committee coordinating this work.

6. Cash Support to the low income group

100 families supported with cash, who cannot seek for direct assistance from the ongoing relief operation.

7. Future Planned Activities

We are in the process to support with the following activities by November 2020. The project is in the process of approval.

  • Health education and information of Covid-19. 50,000 will be covered
  • Psycho-social care for 2000 families
  • Distribute of hand washing soap and facial mask among 10,000 families
  • Advocacy and campaign at 95 unions and 10 Upazilas.
  • Livelihood support to 1,000 families
  • Income Generating Support for 200 families

8. 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).
  • Government should make a call to the development partners to extent support
  • NGOs should get involved for awareness raising and distribution of government support in collaboration with local government.
  • 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.
  • Priorities may be set up with new vision in next five year plan.
  • Intensifying advocacy: Universal pension schemes, implementation of social security strategy policy, introduce long term rationing for marginalized and socially excluded communities, health sector reform.
  • Disaggregated data for the marginalized communities
  • Need to declare the emergency and to be more aggressive to tackle the situation, with ensuring freedom of opinions of oppositions political parties, civil societies and people at large.

Health aspects:

  • 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.
  • There is a confusion of information provided by the government regularly, this confusion need to take into account by the authority to provide accurate information in this pandemic situation.

9. Website link of the organization’s Covid-19 Response: