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Police Commissioner Habib has improved the condition of marginal communities in Bangladesh

Police Commissioner Habib has improved the condition of marginal communities in Bangladesh

By Mir Afroz Zaman

A high police officer’s of Bangladesh initiative has improved  the condition of members of Bede community (Marginal), who were marginalized in the society for long.The community members used to earn their livelihood mainly by snake-related activities. Mired in poverty for a long time, they have failed to improve their condition through these works.

However, the women of the Bede marginal community found a ray of hope when the then Dhaka District Superintendent of Police (SP) Habibur Rahman Habib came forward to help them. Currently he is the Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Habib won appreciation for his initiative to facilitate employment for women members of the Bede community when he was the SP of Dhaka district. Habib has been working on the employment of sex workers in Savar's Bede community and Daulatdia while currently serving as DMP Commissioner. Not only that, the Hijra community in different parts of the country is also enjoying the benefits of its development.

A hijra named Mahee from Daulatdia said, Dhaka Police Commissioner Habib Sir sent us a lot of food during Corona. He supports us in every festival. The prominent people of that area have expressed the opinion that the initiative of police officer Habibur Rahman is very commendable. Women members of the community have been victims of domestic violence as they faced repression by their husbands for long.

A large number of people live in Savar, a thana of Dhaka district, where a lot of garment factories are located. A large wholesale storage of snake of the community is also located there. Four villages--Boktarpur, Kanchanpur, Amorpur and Porabari—located near the Bangshi river are known as Bede Palli in the country. About 16,000 members of the community live there. Mainly a matriarchy society, the community’s female members work outside of their homes for earning livelihood, while male members stay at home for performing domestic tasks.

There are differences of opinion regarding the arrival of Bede to Bangladesh. According to anthropologists, they came to Bangladesh from Arakan in Myanmar along with king Bollal of Arakan as refugees in 1638. They later converted to Islam and spread to different parts of the sub-continent. Other opinion say that Bede, part of bedouin community in Egypt, came to Bangladesh from Egypt in the ancient time.  

Whatever may be the history of Bede community, it is true that they have been living in Bangladesh for several centuries and they have been mixed within society and its culture in the country. 
Positive change took place in the lifestyle of community’s members due to the initiative taken up by Habib.

As part of the initiative, female members got job in garment factories after receiving training on sewing machine, which made them self-reliant today. About 2000 females got job in the garment factories as part of the initiative, said sources. There has been touch of development at every sector, including police, in the country as per the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The police official took the initiative as per the directive of the Prime Minister. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu dreamed of making this country as ‘Golden Bengal”. The Prime Minister, daughter of Bangabandhu, is now working to realize the dream.

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