Seminar on "Inclusion of Marginalized Population in Development" organised by Obat Helpers was held at Bangabandhu Hall of Chattogram Press Club on Tuesday evening. The meeting was presided over by Anwar Akmal Khan, the founder of Obat.
Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, former mayor of Chattogram City Corporation, former MP and founder of International Business Forum of Bangladesh, was the chief guest at the seminar. Sohail Akhtar Khan, Country Manager of OBAT Helpers, presented the keynote at the seminar. SDG Youth Forum President Noman Ullah Bahar was the main speaker former vice-chancellor of USTC and public health expert Prof. Dr. Prabhat Chandra Barua. Special guests were Deputy Director of Secondary and Higher Education Department Dr. Gazi Golam Mawla (Azad Bulbul), Government Teacher Training Center teacher, author and educationist Shamsuddin Shishir, Director of Social Business Research Center and support person of Three Zero Club Dr. Muhammad Kamal Uddin, Chittagong College. Professor Mujib Rahman, Alhaj Shamsul Haque Foundation Chairman Nashir Uddin, Chattogram Mother and Child Hospital Deputy Director (Administration) Rotarian Mosharraf Hossain, Human Rights Organizer and Entrepreneur Sajjad Uddin, Obat Helpers USA Executive Assistant Catalina Cipuents, Social Worker Neshar Ahmed Khan, Lion Dr. Narayan Chandra Nath, M. A. Jalil, founder of Popular Janakalyan Sangh.
Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury said that human-made inconsistencies are rooted in the structure of society and the state, including marginalization and poverty. Due to unequal distribution and lack of balanced participation in the existing development system, the people of backward towns are further backward. Therefore, in addition to providing equal participation opportunities to the people of marginal towns in all aspects of society, their opinions should be given importance and the right to receive information should be ensured. As a result of the meaningful work of private development organizations including OBAT Helpers, visible changes are being achieved in various fields including the expansion of quality education, eradication of extreme poverty, eradication of hunger, advancement of women, safe water and sanitation, lighting in marginal areas, access to health care, creation of small and medium entrepreneurship, and increase in environmental awareness. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be possible and facilitated by coordinating with the government as well as non-governmental development partners who are regularly working for the development of the backward communities.
Anwar Akmal Khan said that the mentality of not taking the marginalized people into account should be avoided in the correct assessment of the society. It is important to increase the skills of marginalized people through various trainings and eliminate unemployment by involving them in income-generating activities, ensuring decent employment.
Professor Dr. Prabhat Chandra Barua said that economic inequality is slowing down the overall development of Bangladesh. The benefits of development need to reach all levels, establishing good governance, especially bringing economic equality
Integrating backward communities into the mainstream of development, establishing their dignified coexistence and rights is essential for building a prosperous Bangladesh.