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Editorial

Life of char people

Schools, clinics must be established in char regions


Bangladeshpost
Published : 09 Oct 2023 08:44 PM

Though the whole country has progressed, the people of sedimentary islands (char region) especially the communities of marginalised, climate-affected deltaic islands of the Padma, Meghna, Jamuna, Brahmaputra and other rivers are still lagging behind.

According to media reports, over 10,000 people live in char area of Goalanda upazila in Rajbari district. But, there is no secondary school and community clinic there since long. So, the children cannot get enrolled in high school while the locals do not have access to the public healthcare services. The residents of char area demanded of the government to establish high school and community clinic there.

While the people of the country’s mainland are availing various public services and amenities, the char dwellers have hardly any access to those, as they are marginalised and live in hard-to-reach areas.  If anyone falls sick in his locality during a flood, no doctor will be found there. So, the patient must be taken to upazila, which is far away from their locality, by a boat or raft and then. Many patients have to meet the tragic end of their lives due to lack of medical treatment. Char people do not go to doctors with simple health complications like fever and cough but suffer more.   

About seventy lakh people of the country are the residents of different char regions, says a study. Besides, residents of the remote chars (shoal) also have to struggle to reach the mainland round the year for lack of enough transport facilities, accelerating their plights. 

Char 

people must get government

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As the flood-prone chars are inundated every year during monsoon, there is no enough road and transport facility there. During the monsoon, locals use boats or banana plant-made rafts to go from one place to another. But, in dry season, they must walk for at least one hour for going to the mainland from the hard-to-reach areas, while horse carts are the only transport mood to carry goods in chars. 

Improving the living standard of the char area people must be ensured to achieve the government target of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. Therefore, improving the fate of these sedimentary chars is integrally tied to poverty alleviation and climate action in Bangladesh.

As there is no concrete road in the char areas, the locals have to suffer more in carrying goods in the uneven and muddy paths of chars. A large part of the river-centric Bangladesh is char area which is full of possibilities for country's economic growth for its large number of population and a vast area of fertile land.

The government has taken a number of projects to reduce the hunger and poverty of the people living in the char areas as most of them are being deprived of basic needs. Therefore, char people must get government services and modern facilities like electricity at doorsteps to change their life fast. 

The main goal of the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is development of all people leaving none behind. For this reason, the government will have to work intensively for the development of every person in this country. Char areas are part of the government’s master plan for development.

Therefore, the authorities concerned must establish educational institutions and community clinics in char regions on urgent basis.