Accelerating Livelihoods Options for the Dalit and Ethnic Community(ALO)


Gram Bikash Kendra-GBK is a non-profit development organization which is working in the north-west region of Bangladesh. GBK is working for the empowerment of poor, disadvantaged and marginal section of the society.

GBK is working for assisting the Dalit peoples to access their rights. In this process, GBK is addressing the Dalit’s education, technical skill for alternative and dignified occupation and other issues of their livelihood, rights issue, social inclusion and peace building. Advocacy with government and local elected bodies, policy makers with formation of network platform on Dalit issues, civil society peoples are the part of the working process. The Dalit people are Bashfore, Lalbagi,Shabdokor/ Badia,/ baddokor, Hari, Bashmoli, Hela, Rougth, Robidash, Partni, Mali, Balmiki, Nunia, Reeshi, Dhopa, Kamar, Kumar, Jeilla, Maghi, Kullu, Napit, they are oppressed, tortured and suppressed by heredity, detached from mainstream society. GBK continues to focus on achieving social change through improve the capacity of the dalit communities in order to enable them to meet their basic needs and social inclusion. The project is launching another new phase (2013-2016) with includes Ethnic community people and implementing in 05 sub-districtunder 03 District (Northern part of Bangladesh) covering 1280 (of which 50% ethnic) household 5606 populations with the support of HEKS Switzerland (Hilfswerk der EvangelischenKirchenSchweizEntraideProtestante Suisse EPRP Swiss Interchurch Aid Ayuda de las Iglesias Protestantes de Suiza) since 2006. 

Project Participants/ Beneficiaries: The project is implementing through community approach covering total household 1280 and population 5606, (Male-1590, female-1651, children and Adolescent-2365), the project participants are socially excluded marginalized and all age group people are involve in the process. The project is implementing with Dalit community people those are poor and living in below poverty level, most of the people are earning by doing cleaning job, they also do sweeping public place, remove skin from dead animal and like other dirty jobs which are socially neglected. The Dalit people those who are earning money all most all have no plan how to spend for their family, they spend maximum of their earning for drug (alcohol/narcotics). The dalit people are not allowed to enter in the hotel or restaurant, saloons treated as untouchable. They have no homestead land, usually they live in Railway land, municipality, hospital vicinity which are verbally allocated, authority of the land can give evacuation notice at any time when need. Their accommodations are unhygienic; they have only one or two small room to live with minimum 7-10 family members. In the community their sanitation situation is very worst. Early marriage is one the common thing of Dalit community, as because they attacked by diseases, ill health & malnutrition’s for round the year. On the other hand the Ethnic community people almost same as socially neglected and deprived by the grater community people. Dalit and Ethnic people can’t’ protest or resist illegal influence of influential person of greater community that is why they are often being dominated by the greater community leader. Drug addicted person from greater community also take the opportunity to use dalit community as a drug using shelter, abused area, men or women (those did not like to use drug) cannot protest.

Project Period: (From January- 2013 To December-2016)

Project Objective: (With thematic area)

ALO Project Goal:

Social justice and equality for 40 non-mainstreamed communities in the Dinajpur, Nilphamari and Rangpur Districts of North West Bangladesh. 

General Objectives:

The general objective of the project is to build capacity of Dalits and Ethnic people for establishing their rights and accesses and create an environment for them to work with people from greater communities.

Specific Objectives:

·         Creation and Implementation of Inclusive Policies for Dalits and Adibashis in Bangladesh

·         Stronger Dalit & Adibashi Community Claiming their Rights

·         Ensured Regular Income for Dalits and Adibashis in Bangladesh

·         Increased access of Dalits and Adibashis to / Ownership of / Control over land.

Donor: HEKS (Hilfswerk der EvangelischenKirchenSchweiz) Switzerland

Implementation Location/Geographical area:

The project is implementing in North-west Bangladesh since 2006 in 03 District, covering 05 Upazila (05 municipality) like- Parbotipur, Dinajpur sadar, Fulbari upazila (Dinajpur district), Rangpur sadar upazila (Rangpur District) and Sayedpur upazila (Nilphamari district).

Major area of Intervention/Component:

  • Awareness development of Dalit and Ethnic community people.
  • Child education activities
  • Leadership and skill development training
  • Enhance of Livelihoods condition (including Market system development/Value Chain and General IGA activities)
  • Right based activities, social inclusion and peace building
  • Linkage, coordination and Advocacy(including policy advocacy)
  • Resilience building on DRR

Major Activities: (In brief)

  • PPS(Child Development Center-CDC) activities
  • HOME (Holistic Opportunities for Meritorious students Education) Activities
  • Sports and Cultural Activities
  • Student’s Exposure visit to Government Primary school
  • Parents’ day of  HOME students

·         Support to Graduate (those who are passed class-iii from project school) Students

  • Day Observation:
  • Kind  Support for Income generating activities-IGA
  • Technical support for Value Chain activities
  • Create savings habit of  community Members
  • Support provide to Victim
  • Land rights support(land case support, land document recovery, mutation, khash land process, agricultural land lease)
  • New technology kind support(solar-household and community lighting, energy savings oven)
  • Homestead vegetable gardening
  • Project Participant’s Awareness Training
  • Capacity and need assessment on DRR
  • Awareness on Disaster Risk Reduction-DRR
  • Arrange different level DRR committee meeting (Union, Municipality, Upazila) and includes beneficiaries as member
  • Support addressing DRR( tube well repairing/installation, sanitary latrine repairing /installation, Pig shed with fence)
  • HAP for transparency and accountability
  • Group and CBO activities respectively at community, upazila and District level.
  • Networking, Linkage & Advocacy through NNMC(Network of Non-mainstream Marginalized Communities)
  • Action research on human rights status of Dalit &Ethnic of Bangladesh
  • Legal Aid, advice & support for high profile human rights abuse case.
  • Emergency support.