On the 29th November 2014 Bangladesh Krishok Federation President distributing warm cloths among the landless people living in the remote island called Sikderer Char in Dakkhin Aicha, Bhola district. Bhola Island is one of the climate change affected areas which is situated in the southern coastal belt of Bangladesh.
Rangpur district is one of poorest northern districts in Bangladesh. Poverty and malnutrition are daily matters in the district. There is a lot of Khasland in the district which can be source of livelihood of the poor people. Unfortunately the poor do not have any access to the Khasland. The local influentials with the help of local vested interest have been enjoying the land over the years. The land should be taken-over and distributed among the landless and indigenous people.
On 29 November 2014 a press conference was held with Asadul Islam Sarker(Asad) in the chair in Hotel Mitali, Rangpur. Bangladesh Adivasi Samity President Sree Biswnath Singh, Advisor of Bangladesh Adivasi Samity Abul Hossain, Bangladesh Kishani Sabha Central Committee Member Sabina Yasmin, Bangladesh Krishok Federation Rangpur District Committee Secretary Aminul Islam Kachu present in the meeting and answered to the question posed by the journalists. In the press conference it is said that the 70 percent people in the district are landless. 80 percent Khasland are with hand of local influentials and rich people. The speakers at the conference asked the government to take proper initiative to recover the land and give away among the genuine landless and indigenous people in the district.
There are 60 persons present in the press conference including 12 journalists. Quite a number of dailies gave the coverage of the news in the press conference. 30 percent of the participants were women.
All Khaslands in the district should be recovered immediately
All Khaslands should be distributed and settled among the landless and indigenous people
Based on the experience of the press conference it is decided that a study should be conducted on the census of the Khasland.
Training for the landless should be held in order to make them understand of their rights to Khasland.
Through the press conference it has been clear that the landless people are keen with fighting spirit to have the Khasland for their livelihood purpose.
The confidence level of the landless people has increased.
The fight-back should continue in the district for the benefit of the landless and indigenous people.
Bangladesh Kishani Sabha
Barisal is one of the southern districts where a many landless people live in sub-human life. There is a lot of Khas island in the district. The local administration is not taking any steps to distribute this Khasland among the landless people although there is a concrete Khash agricultural land management and settlement manual in the country which is in favor of the landless people.
On 29 November Bangladesh Krishok Federation organized a mobilization in Barisal district town demanding the Khasland distribution among the landless men and women in the district.
Presided over by Bangladesh Krishok Federation Barisal District Committee President Harun Bhandari, Bangladesh Kishani Sabha Barisal District Committee President Mitu Begum, Bangladesh Krishok Federation Barisal District Secretary Halim Mahuri, District committee member Abdul Jabber, Moni Begum, Hira Begum, among others, addressed the meeting.
The speakers demanded to the government to recover all the Khas abandoned land and distribute them among the landless men and women in the district. They also demanded permanent settlement of the land occupied by the landless people in Rasulpur near Barisal city. They also demanded the removal of the illegal land grabbers from the Khasland.
The participants of the landless people were much encouraged by the mobilization. They reaffirmed their commitment to the struggle. There were 40 percent female in the participants.
They expressed their pledges to continue the struggle until the final goal is achieved.
ASM Badrul Alam
Nachol is one of the indigenous people dominant areas in Chapai Nawabgonj. However, the indigenous people are living in sub-human life. They are deprived of advantages they should receive in the society. They are losing their land in different ways. Besides, most of them are landless. Indigenous women are facing violence.
Bangladesh Adivasi Samity with the assistance of Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha organized a human chain program at 11 am on 9 November 2014 in Nachol, Chapai Nawabgonj. Presided over by Bangladesh Krishok Federation District Organizing Secretary Narayan Cahndra Barman, the chief guest Bangladesh Adivasi Samity General Secretary Omoli Kisku, Bangladesh Adivasi Samity District President Ananias Hasda, Central Member Badli Rani, Pralad Mahali, Salina Marandy, Bangladesh Krishok Federation District Secretary Kamruzzaman addressed the human chain, among others.
The speakers urged the government to take proper steps to stop violence on indigenous people as well as women. They condemned the role of OC Mahbub Alam, the investigation officer of the rape case of Nayan Tara. They also demanded to stop the torture; eviction; and harassment with false case on indigenous.
There were 200 participants in the human chain. There were 70 male and 30 female.
The news of the program has been covered by various local and national dailies.
On 27 November 2014 Aminul Islam, the rapist of Nayan Tara was arrested by the police, which is a big outcome of the program. Furthermore, the participants in the human chain program have been sanguine on their action taking the stock that movement can achieve something.
In order to realize different just demands of indigenous people, the struggle should continue.
There will be various types of action orientated program for the next time.
Bangladesh Adivasi Samity
On 27 October 2014 Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, Bhola District unit jointly organized a press conference in Bhola press club demanding 5-piont demands. The demands are below:
1. Cancelling all forged and falsified settlement deeds and filing criminal cases against land terrorist Malek Co. they should be brought into justice 2. Police security camp should be installed in the Sikdarerchar in upcoming rice harvesting period so that Terror Malek Co. cannot create any instability 3. Local administration has to be taken pre-caution measure against the land terrorists 4. All Khaslnads in Sikdarercahr should be given permanent settlement immediately among the landless people living in the Char for the removal of existing problem, as per government land manual 5. Legal steps should be taken against Malek Co. who has been collecting subscription forcefully from the landless people.
