Chittagong Hill Tracts: Deputy Minister for CHT Affairs Urged UNDP Support
Deputy Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs Moniswapon Dewan urged officials of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and NGOs to take up livelihood support programmes for people in Sazek in Baghaichhari upazila, a remote hill area bordering India's Mizoram state.
The indigenous people there are deprived for long due to decades-long armed conflict. Development partners and NGOs should reach them and provide support in agriculture, education and healthcare in an integrated way to protect them, he said.
Government will extend all possible cooperation in this regard, the Deputy Minister said while addressing a meeting of officials of donor agencies and the district administration, held at Rangamati Hill District Council (RHDC) auditorium here on Thursday.
Chairmen and members of Union Parishads in Sazek, headmen of six Mouzas and representatives of Pangkhua and Lushai indigenous communities also attended the meeting, called by Dewan.
The public representatives told the meeting that many indigenous people, particularly of Lushai and Pangkhu communities, were forced to cross the border due to scarcity of food and other essentials.
Sazek UP Chairman L Thanga said about 10,000 people including 3,000 children who became internal refugees due to decades-long insurgency are now sheltered in the reserve forest in Katchalong valley in the area. He narrated their plight and said they deserve special attention for mere survival.
The meeting was also addressed by Rangamati Hill District Council Chiarman
Dr Maniklal Dewan, UNDP-supported CHT Development Facility (CHTDF) project's
Field Manager Heli Uusikyla, director of ADB's CHT Rural Development Project
(CHTRDP) Debadattya Khisha, CHT Regional Council Executive Officer Krishna
C Chakma, Rangamati Additional Deputy Commissioner Farid Uddin Bhuiyan, Baghaichhari
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Musharaf Hossain and Divisional Forest Officer (DFO)
Ashit Ranjan Pal.