In a written statement the speakers said that since 1996 the landless people had been living at Sikdarerchar in Mujibnagar under South Charaicha in Bhola district. The press conference was presided over by Bangladesh Krishok Federation Bhola Sadar Unit president Shahnaowaj. Bangladesh Krishok Federation Bhola District Unit Convener Alam Bachchu and the female leaders of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha were present in the press conference. The leaders accused the local influential and musclemen led by Malek terrorist. They called the local admiration to take action against Malek Co. for the security of the landless people living in the Char. They also urged the landless people to remain united to protect their hard grown rice crops.
On 17-23 October 2014 RSC meeting of MTCP-II took place in Hanoi, Vietnam. In the meeting the strategic plan for 2015 was finalized. There were lots of other things brainstormed during the meeting. An evaluation was also made for the last one year activities. On behalf of Bangladesh’s NIA Badrul Alam and Mujibul Hoque Munir coordinator and staff respectively attended the RSC. Both they played very important role in the meeting. They also participated in the field visit for firsthand experience in the agriculture of Vietnam.
On 10-13 October 2014 the Asia Europe Peoples Forum took place in Milan, Italy. Bangladesh Krishok Federation President Badrul Alam took part in the forum intervening in plenary and different workshop on different issues including climate change, renewable energy, zero waste, food sovereignty, peace and democracy, etc. He was panel speaker in one of the workshops organized by JSAPMDD. He stressed on the climate change and demanded justice to the developed industrial countries. He also invited the participants to attend the South Asian Climate Justice, Gender and Foodsovereingty caravan in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. From the AEPF 3 member delegates were mandated to speak on the ASEM where heads of the countries gathered the solidarity between Asia and Europe. The representatives of the ASEM were also present and spoke in the AEPF.
On 1-5 October 2014 Bangladesh Krishok Federation President participated in the workshop-symposium parallel to official CBD conference held in Piangchang city in South Korea. The KWPA were the key host of the events organized there. They brought out rallies towards the convention center. Badrul Alam spoke in behalf of the rallies. He said that the local seed is the future of humanity. Transgenic seed is dangerous. It will destroy the biodiversity and contaminate the whole eco-system which is detrimental to the human being. He told the participants to resist transgenic seeds in order to save the local seed which is healthy and viable.
Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labor Federation(BAFLF) was establish in 1978. Since its inception it has been fighting for the right of agricultural farm labors in different sectors of the government that are dealing the agriculture, such as BRRI, BARI, BADC, NATA, sugar mill factories, etc. At the beginning, the workers of these sectors were very low-paid and were humiliated in different ways by the official high-ups. Raising voice against all these irregularities 28 leaders and workers got arrested and put into jail those days. Even they had to stage 68 days strike at stretch in early eighties. As a result, in early 1990 the then government was compelled to introduce a manual for agricultural labor called 'Agricultural Farm Labor Recruitment and regulation manual' By dint of long and persistent struggle the organization achieved many significant successes that broke through the long standing deprivation of labors.
They have been able to increase in salary pay at different times, increase in yearly festival bonus from one to two, execution of maternity leave provision, provision of gratuity, etc.
BAFLF is still on the street for the interest of agricultural labors. The leaders are also pursuing in the different ministries concerned for the betterment of the labors. The President and General Secretary of the federation are the members of Inter-governmental Ministerial Committee on Agricultural Labor. With this reference to, they are pressing the issue of salary increase of regular and irregular labors working in different agricultural sectors. Recently a circular from the both Ministry of Finance and Agriculture published contains the proposal of salary increase from Tk.260/- to Tk.300/- for regular labors and Tk. 230/- to Tk. 260/- for irregular labors. It might come into effect soon that benefits all labors working in these sectors.
On 22 May 2014 Badrul Alam, President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Sabina Yasmin, Member of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha visited BAFLF based in Gajipur near the capital city of Dhaka. They attended a big gathering of agricultural labors, both male and female in the auditorium of BRRI. In this gathering BAFLF General Secretary Abdul Majid raised the increased numbers of holidays required for the labors. He also claimed weekly holiday for agricultural labors. Mr. Majid emphasized the inclusion of agricultural labor in the national wage and pay commission and the need for particular law in favor of agricultural labors of Bangladesh. Other leaders like Sarowar, Mamun also spoke on the same issues. Badrul Alam who was invited as chief guest expressed solidarity with the demands of agricultural labors and made commitment to recommend for the member ship of BAFLF in La Via Campesina, an international Network of peasants' organization. He also expressed to work together on different national and international issues namely climate change, food sovereignty and gender. In the after noon, there was a short visit to BARI, NATA, Seed Certification Agency and its workers and their leaders.
Afterwards they joined another meeting of workers in BADC(Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation). The leaders of BADC warmly welcomed visiting leaders and described their plight as worker. They said BNP led 4 Party Alliance at the prescription of WB/IMF had retrenched 1604 workers with so called golden hand shake that was totally against the willingness of workers and really disaster to their life ad livelihood. The alliance government also handed over the seed marketing business and irrigation system to the private hand which cause serious problem in the activities BADC. Because of this, the reputation of BADC is under threat. The BADC labor leader Mr. Nantu and other leaders asked for catastrophic and medical support for the labor. Their key leader Abdul Majid promised to fight for increase of gratuity from 30 months which the labors have now to 60 months at the end of their service life. They as well continued fight for the realization of the government law of 6 months maternity leave from the existing 3 months leave which BADC management has been still following.